Explanation of Management Functions And Strategies

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It is the foundation area of management. It is the base upon which the all the areas of management should be built. Planning requires administration to assess; where the company is presently set, and where it would be in the upcoming. From there an appropriate course of action is determined and implemented to attain the company's goals and objectives

Planning is unending course of action. There may be sudden strategies where companies have to face. Sometimes they are uncontrollable. You can say that they are external factors that constantly affect a company both optimistically and pessimistically. Depending on the conditions, a company may have to alter its course of action in accomplishing certain goals. This kind of preparation, arrangement is known as strategic planning. In strategic planning, management analyzes inside and outside factors that may affect the company and so objectives and goals. Here they should have a study of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For management to do this efficiently, it has to be very practical and ample.

The subsequent function is to: Organize

The second function of the management is getting prepared, getting organized. Management must organize all its resources well before in hand to put into practice the course of action to decide that has been planned in the base function. Through this process, management will now determine the inside directorial configuration; establish and maintain relationships, and also assign required resources.

While determining the inside directorial configuration, management ought to look at the different divisions or departments. They also see to the harmonization of staff, and try to find out the best way to handle the important tasks and expenditure of information within the company. Management determines the division of work according to its need. It also has to decide for suitable departments to hand over authority and responsibilities.

The third function is to: Direct

Directing is the third function of the management. Working under this function helps the management to control and supervise the actions of the staff. This helps them to assist the staff in achieving the company's goals and also accomplishing their personal or career goals which can be powered by motivation, communication, department dynamics, and department leadership.

Employees those which are highly provoked generally surpass in their job performance and also play important role in achieving the company's goal. And here lies the reason why managers focus on motivating their employees. They come about with prize and incentive programs based on job performance and geared in the direction of the employees requirements.

It is very important to maintain a productive working environment, building positive interpersonal relationships, and problem solving. And this can be done only with Effective communication. Understanding the communication process and working on area that need improvement, help managers to become more effective communicators. The finest technique of finding the areas that requires improvement is to ask themselves and others at regular intervals, how well they are doing. This leads to better relationship and helps the managers for better directing plans.

The final function is to: Control

Control, the last of four functions of management, includes establishing performance standards which are of course based on the company's objectives. It also involves evaluating and reporting of actual job performance. When these points are studied by the management then it is necessary to compare both the things. This study on comparision of both decides further corrective and preventive actions.

In an effort of solving performance problems, management should higher standards. They should straightforwardly speak to the employee or department having problem. On the contrary, if there are inadequate resources or disallow other external factors standards from being attained, management had to lower their standards as per requirement. The controlling processes as in comparison with other three, is unending process or say continuous process. With this management can make out any probable problems. It helps them in taking necessary preventive measures against the consequences. Management can also recognize any further developing problems that need corrective actions.

Effective and efficient management leads to success, the success where it attains the objectives and goals of the organizations. Of course for achieving the ultimate goal and aim management need to work creatively in problem solving in all the four functions. Management not only has to see the needs of accomplishing the goals but also has to look in to the process that their way is feasible for the company.

By Jayashree Pakhare

Managers are building blocks of the organization. A manager performs five basic functions - Planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. At all the levels of management we have managers working there and performing one or more of these managerial functions. A manager's main role is to achieve effective utilization of resources in an organization. He achieves so through coordinated human efforts. A manager has a very important role to play in achieving organizational objectives. He is responsible for aligning the individual's objectives with the organizational objectives. This is very essential for achieving long-term organizational success.

A Manager is the one who communicates organizational vision to the employees of the organization. He should ensure that there is effective communication flow in an organization and that there should no misinterpretations taking place.

A manager has crucial role to play in decision making process in an organization. He has to decide how to bring and communicate organizational changes. He plays a major role in setting organizational goals. He has to be in close contact with the employees of the organization. He should understand them and motivate them. He should encourage them so that they can perform effectively. He should praise them when they show brilliant performance and on bad performance, he should give them constructive feedback rather than negative feedback. He should provide them online support and coaching.

A manager should resolve conflicts among the employees and try to reach at an acceptable solution. This would improve employees work quality as well as performance. Thus, a manager's role is very important so as to improve employees productivity as well as organization's productivity. He should understand that organizational success depends on employees. Thus the more satisfied and happy the employees are the more success the organization will show. A manager must be committed to his work so as to set an example for his subordinates.

Managers at different levels have different roles to perform. In any organization we have mainly 3 levels of management and at all these levels we have different managers working with their respective powers and authority. Author is the writer of Levels of Management which explains in detail about the roles performed by managers at different levels.

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(A) Corporate level strategic decisions.

(B) Business unit level practical decisions

(C) Functional level operating decisions

A. Strategic decisions of corporate level

At the top of the corporate level, promoters, members of the board of directors, chief executive and administrative officers are working. They are responsible for the financial per-formance of the corporation as a whole and for achieving the non-financial goals of the firm for i.e. corporate image and social responsibility. While taking these decisions the interest of the equity shareholders of the company must be considered as they are the real owners of the company. The equity shareholders bear the full risk of the business and as a result their interests must be protected. Besides this the company which is unable to bear the social responsibility cannot exist for a longer period. Considering this reality such a strategy is being formed at the top level according to which the customers can get the good quality of products at the reasonable rates and along with it the owners also can get the proper return in context to their capital investment. For this the long term strategic decisions are taken by considering the mission and for that the rules and regulations are also formed.

By considering the decisions of the corporate levels, the level of the business unit and operative strategies are formed.

