Theories and functions comparison of management

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The three vital determinants of team work are the leader" subordinates and the environment. These factors are interdependent. It is the leader's responsibility to make the environment conducive to work. He studies the employees individually and insists interest in them. By encouraging the inquisitive employees and by prohibiting insidious elements, he creates hygienic environment. He inculcates the sense of collectivism in employees to work as a team. The resultant output will then be efficiency.


He is intermediary between the work groups and top management. They are called linking pins by rensis likert. As linking pins they serve to integrate the entire organization and the effectiveness depends on the strength of these linking pins. Leader shows personal consideration for the employees. As representatives they carry the voice of the subordinates to the to management.


Quite often people in the work place need counseling to eliminate the emotional disequilibrium that is created sometimes in them. Leader removes barriers and stumbling block to effective performance. For instance, frustration that results from blocked need drive keeps an employee derailed or the working track. It is here the leader comes in, renders wise counsel, releases the employee of the emotional tension and restores equilibrium.


If a leader is to effectively achieve the goal expected of him, he must have power and authority to act in a way that will stimulate a positive response from the workers. A leader , depending on the situation , exercises different types of power , viz reward power and expert power. Besides the formal basis , the informal basis of power also have a more powerful impact on organizational effectiveness. No leader is effective unless the subordinates obey his orders. Therefore, the leader uses appropriate power so that subordinates willingly obey the orders and come forward with commitment.


Times is precious and vital but often overlooked in management. There are three dimensions of time - boss - imposed - time , system- imposed -time and self - imposed time . That are prominent in literature. Because the leader has through knowledge of the principle of time management such as preparing time charts, scheduling techniques, etc., he is in a position to utilize the time productively in the organization.


Quite frequently the manager are work - abolic and too busy with petty things to address to major details of effectiveness. To fill the gap, sometimes leaders throws his concerted efforts to bring effectiveness by encouraging and nurturing team work, by better time management and by the proper use of power. Further, leader provides and adequate reward structure to encourage performance of employees. Leader delegates authority where needed and invites participation where possible to achieve the better result. He also provides the workers with necessary resources. By communicating to workers what is expected of them, leader brings effectiveness to organization. The above functions of the leader are by no means comprehensive but they do suggest as to what leaders do generally.


Leading and managing are not synonymous. One popular way of distinguishing between managing and leading is brought out by the French terms dux and Rex. Dex is a leader and an activist, innovators and often an inspirational type and rex is a stabilizer or broker of manager. But more realistically, effective management required good leadership. Bennis had once commented, there are many institutions I know are very well managed but very poorly led". This statement crystal - clearly demonstrates that the difference between managing, and leading is indeed a lot. Though a layman considers managing as a broad terms including leading function a behaviorist advances the following points to marshall the difference between these two leading and managing.


Managerial behavior implies the existence of a manager managed relationship. This relationship arises with in organizational context. Where as leadership can occur why where, it does not have to originate in the organization context. for example , a mob can have a leader but cannot have a manager. Further, is an organization, informal. Group have leader not managers.


Another potential difference between leader and manager lies in their sources of influence. Authority is attached to the managerial position in the case of a manager: where as a leader may not have authority but can receive power directly from his followers. In other words, managers obtain authority from his followers. In rather pure terms, this is the difference between the formal authority theory and the acceptance theory of authority.


A Manger has command over all allocation and distributions of sanctions. For Example, manager has control over the positive sanctions such as promotion and awards for his task performance and the contribution to organizational objectives. Manager is also in a position to exercises the negative sanctions such as with holding promotions, or mistakes, etc. In a sharp contrast, a leader has altogether different type of sanctions to exercises and grant. He cans gerent or with hold access to satisfying the very purpose of joining the group's social satisfactions and related task rewards. These informal sanctions are relevant to the individual with belongingness or ego needs: where as the organizational sanctions granted or exercised by the managers are geared to the physiological and security needs of individual.


Another fundamental difference between managing and leading is the role continuance. A manager may continue in office as long as his performance is satisfactory and acceptable to the organization. In sharp contrast, a leader maintains his position only through the day to day wish to the followers.


Though in both managing and leading followers become involved, the reasons may be different. People follow managers because their job description, supported by a system of rewards and sanctions, requires them to follow. Where as people follow leader on voluntary basis. Further, it there are no followers, leader no more exists. But, even if there are no followers, a manager may be there.

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.

