6.1 The Role of Management
- What is the role of management?
Management is the process of guiding the development, maintenance, and allocation of resources to attain organizational goals. Managers are the people in the organization responsible for developing and carrying out this management process. The four primary functions of managers are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. By using the four functions, managers work to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their employees, processes, projects, and organizations as a whole.
- What are the four types of planning?
Planning is deciding what needs to be done, identifying when and how it will be done, and determining who should do it. Managers use four different types of planning: strategic, tactical, operational, and contingency planning. Strategic planning involves creating long-range (one to five years), broad goals and determining the necessary resources to accomplish those goals. Tactical planning has a shorter time frame (less than one year) and more specific objectives that support the broader strategic goals. Operational planning creates specific standards, methods, policies, and procedures that are used in specific functional areas of the organization. Contingency plans identify alternative courses of action for very unusual or crisis situations.
- What are the primary functions of managers in organizing activities?
Organizing involves coordinating and allocating a firm’s resources in order to carry out its plans. It includes developing a structure for the people, positions, departments, and activities within the firm. This is accomplished by dividing up tasks (division of labor), grouping jobs and employees (departmentalization), and assigning authority and responsibilities (delegation).
6.4 Leading, Guiding, and Motivating Others
- How do leadership styles influence a corporate culture?
Leading is the process of guiding and motivating others toward the achievement of organizational goals. Managers have unique leadership styles that range from autocratic to free-rein. The set of attitudes, values, and standards of behavior that distinguishes one organization from another is called corporate culture. A corporate culture evolves over time and is based on the accumulated history of the organization, including the vision of the founders.
- How do organizations control activities?
Controlling is the process of assessing the organization’s progress toward accomplishing its goals. The control process is as follows: (1) set performance standards (goals), (2) measure performance, (3) compare actual performance to established performance standards, (4) take corrective action (if necessary), and (5) use information gained from the process to set future performance standards.
6.6 Managerial Roles
- What roles do managers take on in different organizational settings?
In an informational role, the manager may act as an information gatherer, an information distributor, or a spokesperson for the company. A manager’s interpersonal roles are based on various interactions with other people. Depending on the situation, a manager may need to act as a figurehead, a company leader, or a liaison.
6.7 Managerial Skills
- What set of managerial skills is necessary for managerial success?
Managerial skills fall into three basic categories: technical, human relations, and conceptual skills. Specialized areas of knowledge and expertise and the ability to apply that knowledge make up a manager’s technical skills. Human relations skills include the ability to understand human behavior, to communicate effectively with others, and to motivate individuals to accomplish their objectives. Conceptual skills include the ability to view the organization as a whole, understand how the various parts are interdependent, and assess how the organization relates to its external environment.
6.8 Trends in Management and Leadership
- What trends will affect management in the future?
Three important trends in management today are preparing for crises management, the increasing use of information technology, and the need to manage multinational cultures. Crisis management requires quick action, telling the truth about the situation, and putting the best people on the task to correct the situation. Finally, management must learn from the crisis in order to prevent it from happening again. Using the latest information technology, such as dashboard software, managers can make quicker, better-informed decisions. As more companies “go global,” the need for multinational cultural management skills is growing. Managers must set a good example, create personal involvement for all employees, and develop a culture of trust.