The Management Process: Management Functions
The successful manager must actively perform basic managerial functions. One of the earliest classifications of managerial functions was made by Fayol, who suggested that planning, organizing, coordinating, commanding, and controlling were the primary functions. Some others theorists identify additional management functions, such as staffing, communicated, or decision making. But now generally, there is agreement that the basic managerial functions are: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. The additional functions (e.g., communicated, or decision making) will be discussed as subsets of the four primary functions.
Planning is considered to be the central function of management because it sets the pattern for the other activities to follow. "Planning means defining goals for future organizational performance and deciding on the tasks and use of resources needed to attain them" (Richard Daft). Planning encompasses four elements:
- Evaluating environmental forces and organizational resources
- Establishing a set of organizational goals
- Developing strategies and plans to achieve the stated goals
- Formulating a decision-making process
These elements are concerned with organizational success in the near future as well as success in the more distant future. Planning to the future, the manager develops a strategy for getting there. This process is referred to as strategic planning. Chapters 2 and 3 address the topic of management strategy and strategic planning.