Read this essay to learn about the functions of management. After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Planning 2. Organising 3. Staffing 4. Directing 5. Controlling 6. Coordinating.

Essay # 1. Planning:

Planning is the process of establishing goals and suitable courses of action for achieving those goals. Planning involves setting the ‘right’ goals and then choosing the ‘right’ means for attaining those goals, Planning is necessary to ensure proper utilisation of resources (i.e., men, materials, machines, time and money) to achieve the objectives of the enterprise.

In planning, manager searches for the alternative courses open to him, and then selects from these alter­natives to determine general and specific objectives and detailed means for achieving them.


Planning is a mental process requiring the use of intellectual facilities imagination, fore­sight, sound judgment etc. to decide in advance as to what is to be done, how and where it is to be done, who will do it and how the results are to be evaluated. In other words, planning is the process of thinking before doing.


Planning is performed by the managers at all levels. The managers at the top level spend more time on planning as compared to those at lower levels. The managers at low level are supposed to follow the policies, programmes and procedures laid down by higher level managers.

Objectives of Planning:

The important objectives of planning are:

1. Planning helps in effective forecasting.


2. Planning provides certainty in the activities.

3. Planning provides performance standards.

4. Planning gives a specific duration to the organisation.

5. Planning helps the organisation to establish relationship with the environment and minimize risk and insecurity.


6. Planning provides economy in the management.

7. Planning is helpful in preparing budgets.

8. Planning is directed towards the efficiency.

Steps in Planning:

Following steps are taken by the planning manager for the purpose of planning:


1. Recognition of the need for planning.

2. Establishing objectives.

3. Building the premises for planning. Forecast is based on the inferences drawn from the known facts and figures. The forecasts are used for formulating plans for future.

4. Identifying alternative courses of action.


5. Evaluating alternatives courses.

6. Selecting a best course of action.

Nature of Planning:

1. Planning is an intellectual process.

2. Planning is goal oriented.


3. Planning is a primary function of management.

4. Planning spreads to all managerial activities.

5. Planning is directed towards efficiency.

Principles of Effective Planning:

An effective plan must conform to the following principles:


1. Principles of limitations:

As limitations stand in the way of attainment of goals. Plan­ners are required to recognize these limitations and confine their search for alterna­tives which can overcome these limitations.

2. Commitment Principle:

The commitment principle implies that long range planning for future decisions. These decisions are commitment, normally of funds, direction of action or reputation.

3. Flexibility Principle:

Flexibility means ability to change a plan without undue costs, to keep moving towards a goal, even if changes are there in environment or there is a failure of plan. The more the flexibility can be built into plans, the less the danger of losses incurred by unexpected events.


4. Principle of Navigational Changes:

The planners, like a navigator must continuously check his course and redraw plan to meet desired goals.

5. Principle of Open System Approach:

Manager must consider interactions of economi­cal, technical, social, political and other elements of enterprise with their total envi­ronment.

6. SWOT Principle:

While planning one should know strengths, weaknesses, opportuni­ties, and threats (SWOT). These factors should be analysed in the light of the market, competitions, customer’s requirements etc.

Advantages of Planning:


1. Planning gives direction.

2. Planning helps to offset changes and uncertainty.

3. Planning helps in economic operation.

4. Planning focuses attention on important activities in order to fulfill its objectives.

5. Planning helps in controlling.

6. Planning helps in growth.


Strategic Planning:

Strategy is a unified, comprehensive and integrated plan that relates to strategic advan­tages of the firm to the challenges of the environment and that is designed to ensure the basic objective of the enterprise are achieved through proper execution by the organisation.

Strategic management allows firms to anticipate changing conditions. It provides clear ob­jectives and direction for employees. The firms which perform strategic management are more effective.

In business, strategy management is accepted as the discipline of the managing re­sources to achieve long term objectives, and includes long-range planning. Fundamental strength of a company depends upon the development of strategic success potential.

Strategic planning includes setting objectives, information analysis about key problems, characteristics of the organisation, and internal strengths linked with external opportunities, taking decisions on strategies and formulating a plan.


Strategic planning establishes long term goals. The detailed methods for achieving these goals are related to current environmental conditions. Strategic planning looks three to five years ahead. It charts a definite course based on strong indicators of what the business environ­ment will face in those years. Indicators include census demographic statistics, economic indi­cators, government policies, and technological advances.

They reveal strong trends regarding changes in lifestyles, and the economic and political climates. Some of these trends are poten­tial opportunities, some potential threats, and some are both. Thus we can use our resources more effectively and conduct our business more successfully, despite changes in the environ­ment.