B. Business unit level practical decisions

When the business activities of the company are divided on the regional market, product standards by keeping the profit in the centre, then each of this department is known as Business Unit. e.g. Videocon Company's Television Division, Washing Machine Division etc. Similarly B PL. Company's Television Division, Telephone Division, Stereo Division etc. For all these decisions one person with all the powers is appointed who is known as General Manager. The strategic decisions taken at the corporate level are to be considered for the effective implementation of it for which the managers have to take the necessary practical decisions. The authority for this is decided by the corporate level and it is given to all the divisional managers. This type of unit is known as Strategic Business Unit. The managers of all these SBUs organize the activities of their unit by considering the time period of 5 to 8 years so that they can get maximum return on their capital investment.

• Following two view points are considered while deciding the strategy in context to the business unit's level:

(1) Single Business Unit Level: When the company is dealing in a single type of single product or dealing in only one area, then it is known as a "Single Business Unit". In these circumstances, the manager of one business unit of middle level collectively takes the practical decisions along with the corporate strategy of high level. This is possible only because there is one unit. In these circumstances, there is no possibility of any disharmony between the practical decisions taken at corporate strategy and business unit level.

(2) Multiple Business Units Level: When the company is arranging on its business activities in context to more than one region or product, then the business activities are divided according to the geographical area, or product. In these circumstances the various divided units are known as Different Business Units' and a separate general manager is appointed for each one. Even though all the units are working separately, the main corporate strategy decided at the top level is being followed.

Functional level operating decisions:

Top managers prepare the strategic plans. At the middle level the resources are supplied and facilities are arranged for the success of the strategies in context to the divisional units and finally the lower level, which is known as the functional level, is implementing those strategic plans. For this functional decisions are taken for various activities. Functional activities include various activities such as production, marketing, personnel management, financial management, office management, research and development etc. To make all these activities effective the functional managers and their assistants are being appointed. For the effective implementation of the strategies at the operational level, the activities must be examined properly. For this the supervisors are being appointed to keep the control over all the functional activities. Normally all the functional managers prepare annual budgets for their departmental activities. By considering the changes occurred at the corporate level and business unit level, the necessary changes must be made also in annual budgets prepared at the functional level similar to it and its continuous evaluation must be made.

In the corporate form, at the top level after the analysis of business environment the long term strategic planning is done to achieve the mission of the company and proper decisions are being taken at the middle level in context to the business unit and at the lower level in context to the functional activities. Among all these three levels the extent to which the inter relation is maintained properly, to that extent the strategic plans are being successful



1) Strategy Formulation (strategy planning)

Strategic formulation means a strategy formulate to execute the business activities its activities includes developing:-Vision and Mission (The target of the business); Strength and weakness (Strong points of business and also weaknesses); Opportunities and threats (These are related with external environment for the business). Strategy formulation is also concerned with setting long term goals and objectives, generating alternative strategies to achieve that long term goals and choosing particular strategy to pursue.

2) Strategy Implementations

Strategy implementation requires a firm to establish annual objectives, devise policies, motivating employees and allocate resources so that formulated strategies can be executed. Strategy implementation is often called the action stage of strategic management. Implementing means mobilizing employees and managers in order to put formulated strategies into action.

3) Strategy Evaluation

Strategy evaluation is the final stage in the strategic management process. Management desperately needs to know when particular strategies are not working well; strategy evaluation is the primary means for obtaining this information. All strategies are subject to future modification because external and internal forces are constantly changing.

The strategic-management process does not end when the firm decides what strategy or strategies to pursue. There must be a translation of strategic thought into strategic action. The strategic-management process is dynamic and continuous. A change in any one of the major components in the model can necessitate a change in any or all of the other components. For instance, a shift in the economy could represent a major opportunity and require a change in long-term objectives and strategies; a failure to accomplish annual objectives could require a change in policy; or a major competitor's change in strategy could require a change in the firm's mission. Therefore, strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation activities should be performed on a continual basis, not just at the end of the year or semiannually. The strategic-management process never really ends.

Therefore, it is clear to say that if a firm or a company or organization has went through Strategy Formulation and Strategy Implementations stage, we can only classify that they have established a proper structured framework or roadmap for their organization but the process does not and should not end there. The organization shall continue and persistently carried out Strategy Evaluation in order to ensure sustainability of the organization and shaping it own future as the kind of company it is or is to be.

Effective strategy evaluation allows an organization to capitalize on internal strengths as they develop, to exploit external opportunities as they emerge, to recognize and defend against threats, and to mitigate internal weaknesses before they become detrimental. Strategists in successful organizations take the time to formulate, implement, and then evaluate strategies deliberately and systematically. Good strategists move their organization forward with purpose and direction, continually evaluating and improving the firm's external and internal strategic position. Strategy evaluation allows an organization to shape its own future rather than allowing it to be constantly shaped by remote forces that have little or no vested interest in the well-being of the enterprise.

Although not a guarantee for success, strategic management allows organizations to make effective long term decisions, to execute those decisions efficiently, and to take corrective actions as needed and come out with contingency plans for the very worst cases in order to ensure success of the organization. Strategists in successful organizations realize that strategic management is first and foremost a people process. It is an excellent vehicle for fostering organizational communication. People are what make the difference in organizations. The real key to effective strategic management is to accept the premise that the planning process is more important than the written plan, that the manager is continuously planning and does not stop planning when the written plan is finished. The written plan is only a snapshot as of the moment it is approved. If the manager is not planning on a continuous basis-planning, measuring, and revising-the written plan can become obsolete the day it is finished. This obsolescence becomes more of a certainty as the increasingly rapid rate of change makes the business environment more uncertain