The majority of scholars use the term ‘management’ as “a process by, which managers create, direct, maintain and operate purposive organizations through systematic, coordinated and co-operative human efforts.” Thus, management is the planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling the activities of the people working in a group in order to achieve the objectives of the group. It this way process/functions of management involve the following :
Management is concerned with planning of the goals, to be achieved and the ways and means of achieving them. In this sense, planning involves thinking about the goals and the actions in advance. Planning does not mean building castles in the air. It is a rational activity based on the capacity and capability o organizational resources, and how they are to be harnessed for the purpose of accomplishment of the stated goals.
Planning is a prerequisite of doing anything. Systematic planning is necessary for any business activity, otherwise, it will be a haphazard manner. Proper planning is a must to ensure proper Utilisation of human and non-human resources to achieve the desired goals. It has to be done at all levels of management. Since planning involves taking important decisions, top management devotes more time to planning as compared to low-level management. The low-level managers have to follow the policies, programs and procedures laid down by -the top
management. The process of planning includes—
(i) Determination Of objectives,
(iii) Search of alternative courses of action and their evaluation,
(iv) Drawing policies and programs,
(v) Drawing schedules and procedures,
(vi) Budgeting, and
(vii) fixing standards of performance.
To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful to its functioning: personnel, raw materials, tools, capital. All this may be divided in two main sections, the human Organization and the material organization. Once managers have established objectives and developed plans to achieve them, they must design and develop a human organization that will be able to carry out those plans successfully. According to Allen, this organization refers to the ‘ ‘structure which results from identifying and grouping work, defining and delegating responsibility and authority, and establishing relationships.’ According to Fayol, “To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful to its functioning-raw materials, tools, capital and personnel”. According to Koontz and O’Donnell, organizing conscious co-ordination of people toward a desired goal. It involves “the establishment of an intentional structure of rules by identifying and listing the activities required to achieve the purpose of an enterprise, the grouping of these activities, the assignment of such groups of activities to a manager, the delegation of authority and informational relationships horizontally and vertically in the organization structure”
Staffing may also be considered an important function involved in building the human organization. In staffing, the manager attempts to find the right person for each job. Staffing Fixes manager’s responsibility to recruit and to make certain that there is enough manpower available to fill the various positions needed in the organization. Staffing involves the selection and training of future managers and a suitable system of compensation. Staffing obviously cannot be done once and for all, since people are continually leaving, getting tired, retiring and dying. Often too, the changes in the organization create new positions, and these must be filled. Lawrence Appley remarked. “managers would be more skilled and more competent if they were carefully selected, Specifically trained, continually kept up-to-date in their field of activity, guided in their development for the assumption of greater responsibility and adequately rewarded.”
After plans have been made and the organization has been established and staffed, the next step is to move towards its defined objectives. ‘This function can be called by various names: leading’, ‘directing’, ‘motivating’, ‘actuating’, and so on. Whatever the name is, directing is the
managerial function of guiding, supervising, motivating, and leading people towards the attainment of planned targets of performance. According to Terry, “Directing means and supplying stimulative power to a group of persons. In the process of directing his subordinates, a manager takes active steps to ensure that the employees accomplish their tasks according to the established plans. Directing involves three sub-functions- communication, leadership, and motivation.
Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another. A manager to be successful must develop an effective system of communication so that he may issue instructions, receive the reaction of the subordinates, and guide and motivate them. Leadership is the quality of the behavior of a manager whereby he guides his subordinates or their activities in the desired direction. A manager must possess the leadership qualities if he has to get others to follow him and accept his direction. Motivation is a psychological technique of executing the plans and policies. It means inspiring the subordinates with zeal to do work for the accomplishment of organizational objectives. A successful manager makes appropriate use of motivation to actuate the subordinates to work harmoniously towards the achievement of organizational goals.
Managers have always found it desirable to check up or follow up on what is being done in order to make sure that the work of others is progressing satisfactorily toward the pre-determined objective. Misunderstanding and unexpected hindrances may arise. Such contingencies must be known quickly to the manager so that corrective action may be taken. This function by the manager constitutes ‘Controlling’. Controlling involves a series of activities like:
(i) Continuous observation and study of periodic results of performance in order to identify potential problems:
(ii) Selection of the best mode of control;
(iii) Comparison of the performance with the range of standards established beforehand:
(iv) Pinpointing significant deviations;
(v) Ascertain their exact causes and
(vi) Initiation and implementation of the corrective action.
Controlling thus tends to complete the full cycle of the process of management through which managers accomplish results.
Management is a dynamic science. It is a process and not an activity. Daily new changes take place in the process of management. These days, it is not necessary for an organization to grow bigger. But it is necessary that it constantly grows better. To keep pace with the changing circumstances the manager must be a dynamic person. He should be ready to adopt the changes required by the circumstances. He should not adhere to the traditional methods and techniques. For the success of an enterprise, it is necessary that the latest methods and technologies must be adopted. This process is called innovation. The management should adopt the latest techniques and methods of Planning, Organising, Staffing, Directing, Controlling, Motivating and CO-ordinating in the field of production, marketing, finance, and personnel.
Management has to represent the firm while dealing with third parties, government, public, consumers, tax authorities, and even the employees. A manager is also required nowadays to spend a part of his time representing his organization before various outside groups that have some stake in the organization. These stake-holders can be government officials, labor unions, financial institutions, suppliers, customers, etc.