Strategic planning process consists of following steps:

1. Analyse the environment to identify new opportunities for existing and new products and services. Environment includes political, social, economic, technological and internal environment.

2. Identify company strengths and weaknesses.

3. Identify opportunities and risks.


4. Define product scope.

5. Define the competitive edge.

6. Establish objectives and measures of performance.

7. Determine deployment of resources.

Essay # 2. Organising:

Organising is that part of managing that involves establishing an intentional structure of role for people to fill in an organisation. Intentional means to assign the tasks, to accomplish the goals, and to the people who can do their best.

Organising involves the following:

(a) Identification and classification of required activities,

(b) Grouping of activities necessary to attain objectives,

(c) Assignment of each group to a manager with the authority necessary for its supervi­sion, and

(d) Making provision for coordination horizontally and vertically in the organisation struc­ture.

Organising is providing everything essential for proper functioning and combining the hu­man power with other resources to give desired output.

Organisation is a large group of persons united to achieve any task. Organisational struc­ture deals with the overall organisational arrangement in an enterprise.

Organisation is concerned with the building, developing and maintaining a structure of the working relationship in order to accomplish the objectives of the enterprise.

Organisation structure means the systematic arrangement of the people working for the organisation, their positions, and the relationships between positions. The structure provides an appropriate authority and responsibility relationships.

The organisation structure varies with the organisation and the functions to be performed and depends upon the goals and objec­tives established the resources availability, the communications, and the working relation­ships of the individuals, motivational and other factors.

Principles of Organisation:

Principles of organisation assist in arriving at the final structure of an organisation.

Major common principles of organisation are:

1. Consideration of Objectives:

Objectives decide the functions to be performed in the organisation and have direct bearing on the organisation structure.

2. Span of Control:

Span of control is a number of subordinates which are directly under their supervisors. This number should be reasonable, as too small number will lead to non-utilisation of full time and energy of the superior while large number will lead to difficulty in exercising control. An ideal number is 4, and at the lowest level 12 to 16. Thus a manager may have 4 deputy managers, and a foreman may have 16 workers.

3. Delegation:

Delegation is a process, a manager follows in dividing the work assigned to him so that he can perform that part which only he, because of his unique organisational place­ment, can perform effectively and so that he can get others to help him with that remains.

Guidelines for Delegation:

(i) Establish the goals,

(ii) Define the Authority and Responsibility,

(iii) Motivate the subordinates,

(iv) Provide proper check and control,

(v) Chain of command – It has been felt that for efficient working, employee should re­ceive the orders only from his superior boss. If he has more bosses, work may suffer and it creates discipline problem difficult,

(vi) Specialisation,

(vii) Balance stability and flexibility,

(viii) Discipline, and 

(ix) Unity of command – This means that employees should get orders and instructions from one boss only.

Division of Labour:

It means division of work into different parts or processes which are performed by one group of workers according to their ability and aptitude. A good example of division of labour is found in mass scale production factory, where workers are classified according to the nature of work performed by them e.g., electrician, welder, blacksmith, carpenter etc.

In this system every worker specialises in a particular type of work, therefore it improves the efficiency, and results in economy.

Guidelines for Good Organisation:

Efficiency of an enterprise depends on the organisational structure.

A good organisation should have the following:

(i) Allotment of work.

(ii) Grant of necessary authority.

(iii) Flexibility to permit slight alternatives and expansions whenever needed.

(iv) Distribution of work in different departments.

(v) Coordination among different departments.

(vi) Able to avoid wastage of labour, money and materials.

Types of Organisation:

According to different methods of distribution of authorities and responsibilities, the organisational structures are of the following types:

1. Line or Scalar Organisation:

In this type of organisation, also known as departmental or military type of organisation, the flow of authority moves from top to bottom in vertical lines.

2. Functional Organisation:

In this type, specialised people are employed under the production superintendent and everybody is supposed to give his functionalised advice to all other foreman and workers. Every specialised boss will go to individual worker for his related function.

3. Line and Staff Organisation:

In a firm of large size, managers cannot give full atten­tion to every function of management, they cannot give time to think and plan. They are busy with routine tasks. Hence ‘some staff is deputed to do their work of investigation, research, recording, planning and advising the managers.

Thus line maintains the discipline and stabil­ity, and staff provides expertise and helps to improve the overall efficiency. In other words, staffs are ‘thinkers’ while lines are ‘doers’. A staff man usually controls one function of which he is an expert.

