Management's Four Functions

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Management’s Four Functions

It takes training, many skills, and much knowledge to be effective as a manager in today’s business environment. Both women and men in upper level positions are finding that it takes much more than the ability to delegate responsibility to keep a small department or large company running correctly. They must be able to come up with new ideas and develop the way to achieve them before going to their superiors with any proposition. They must know how to inspire their employee’s creativity as well as monitor their progress. An effective manager must even know how to relate to people in order to keep their subordinates happy. According to Sawyer (1998), “almost every deviation or deficiency an internal auditor encounters results from the violation of some principle of management or good administration in these four areas” (¶ 3). Therefore, directly linked to the success or failure of a supervisor in any organization is her ability to implement successfully the four functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.


Planning is important when it comes to success in the remaining supervisory functions. Bateman and Snell (2007) state planning is the function of management in which decisions are made about the actions and aims that one or all parts of an organization will follow (Chap. 1 p. 16). Without diligent and knowledgeable planning, any strengths a manager exhibits in the other areas necessary to be effective in her role as the other three functions of management, organizing, leading and controlling, rely on efficient planning. A department currently evolving and making large expansions will have gone through extensive planning in its early phases. The manager will have thoroughly analyzed her vision and come up with a detailed course of action to achieve it; knowing that she must have every aspect of the expansion outlined before she asks for approval and that her presentation to the University administration will need to show the proposed path as well as the benefits of this expansion. No matter how much or how efficient planning may be, obstacles exist that a supervisor does not expect and may not be able make contingencies for. One thing the departmental director cannot plan for is the manner in which a bureaucracy drags its feet in providing the necessary staffing to implement the proposed departments.


The ability to organize follows planning in importance. Upon being able to plan a goal and course of action efficiently, the supervisor must make this idea come to life through organization.

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