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Four Functions of Management- Manual for Managers - Big … - 4 basic functions of management

Four Functions of Management- Manual for Managers - Big …-4 basic functions of management

Four Functions of Management- Manual for Managers
The 4 basic functions of management form the foundation of the entire management. We define
management as, "the process of planning, organizing, leading and controlling the combination of
ongoing, integrated activities in the organization in order to achieve organizational goals".
Hence, the manager is a person who manages the resources and activities within the
organization. The role of a manager is crucial to the survival and success of the organization as
he is the person who leads his people towards the achievement of their personal and
organizational goals. In doing so, he must perform certain functions that are related to one
another. Numerous challenges and situations confronted by the organizations dictate which of
these 4 basic functions of management to exercise.
Fayol's 5 functions of management
In 1916, a French mining engineer named Henry Fayol identified 5 functions of management
which were planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Later, management experts
and authors combined the functions of staffing and directing into a single leading function as it
broadly covers both functions of management.
The 4 basic functions of management
The effective implementation and enactment of the 4 basic functions of management ensure
that the organization does not miss out on the essentials leading to its success. Let's have a look
in detail:
4 basic functions of management
1) Planning
Planning is foremost among the 4 basic functions of management. It deals with the formulation
of goals and objectives and deciding upon the strategies to achieve these goals. Whether the
formulation of goals is for the personal growth of employees or for the departmental growth, the
basic goal is always the same i.e., to achieve the goals of the organization.
Planning is a salient thoughtful function that includes thinking of the ways to get to the vision of
the organization i.e. the point where the organization wants to be in the future. In doing so, the
course of action needs to be defined. The planning function focuses on considering the goals of
the organization, the ways to achieve these goals, the resources required, and the course of
implementation of all these steps.
Managers need to address these requirements and determine the best course of action to
accomplish their goals. So, this function deals with carving a layout or scope of how to take the
organization to the next level. A successful planning phase ensures the smooth management of
the organizational activities and procedures.
Levels of planning
Top management plans the organizational goals and strategies while the middle management
formulates the departmental goals and strategies. First-line managers/ direct managers also
formulate certain goals for their subordinates. For example, the management by objectives
(MBO) plan is a mutually discussed plan for individual employees. Learn about setting the
employee development plans in another blog.
So, the planning function survives at various levels within the organization. Almost all managerial
levels have the authority to make plans depending upon their positions and managerial levels.
But one factor is common among all the plans i.e., every plan must be strategic i.e., following the
company goals.
Types of plans
There are three types of plans:
1. Single-use plans
2. Multiple-use plans or standing plans
3. Contingency plans
1) Single-use plans
These plans are one-time plans for specific situations. They become obsolete after the
achievement of goals.
Single-use plans are of two types:
? Programs- These are broad scope plans comprising a wide range of activities interrelated to
achieve a major goal. After the achievement of the goal, this broad plan finally comes to an
? Projects- Projects are more focused and narrower in scope than the programs. They exist to
achieve a specific objective. One program can have multiple smaller projects.
2) Standing plans
Standing plans are multi-use plans i.e., they are helpful in many situations which are usually
similar and recurring.
Depending upon the need, standing plans are of three types:
? Rules- These standing plans demonstrate the situations in which any activity can or cannot be
performed. Organizational rules have less flexibility, and these are narrow in scope. Employees
need to strictly follow these rules. Rules are followed on a day-to-day basis. These are made
once but they can be updated by the management if they feel the need to do so.
? Procedures- These are the steps that must be followed in specific, repetitive situations. They
outline the ways to adapt to any situation. For example, companies have a grievance
procedure to settle routine workplace disputes. So, whenever an employee has a complaint
against another, he must follow a certain way to register his complaint.
? Policies- Policies are general, a broad range of guidelines to achieve the goals of the company.
Managers have little flexibility while implementing policies. Due to their general nature,
policies have room for minor changes for each situation.
3) Contingency plans
These are the plan Bs to go for when the implementation of plan A becomes difficult or
impossible. Alternative courses of action are taken in such situations where unforeseen events
unfold, and plan A fails. Contingency plans must be always there when the manager is planning
the organizational strategies. Unexpected situations like economical changes, weather changes,
or sudden changes in the production or distribution phases can result in the failure of the actual
plan. Hence, a contingency plan saves a manager from the non-fulfillment of the goals.

What are the five basic management functions? The Five Principles of Management Planning. The five steps begin with planning. ... Organizing. Now that the plan is in place the manager must decide how best to organize their team and the available resources to achieve the plan. Commanding. ... Coordinating. ... Controlling. ...