Effectiveness in Organising:

1. Plan properly,

2. Clarify relationships,

3. Proper authority delegation,

4. Avoid confusion of lines of authority and lines of information,

5. Sufficient flexibility,

6. Avoid conflict by clear instructions, and 

7. Promoting an appropriate organisation culture.

Difference between Administration, Management and Organisation:

Dr. W.R. Spriegel has distinguished the three words, administration, management and organisation as under:

“Administration” predetermines the specific goals and lays down the broad areas within which these goals are to be attained. Thus administration is a determinative function. While the Management is an executive function, which is mainly concerned with carrying out the broad policies laid down by the administration. Organisation is the machinery through which the coordination is established between administration and management.

Thus we may conclude in simple words that:

“Administration chalks out the general policies while management work for bringing these policies into effect. Organisation is the mechanism which helps by management in bringing these policies into effect laid by administration”.

Organisation is concerned with the building, developing and maintaining a structure of the working relationship in order to accomplish the objectives of the enterprise.

Essay # 3. Staffing:

Staffing, now-a-days also termed as ‘human resource management’, is defined as filling, and keeping filled, positions in the organisation structure. Thus staffing function comprises, the activities essential to manage and keep manned the positions created by the organisation structure. Staffing function involves recruiting, selecting, placing, promoting, appraising, car­rier planning, training, compensating etc. so that they can accomplish their tasks effectively and efficiently.

Some persons feel that staffing is not a separate function of management. They argue that it is a part of organising since it involves manning the positions created by organisation process. Some authors view it as a part of direction, as staffing activities are closely related to leader­ship, communication and motivation.

Essay # 4. Directing:

Directing is the inter-personnel aspect of managing by which subordinates are led to under­stand and contribute effectively and efficiently to attainment of enterprise objectives.

Directing is a dynamic function of management because it infuses life into organisation. Directing can also be defined as a function which includes all those activities which are designed to encourage subordinates to work effectively both in short and long run.

Directing is telling people that what to do and seeing that they do it to the best of their ability. It includes making assignments, corresponding procedures, seeing that mistakes are corrected, providing on-the-job instructions and, of course, issuing orders.

Directing process involves:

a. Leadership.

b. Communication.

c. Motivation.

d. Supervision.

Principles of Direction:

(i) Harmony of objectives.

(ii) Unity of command.

(iii) Direct supervision.

(iv) Effective communication.

(v) Effective leadership.

a. Leadership:

Weber said that in a leader oriented organisation there are followers and a leader to whom the followers allow some special strength or powers. When followers lose confidence in the leader then his leadership position can fall. He is the manager of the organisation.

Leader makes decisions and centralizes delegation of authority. Personal devotion and obedience to the leader is necessary, while qualification, professional competency or training etc., is of less con­sideration. Working depends on the decisions of the leader and his wishes are taken as com­mands.

To be clearer a leader’s role in an organisation can be compared with the role of an electron entering an atom. An electron with low energy will generally be absorbed without substantially changing the atom. In the same way, a low energy ‘leader’ will have small effect on the organisation and a high energy leader will be largely beneficial to the organisation.

Leadership of Dynamic Organisation:

The managers perform the important functions of creating, planning, organising, motivat­ing, communicating and controlling the organisations. These show the manager’s job. Still there are few more additional functions that do not fit nearly into the six managerial functions men­tioned above. The additional functions are very critical to the success or failure of enterprise.

These functions of a leader may be:

1. Arbitrating.

2. Suggesting.

3. Supplying objectives.

4. Catalyzing.

5. Providing security.

6. Representing.

7. Inspiring.

8. Praising.

1. Arbitrating:

A leader has to make several decisions to set the organisation moving. Generally other members sometimes may disagree even on the best decision of the leader. So an effective leader should be able to resolve the conflict or disagreement by arbitrating.

2. Suggesting:

Suggesting allows the subordinate to maintain his dignity and sense of participation more than if he is given a direct order. In the long run, the power of suggestions is a powerful tool in the manager’s hand. Suggestions should often be given by a leader. The leader may say, “I think it will be best done in this way”.

3. Supplying Objectives:

A manager frames and then defines the organisational objec­tives to their members. These objectives will allow members to work together collectively. The leader must, therefore, see that the organisation is always supplied with suitable objectives.

4. Catalyzing:

Some force is essentially needed to begin or accelerate movement. A leader can provide this force. When he provides this force, he is acting like a catalyst. In this way, leader initiates the subordinates to work.

5. Providing Security:

In organisations, personal security is an important factor. A leader can develop large measures of security by developing a positive optimistic attitude.

6. Representing:

A leader is said to be the symbol of the organisation. He is the represen­tative of his organisation. He has to speak on behalf of the organisation stating the organisations position on matters with which it is concerned.

