A reflective paper on the four functions of management. And applying them to real life.

Essay by Roderic976University, Master'sA+, April 2004

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(Reflective Paper)

By Roderick Smith

Good and effective management is vital to the dynamics of a forward moving society. This is true in all organizations, including business and government. Society could function with ineffective managers and management to some extent but not to its optimum. 'Good' management can map out a path to success whereas poor management may lead to failure and possible collapse. By considering the roles of a successful manager we can learn that they are carried out continually in society and it is in fact managers that implement them. French managerial scholar Henri Fayol identified the roles of a successful manager. The "process approach" identifies these. It states that managers perform four main roles, those of planning, organizing, leading and controlling (Robbins, Coulter, 2003). Every management decision is a result of the application of one or more of these roles. Without a manager to plan, organize, lead and control an organization, what would be the effect on society? Considering a manager's fulfillment of these basic four roles and the impact these have on society will provide us with an understanding that, as Henry Mintzberg stated, "No job is more vital to society than that of the manager."

(Cheathouse 1).

Breaking down the roles that a manager carries out and considering examples of what was seen at Northwood's mall will show that these roles are vital to society and we need managers to make things happen.


Planning is a crucial management function, which charts an organization's direction. It involves "defining organizational objectives and then articulating strategies, tactics and objectives that are necessary to achieve these objectives." (Robbins, Coulter, 2003). A manager does this by setting goals and deciding how to achieve them. The May company Famous Barr set out with the plan to "become a leader in...