Overview of Functions of Management

Functions of management are classified into Planning, Organising, Staffing, Directing, Controlling and Coordination.
Planning refers to the management process of setting organisational objectives and targets for a given period and formulating an action plan to achieve it. Process of planning consists of gathering information, laying down objectives, developing premises, etc. Planning helps in focusing on the achievement of objectives, reducing risk of uncertainty, improving efficiency of employees, etc.
Organising is the management process that initiates implementation of plans by clarifying jobs and working relationships and effectively deploying resources for the achievement of organisational goals and objectives. Process of organising consists of identifying, classifying, assigning activities to be performed, delegating authority, etc. Organising helps in facilitating growth and diversification, optimum utilisation of resources, encouraging innovation and creativity.
Staffing refers to the management process which aims at filling various posts identified in an organisational structure. Process of staffing consists of manpower planning, recruitment, selection and placement, training and development, etc. Directing refers to the management process of instructing, guiding, counseling, motivating and leading people in the organisation to achieve its planned objectives. Elements of directing consist of motivation, supervision, leadership and communication.
Directing initiates action, integrates efforts of employees, improves efficiency and facilitates changes.
Controlling refers to the process of measuring performance, comparing it with standards and taking corrective action where necessary. Controlling ensures achievement of goals, optimum utilisation of resources, facilitates delegation of authority etc. Process of controlling consists of establishing standards of performance, measuring actual performance, comparing actual results with standards, etc.
Coordination is defined as the process by which a manager synchronises the activities of different departments. Coordination helps in eliminating conflicts between groups and departments, providing balance between different abilities, integrating needs and interests of diverse groups etc.


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  • Q1

    'Inspite of best efforts, planning sometimes fails due to its limitations'. Explain any four limitations of planning.


    The limitations of planning which lead to its failure are as follows –
    i. Time consuming- Planning is time consuming process as it involves a lot of time in identifying, analysing and selecting the alternatives which sometimes lead to delay in decision making.
    ii. Creates rigidity- Planning involves the determination of a course of action in advance. It may lead to internal inflexibility and procedural rigidity. In other words, with planning a business or organisation may achieve certain goals, however, planning creates rigidity or locks the business into certain goals & procedures.
    iii. Involves huge cost- Formulation of plans involves too much cost which is in the form of time spent, money spent etc. but sometimes there is little benefit from planning, instead it becomes a burden for the institution. If the plan is not useful then the amount or time spent in its formulation is a waste.
    iv. May not work in dynamic environment- Business environment is dynamic as there are continuous changes in economic, political and legal environment. It becomes difficult to forecast the future changes. Plans may fail, if the changes are frequent.

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  • Q2

    Explain the importance of organising as a function of management.


    Importance of organising:

    1. Benefits of specialisation: Under organising all the activities are sub divided into various parts. Each individual is assigned a particular task. He continously does that same job time and again and hence gains specialisation in that particular work.
    2. Clarity in working relationship: Organising defines the line of work and specifies who has to report to whom which results in effective communication and helps in fixing accountability.
    3. Optimum utilization of resources: The proper allocation of work avoids any overlapping and hence reults in better utilisation of all the resources like human, material and financial resources.
    4. Adaptation to change: Organising fuction of management helps the organisations in adapting the change as there is a proper line of authority and responsibility.
    5. Development of personnel: As a manager delegates his work to his subordinates, he gets ample time to work on some other project and to apply his creativity and knowledge in developing new methods and ways of performing tasks. It gives him time to explore areas of growth. On the other hand, the subordinates do the assigned work efficiently and effectively which helps in their personal and professional growth.

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  • Q3

    What is the relationship between Planning and Controlling?


    Planning and control, both are complementary and supplementary to each other. It is the planning, which decides the controlling process on the one hand. On the other hand, it is controlling which provides sound basis for planning. In this way, planning and controlling both of them are interdependent.

    The close relationship between planning and controlling can be justified on the basis of following facts :

    1. Planning originates controlling : The controlling process and technique is decided by planning.
    2. Controlling sustains planning : It is the controlling, which directs and diverts the course of planning. Controlling invites our attention to those areas, where planning is necessary.
    3. Controlling provides statistical information for planning : The measurement and comparison of actual performance requires preparation of certain statistical information and reports which provide basis for sound planning.
    4. Planning is theoretical, whereas controlling is practical : Both planning and controlling are the two sides of the same coin. Both of them aim at achieving the maximum objectives of the business. Planning prepares plans and controlling works on it.
    5. Planning and controlling both are inter-related or interwoven : Without controlling planning is not complete. Planning as the basis of controlling can be exercised only with reference to and on the basis of plans. Unless the management is able to fix in clear terms the objectives of the organisation, and can chart out a course of action, effective controlling is impossible.Thus, planning and controlling are mutually interrelated and interdependent activities.
    6. Controlling measures plans: Controlling measures are taken in accordance with the pre-determined plans, programmes and targets.
    7. Planning and controlling, both are forward looking : Both planning and controlling aim at the future prospects of the business.

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  • Q4

    Controlling is an important function of management. Give four reasons in support of your answer.


    Controlling is an important function of management. It can be explained as follows:

    i. Helps in accomplishing organizational goals: Controlling compares the actual targets with the planned targets and brings out the deviations and brings the corrective action and thereby helps the organisation in achieving the goals.

    ii. Helps in efficient use of resources: Control system helps the manager in reducing the wastage and spoilage of resources. Each activity is performed in accordance with the predetermined standards which ensure effective and efficient utilization of resources.

    iii. Helps in judging accuracy of standard: A control system checks the changes of the organisations and helps to review and revise the standards and verifies whether the standards are accurate and objectively based.

    iv. Facilitates coordination in action: Control helps to maintain equilibrium between means and ends. It means that proper direction is taken and all the departments are properly controlled according to the pre determined standards which are well coordinated with one another. Controlling provides unity of direction.

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  • Q5

    How is coordination essential for planning function of management?


    Under planning, coordination is essential to ensure harmony between organisational goals and departmental goals.

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