Whenever a leader makes contact with outsid­ers, they think of the entire organisation in terms of the impression of the leader. If the impres­sion of the leader is favourable, they may think high of the entire organisation. On the other hand, if the leader leaves a poor impression, the reputation of the entire organisation will suffer.

7. Inspiring:

If the leader lets workers know that the work they are doing is worthwhile and important, then certain workers will atleast do them more efficiently. Thus they can be more inspired to achieve organisational goals, and will enthusiastically accept organisational objectives and work more effectively.

8. Praising:

Praising is necessary for the good and hard work done. It increases the inter­est in work and sincerity at heart. Leader should satisfy these needs by sincere praise. Workers need to know that they are important and their good work is praised. It is to note that empty flattering will fail, while a sincere pat on the back for good job done will make a person pleased and help him to become involved with his job.

b. Communication:

It is the process of conveying information so that thoughts or opinions are interchanged. It is two way media for transmitting ideas, plans, commands, reports and suggestions that influ­ence attitudes towards the organisation objectives.

A good communication can play important role in motivating people and stimulating them to put extra effort. Success of the leader and the organisation depends upon adequacy of communication. Communication determines the qual­ity and climate of human relationships.

Communication Flow:

There are three basic directions in which communications can be sent within an organisation:

(i) Downward Communication.

(ii) Upward Communication, and

(iii) Crosswise Communication.

(i) Downward Communication:

This type of flow begins from superior to subordinates. It is closely associated with the exercise of authority generally concerned with the introduction of new decisions, the clarification and interpretation of previous decisions and requests from higher officers for some specific information.

(ii) Upward Communication:

In this, information moves from subordinates to superior officers. It is associated with the response to order from officers and requests from subordinates for higher level decisions on operating problems. Also flowing upwards are opinions, attitudes, ideas, suggestions, complaints, grievances and rumours etc.

(iii) Crosswise Communication:

This type of communication is found between individu­als working at the same level and less than one officer, when advice related to organisational activity is sought from fellow workers.

Types of Communication:

There are usually two means for sending communication:

(i) Oral.

(ii) Written.

(i) Oral:

Oral instructions may be given to the individuals when they are face to face or can be communicated through the telephone or messengers.

(ii) Written:

It means sending the messages, instructions, orders or information in writing. Written communication carries more authority and leaves a record.

In any organisation both types of communication are employed. If an individual has diffi­culty in hearing, there is an increased chance that he will misunderstand or even fail to hear some of the verbal communications. Students of foreign countries are required to be better acquainted with the language in which the course work is being presented. In such cases writ­ten instructions may be given.

Factors for Effective Communication:

The following are the guiding principles of effective communication:

(a) Clarity:

The message must be simple and very clear so that the recipient can under­stand it fully.

(b) Consistency:

It means that message should be consistent with one another and with known objective of the organisation.

(c) Adequacy:

The purpose of communication is to transmit optimum flow of informa­tion. It should also be noted that not all information need be communicated. Some officers think that, if subordinates are informed about everything, they can be highly motivated and, therefore, they sent very heavy downward flow of information but it is found that with such a heavy information recipients become confused.

(d) Timing and Timeliness:

The different individuals should receive a particular mes­sage at the same time, and proper time should be allowed for the action to be taken on the message.

(e) Distribution:

A communication from top to bottom should pass through every stage of the line of authority. It is also seen that sometimes information do not reach to the right person. It must be born in mind that who is to be told is as important as what is to be told.

(f) Balance between Adaptability and Uniformity:

The smooth working of any organisation also depends upon uniformity. Yet adaptability should be resorted to when different situations and individuals are involved. Orders and reports should be transmitted through a system that provides opportunity for adoption to specific situa­tions.

(g) Interest and Acceptance:

The purpose of communication is to secure positive re­sponse. Therefore, the receiver of message must be capable and interested in accept­ing the message. Downward communication is more effective, if moral is high and upward communication gets through when the higher officer is a good listener.

c. Motivation and Morale:


All administrative actions are of no use if the workers are not willing to contribute efforts toward the completion of the assigned task. By any way each worker must desire to do his duties effectively. Motivation is the means of increasing this desire among the individuals. Motivation is a powerful tool in the hands of managers for getting work done.

Each individual has variety of desires and belief that shape his reactions. It is the task of manager to arrange the total work situation and group attitudes in such a way so that each of his subordinates find greater satisfaction in carrying out his duties. In fact, every worker should have a positive desire to do the work effectively and efficiently.

