Functions of Management
Etymology places the origin of the word management somewhere between the 17th and 18th century with derivations from the Italian word maneggiare, which means to handle. While the word itself is relatively new, the idea of management has been around for thousands of years. Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War, a military strategy book, in the early sixth century BCE. Tzu’s book speaks of not only the awareness of competition, but also self awareness of one’s own organization (Sawyer, 1994).
Management has many fundamental principles and functions. The four basic functions of management are: planning, organizing, leading and controlling (Bateman & Snell, 2007). This paper will focus on the definition of each of these functions in relation to my current place of employment, the Contra Costa County Public Authority.
“Planning is specifying the goals to be achieved and deciding in advance the appropriate actions needed to achieve those goals” (Bateman & Snell, 2007). Planning can be quickly dissected in to two parts – setting goals and deciding actions to help reach that goal. Setting and specifying goals is the initial step in the planning function, where an organization decides which goals they want to reach. Determining a plan of action that will help an organization reach their goals is the second part of the planning function. In the past, the plan of action was normally a top-down approach where only the heads of organizations would develop these plans of actions and pass them down the ladder to all the employees for implementation. More recently the plan of action has been developed by not only the top executives of companies, but by everyone in the company as well as customers and others outside of the organization (Bateman & Snell, 2007). In my six years of employment with the Public Authority, there has been no clear identifier of any goals that management expects its employees to reach. The employees understand...