The term "Levels of Management' refers to a line of demarcation between various managerial positions in an organization. The number of levels in management increases when the size of the business and work force increases and vice versa. The level of management determines a chain of command, the amount of authority & status enjoyed by any managerial position. The levels of management can be classified in three broad categories: -

Top level / Administrative level

Middle level / Executory

Low level / Supervisory / Operative / First-line managers

Managers at all these levels perform different functions. The role of managers at all the three levels is discussed below:

Levels of Management


Top Level of Management

It consists of board of directors, chief executive or managing director. The top management is the ultimate source of authority and it manages goals and policies for an enterprise. It devotes more time on planning and coordinating functions.

The role of the top management can be summarized as follows -

Top management lays down the objectives and broad policies of the enterprise.

It issues necessary instructions for preparation of department budgets, procedures, schedules etc.

It prepares strategic plans & policies for the enterprise.

It appoints the executive for middle level i.e. departmental managers.

It controls & coordinates the activities of all the departments.

It is also responsible for maintaining a contact with the outside world.

It provides guidance and direction.

The top management is also responsible towards the shareholders for the performance of the enterprise.

Middle Level of Management

The branch managers and departmental managers constitute middle level. They are responsible to the top management for the functioning of their department. They devote more time to organizational and directional functions. In small organization, there is only one layer of middle level of management but in big enterprises, there may be senior and junior middle level management. Their role can be emphasized as -

They execute the plans of the organization in accordance with the policies and directives of the top management.

They make plans for the sub-units of the organization.

They participate in employment & training of lower level management.

They interpret and explain policies from top level management to lower level.

They are responsible for coordinating the activities within the division or department.

It also sends important reports and other important data to top level management.

They evaluate performance of junior managers.

They are also responsible for inspiring lower level managers towards better performance.

Lower Level of Management

Lower level is also known as supervisory / operative level of management. It consists of supervisors, foreman, section officers, superintendent etc. According to R.C. Davis, "Supervisory management refers to those executives whose work has to be largely with personal oversight and direction of operative employees". In other words, they are concerned with direction and controlling function of management. Their activities include -

Assigning of jobs and tasks to various workers.

They guide and instruct workers for day to day activities.

They are responsible for the quality as well as quantity of production.

They are also entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining good relation in the organization.

They communicate workers problems, suggestions, and recommendatory appeals etc to the higher level and higher level goals and objectives to the workers.

They help to solve the grievances of the workers.

They supervise & guide the sub-ordinates.

They are responsible for providing training to the workers.

They arrange necessary materials, machines, tools etc for getting the things done.

They prepare periodical reports about the performance of the workers.

They ensure discipline in the enterprise.

They motivate workers.

They are the image builders of the enterprise because they are in direct contact with the workers.

The functions of management uniquely describe managers' jobs. The most commonly cited functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, although some identify additional functions. The functions of management define the process of management as distinct from accounting, finance, marketing, and other business functions. These functions provide a useful way of classifying information about management, and most basic management texts since the 1950s have been organized around a functional framework.



Henri Fayol was the first person to identify elements or functions of management in his classic 1916 bookAdministration Industrielle et Generale.Fayol was the managing director of a large French coal-mining firm and based his book largely on his experiences as a practitioner of management. Fayol defined five functions, or elements of management: planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Fayol argued that these functions were universal, in the sense that all managers performed them in the course of their jobs, whether the managers worked in business, military, government, religious, or philanthropic undertakings.

Fayol defined planning in terms of forecasting future conditions, setting objectives, and developing means to attain objectives. Fayol recognized that effective planning must also take into account unexpected contingencies that might arise and did not advocate rigid and inflexible plans. Fayol defined organizing as making provision for the structuring of activities and relationships within the firm and also the recruiting, evaluation, and training of personnel.

According to Fayol, commanding as a managerial function concerned the personal supervision of subordinates and involved inspiring them to put forth unified effort to achieve objectives. Fayol emphasized the importance of managers understanding the people who worked for them, setting a good example, treating subordinates in a manner consistent with firm policy, delegating, and communicating through meetings and conferences.

Fayol saw the function of coordination as harmonizing all of the various activities of the firm. Most later experts did not retain Fayol's coordination function as a separate function of management but regarded it as a necessary component of all the other management functions. Fayol defined the control function in terms of ensuring that everything occurs within the parameters of the plan and accompanying principles. The purpose of control was to identify deviations from objectives and plans and to take corrective action.

Fayol's work was not widely known outside Europe until 1949, when a translation of his work appeared in the United States. Nevertheless, his discussion of the practice of management as a process consisting of specific functions had a tremendous influence on early management texts that appeared in the 1950s.

