The four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. The term management has been used since the early twentieth century, and people such as Frederick W. Taylor, Henri Fayol, Max Weber, and A.H. Maslow all contributed to the evolution of management. The four functions of management are as relevant now as they were then. This paper will define and explain each function in today's organizations.
Batman and Snell (2007) define management as "the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals." Managers operate in a dynamic environment where things can change very quickly. A good manager must not only know how to do things right (efficiency), but also how to do the right things (effectiveness). Even when overwhelmed with a task, a manager must continue to focus on effectiveness and efficiency.
PlanningThe first function of management is planning. "Planning is specifying the goals to be achieved and deciding in advance the appropriate actions needed to achieve those goals" (Batman and Snell, 2007).
Planning should engage all levels of management and improve decision-making. A successful manager should be able to plan effectively. Planning is about looking ahead, identifying a desired end point, and making decisions to reach that end point. Batman and Snell (2007) stated, "Planning activities include analyzing current situations, anticipating the future, determining objectives, deciding in what type of activities the company will engage, choosing corporate and business strategies, and determining the resources needed to achieve the organization's goals."Part of Company X's vision is to play a leading role in the nuclear energy renaissance in the United Kingdom while simultaneously improving the long-term reliability of its current power plants. Company X currently owns and operates nine power stations in the United Kingdom and employs 6,000 personnel. Planning plays a significant part in directing...