In building such an attitude in his sub-ordinate, a manager should consider a variety of measures such as higher financial income, social status and respect, attractive work, security, opportunity, personal power and influence, treatment as in individual person, voice in own affairs and fair supervision etc. Some of these measures provide general background of co­operative efforts while others can be related directly to performance of particular instructions.

In fact leadership and motivation go together. Managers must motivate every employee so that they can act with enthusiasm and vigour.

The word ‘motivation’ has been derived from the word’ ‘motive’ which means any idea, need or emotion that prompts a man into action. Generally, different motives operate at different times among different people and influence their behaviour. The management is expected to try to understand the motives of individuals which cause different types of behaviour.

Motivation can be defined as “the complex of forces starting and keeping a person at work in an organisation. Motivation is something that moves the person to action, and continues him in the course of action already initiated”. According to Dalton E. Mc Farland, “Motivation refers to the way in which urges, drives, desires, aspirations, and strivings or needs direct control or ex­plain the behaviour of human beings”.

The role of motivation is to develop and intensify the desire in every member of the organisation to work effectively and efficiently in his position. Motivation is a continuous pro­cess that produces goal directed behaviour.


It means the prevailing mood or spirit which is conducive to willing and dependable perfor­mance of task. This mood is a large measure of the degree of faith for the ultimate success of group effort. Morale presumably determines the extent of co-operation in achievement of goal leading in exceptional cases necessarily synonymous with relation, cheerfulness or what is some­times called good fellowship. Good morale means much more being in a good mood.

In increasing efficiency, good motivation and morale are essentially required.

d. Supervision:

Supervising and over-seeing his subordinates is an important part of direction function of every manager. Supervision means observing the subordinates at work, to see that they are working according to plans and policies of the organisation and keeping the time schedule, and to help them in solving their work problems.

The lowest level managers have as their primary duty to supervise workers in basic opera­tions. Therefore the managers at the lowest level are known as supervisors. They are directly in touch with their operative employees or the workers. In a plant or factory, supervisors may be called as foreman, gangman, chargeman, or a section officer.

Functions of a Supervisor:

(i) Planning the work.

(ii) Issuing orders.

(iii) Providing guidance or leadership.

(iv) Controlling output.

(v) Controlling schedule.

(vi) Motivate.

(vii) Maintaining records.

(viii) Liaison between management and workers.

Requisites of Effective Supervision:

1. Technical and Managerial knowledge.

2. Position and Authority.

3. Knowledge of rules and regulations.

4. Skill in leading.

5. Human orientation.

6. Issuing clear instructions.

Essay # 5. Controlling:

Controlling function of management can be defined as:

1. Controlling is a continuous process of measuring actual results in relation to those planned.

2. Controlling is that managerial activity whereby the manager compare actual perfor­mance against the planned one, find out the deviation, and take corrective actions.

3. Controlling is a process which sets standards, measures job performance, and takes corrective action, if required.

Control Process:

The control process in all the situations have following steps:

(i) Establishment of standards.

(ii) Measurement of performance.

(iii) Comparing the activity with the standards.

(iv) Remedial action.

Control Aids:

(i) Budget.

(ii) Managerial statistics.

(iii) Special reports.

(iv) Break-even point.

(v) Cost accounts.

(vi) Internal audit.

(vii) Personal observations.

(viii) Standing rules and orders, policies and procedures.

(ix) Modern technique like, PERT, improved M.I.S., electronic devices etc.

Techniques of Management Control:

(i) Budget and Budgetary control .

(ii) Cost control and cost accounting.

(iii) Inventory control. 

(iv) Quality control.

(v) Network techniques. 

(vi) Production control.

(vii) Special reports.

(viii) Management by objectives.

(ix) Management by exception. 

Essay # 6. Coordinating:

Coordination means achieving harmony of individual effort towards the accomplishment of company objectives. Coordination implies joint efforts, and as such it may be described as the orderly arrangement of group efforts to provide unity of action in pursuit of a common purpose.

Coordination can also be defined as the orderly synchronisation of efforts of the subordinates to provide the proper quantity, timing and quality of execution so that their unified efforts lead to the common purpose of the enterprise.

Objectives of Coordination:

Following objectives are sought through coordination’s:

(i) Reconciliation of goals.

(ii) Total accomplishment.

(iii) Economy and efficiency.

(iv) Good personnel relations.

(v) Helps in keeping high morale of employees.

Techniques of Effective Coordination:

1. Clearly defined goals.

2. Clear lines of authority and responsibility.

3. Precise and comprehensive programmes and policies.

4. Cooperation.

5. Effective communication.

6. Effective leadership and supervision.