Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Four Functions of Management

Emma N. Ramos                                                                              
PHDEL (Strategic Planning and Management)
March 31, 2011                       
Blog Entry no: 3

The Four Functions of Management

1.      Planning
It is the basic function of management. It deals with chalking out a future course of action & deciding in advance the most appropriate course of actions for achievement of pre-determined goals. According to KOONTZ, “Planning is deciding in advance - what to do, when to do & how to do. It bridges the gap from where we are & where we want to be”. A plan is a future course of actions. It is an exercise in problem solving & decision making. Planning is determination of courses of action to achieve desired goals. Thus, planning is a systematic thinking about ways & means for accomplishment of pre-determined goals. Planning is necessary to ensure proper utilization of human & non-human resources. It is all pervasive, it is an intellectual activity and it also helps in avoiding confusion, uncertainties, risks, wastages etc.
According to Urwick, “Planning is a mental predisposition to do things in orderly way, to think before acting and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses”. Planning is deciding best alternative among others to perform different managerial functions in order to achieve predetermined goals.
According to Koontz & O’Donell, “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap between where we are to, where we want to go. It makes possible things to occur which would not otherwise occur”.
2.      Organizing
    • It is the process of bringing together physical, financial and human resources and developing productive relationship amongst them for achievement of organizational goals. According to Henry Fayol, “To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful or its functioning i.e. raw material, tools, capital and personnel’s”. To organize a business involves determining & providing human and non-human resources to the organizational structure.
Organizing is the function of management which follows planning. It is a function in which the synchronization and combination of human, physical and financial resources takes place. All the three resources are important to get results. Therefore, organizational function helps in achievement of results which in fact is important for the functioning of a concern. According to Chester Barnard, “Organizing is a function by which the concern is able to define the role positions, the jobs related and the co- ordination between authority and responsibility. Hence, a manager always has to organize in order to get results.
3. Leading
Organizational success is determined by the quality of leadership that is exhibited. "A leader can be a manager, but a manager is not necessarily a leader," says Gemmy Allen (1998). Leadership is the power of persuasion of one person over others to inspire actions towards achieving the goals of the company. Those in the leadership role must be able to influence/motivate workers to an elevated goal and direct themselves to the duties or responsibilities assigned during the planning process. (Allen, G., 1998). Leadership involves the interpersonal characteristic of a manager's position that includes communication and close contact with team members. (Bateman, Snell, 2007).
4. Controlling
Control in management means setting standards, measuring actual performance and taking corrective action.  It implies measurement of accomplishment against the standards and correction of deviation if any to ensure achievement of organizational goals. The purpose of controlling is to ensure that everything occurs in conformities with the standards. An efficient system of control helps to predict deviations before they actually occur. According to Theo Haimann, “Controlling is the process of checking whether or not proper progress is being made towards the objectives and goals and acting if necessary, to correct any deviation”. According to Koontz & O’Donell “Controlling is the measurement & correction of performance activities of subordinates in order to make sure that the enterprise objectives and plans desired to obtain them as being accomplished”..
Controlling consists of verifying whether everything occurs in conformities with the plans adopted, instructions issued and principles established. Controlling ensures that there is effective and efficient utilization of organizational resources so as to achieve the planned goals. Controlling measures the deviation of actual performance from the standard performance, discovers the causes of such deviations and helps in taking corrective actions
According to Brech, “Controlling is a systematic exercise which is called as a process of checking actual performance against the standards or plans with a view to ensure adequate progress and also recording such experience as is gained as a contribution to possible future needs.”

Personally, I can not really talk about the four functions of management in general since I do not have personal knowledge about it. However, as member of the education program I can say that in terms of management functions, our program head usually convene us in order to plan, organize and oversee the whole operational procedures of the program. Our program head is using the three styles of leadership. Sometimes she will tells us that a procedure is not working correctly and a new one must be established (authoritarian). Asking for our  ideas and input on creating a new procedure (participative). Delegating tasks in order to implement the new procedure (delegative).

As a plain classroom teacher, I prepare my lessons ahead of time and deciding in advance what to do, how to do it. Planning bridges the gap between where we are to, where we want to go.
Organizing in classroom involves:
    • Identification of activities.
    • Classification of grouping of activities.
    • Assignment of duties.
    • Delegation of responsibility.
    • Coordinating authority and responsibility relationships especially for extra curricular activities and field trips.


Bateman, T. S. & Snell, S. (2007). Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World (7th ed., pp. 16 -18). McGraw - Hill.
Bateman, T.S. & Snell, S. (2004). Management: The New Competitive Landscape, (6th ed., pp.13). McGraw – Hill
Allen, G. (1998). In Supervision. Retrieved May 27, 2007, from


  1. Thanks for sharing this useful info. Keep updating same way.
    Regards, AshishChange Management

  2. Great post. I hope you can write more good stuff like this article.

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