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The four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading and controlling. While these functions are applied to the business world, they are also applied to everyday family and household matters. The accepted labels attached to these kinds of managers are Domestic Engineers. These managers never leave their humble abodes to work for someone else's company, but hold just as important and responsible positions within their own company. These individuals make up a company within themselves and are responsible for making life acceptable for their families and themselves. This paper will attempt to describe how the four functions of management apply to domestic engineers.
The definition of management can be applied to a domestic engineer in the way that working with family and resources will lead to effectively and efficiently achieving the goals of the household and family needs (T. Bateman & S. Snell, 2007, p. 16). These executives "not only adapt to changing conditions but also applyfanatically, rigorously, consistently, and with disciplinethe fundamental management principles. These fundamentals include the four traditional functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling" (T. Bateman & S. Snell, 2007, p. 16).
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The efficiency of the domestic manager is determined by her minimal waste of resources and her best possible use of money, time and materials (T. Bateman & S. Snell, 2007, p. 16). Efficient actions that she could take are to take note of the foods that were left after each meal and find a way to use the leftovers within the next couple of days; making sure that all electronics that are not being used are turned off; checking for locked doors and windows at bedtime; household bills are kept at an affordable limit; acceptable water usage; limited waste products and recyclables; and that all family members are self disciplined in how to clean up after and for themselves.
We can apply the definition of planning as the management function of systematically making decisions about the goals and activities that the family and household will pursue, or delivering strategic value (T. Bateman & S. Snell, 2007, p. 16). This would include, but not be limited to, all individual medical and/or therapy appointments being kept on a timely basis; family and household goals being periodically reviewed and decisions being updated as a unit; family outings and vacation times being scheduled; and the supervision of individual disciplines being reminded and understood by all family members in regards to children, teenagers, and parents work and activity schedules.
The definition of organizing could be applied as the management function of assembling and coordinating a family members or household financial, physical, informational, or other resource needs to achieve the desired goals of the unit as a whole; or building a dynamic family unit (T. Bateman & S. Snell, 2007, p. 17). Keeping household costs down is a main concern within the family unit. The domestic manager will be attentive to ways in which the utility costs that help keep a household running can be kept to a minimum without undue stress on any of the family members.
The definition of leading is applied as the management function that involves the manager's efforts to stimulate high performance by each individual family member, or mobilizing the family members (T. Bateman & S. Snell, 2007, p. 17). This function refers to a positive attitude, reinforcement and constructive criticism towards each family member and the family unit as a whole.
The controlling definition here is in keeping with the management function of monitoring the performance of each family member and making new rules where they are needed (T. Bateman & S. Snell, 2007, p. 18). The older the children get, the more responsibility that each will need to learn. In order to become a productive and responsible adult, as each child grows, so do their capacity for understanding that they will need to become responsible for their own actions, reactions and decisions. Children should be taught as early as is feasible how to clean up their own messes, put their own clothes away, get their homework done, make their beds and clean their own rooms, and eventually be taught some household chores that contribute to the household to show respect for where and how they live. The attentive domestic manager will also teach the family members how to show respect for themselves and others. She will show control over activities of the social manner until she is sure that the younger members know how to show respect and control over their own selves and actions.
Whether you are managing the employees of someone else's company or at home managing your own family and household needs, the four functions of management will apply to your organizational goals. A good manager will learn how to apply these functions and gain more knowledge through each year of the day-to-day grind of family life. A family unit is the same as a team that needs to be planned, nurtured, lead and controlled into becoming a productive responsible addition to the company as a whole. "Remember that you are the epicenter of the team, so your behavior, attitude, style, manner, sense of self, and ambitions influence everyone around you," (Friedman, 2007, ¶13).
Bateman, T., & Snell, S., (2007). Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World. Retrieved January 26, 2008 from University of Phoenix, Week 1, Resource. Management, Chapter 1. MGT/330. Management: Theory, Practice and Application. https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp.
Friedman Caitlin, (2007). Parenting and Family. Today Show. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12396173/