Management pioneers such as George Terry, Harold Koontz, Cyril O'Donnell, and Ralph Davis all published management texts in the 1950s that defined management as a process consisting of a set of interdependent functions. Collectively, these and several other management experts became identified with what came to be known as the process school of management.

According to the process school, management is a distinct intellectual activity consisting of several functions. The process theorists believe that all managers, regardless of their industry, organization, or level of management, engage in the functions of management. The process school of management became a dominant paradigm for studying management and the functions of management became the most common way of describing the nature of managerial work.



By the early 1970s, some experts suggested that the functions of management as described by Fayol and others of the process school of management were not an accurate description of the reality of managers' jobs. Chief among the critics of the functional approach was Henry Mintzberg.

Mintzberg argued that the functional or process school of management was "folklore" and that functions of management such as planning, organizing, leading, and controlling did not accurately depict the chaotic nature of managerial work. He felt that the functional approach to the managerial job falsely conveyed a sense that managers carefully and deliberately evaluated information before making management decisions.

Based upon an observational study of five executives, Mintzberg concluded that the work managers actually performed could best be represented by three sets of roles, or activities: interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decision-making roles. He described the interpersonal roles as consisting of figurehead, leader, and liaison. He identified three informational roles: monitor, disseminator, and spokesperson. Finally, he described four decision-making roles that included entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator.

Mintzberg's challenge to the usefulness of the functions of management and the process school attracted a tremendous amount of attention and generated several empirical studies designed to determine whether his or Fayol's description of the managerial job was most accurate. While this research did indicate that managers performed at least some of the roles Mintzberg identified, there was little in the findings that suggested that the functions of management were not a useful way of describing managerial work.

Scholars continue to debate this question. Research by David Lamond suggests that both approaches had some validity, with Fayol's approach describing the ideal management job and Mintzberg describing the day-to-day activities of managers. Thus, the general conclusion seems to be that while Mintzberg offered a genuine insight into the daily activities of practicing managers, the functions of management still provides a very useful way of classifying the activities managers engage in as they attempt to achieve organizational goals.


Planning is the function of management that involves setting objectives and determining a course of action for achieving these objectives. Planning requires that managers be aware of environmental conditions facing their organization and forecast future conditions. It also requires that managers be good decision-makers.

Planning is a process consisting of several steps. The process begins with environmental scanning, which simply means that planners must be aware of the critical contingencies facing their organization in terms of economic conditions, their competitors, and their customers. Planners must then attempt to forecast future conditions. These forecasts form the basis for planning.

Planners must establish objectives, which are statements of what needs to be achieved and when. Planners must then identify alternative courses of action for achieving objectives. After evaluating the various alternatives, planners must make decisions about the best courses of action for achieving objectives. They must then formulate necessary steps and ensure effective implementation of plans. Finally, planners must constantly evaluate the success of their plans and take corrective action when necessary.

There are many different types of plans and planning.


Strategic planning involves analyzing competitive opportunities and threats, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, and then determining how to position the organization to compete effectively in their environment. Strategic planning has a long time frame, often three years or more. Strategic planning generally includes the entire organization and includes formulation of objectives. Strategic planning is often based on the organization's mission, which is its fundamental reason for existence. An organization's top management most often conducts strategic planning.


Tactical planning is intermediate-range planning that is designed to develop relatively concrete and specific means to implement the strategic plan. Middle-level managers often engage in tactical planning. Tactical planning often has a one- to three-year time horizon.


Operational planning generally assumes the existence of objectives and specifies ways to achieve them. Operational planning is short-range planning that is designed to develop specific action steps that support the strategic and tactical plans. Operational planning usually has a very short time horizon, from one week to one year.


Organizing is the function of management that involves developing an organizational structure and allocating human resources to ensure the accomplishment of objectives. The structure of the organization is the framework within which effort is coordinated. The structure is usually represented by an organization chart, which provides a graphic representation of the chain of command within an organization. Decisions made about the structure of an organization are generally referred to as "organizational design" decisions.

Organizing also involves the design of individual jobs within the organization. Decisions must be made about the duties and responsibilities of individual jobs as well as the manner in which the duties should be carried out. Decisions made about the nature of jobs within the organization are generally called "job design" decisions.

Organizing at the level of the organization involves deciding how best to departmentalize, or cluster jobs into departments to effectively coordinate effort. There are many different ways to departmentalize, including organizing by function, product, geography, or customer. Many larger organizations utilize multiple methods of departmentalization. Organizing at the level of job involves how best to design individual jobs to most effectively use human resources.

Traditionally, job design was based on principles of division of labor and specialization, which assumed that the more narrow the job content, the more proficient the individual performing the job could become. However, experience has shown that it is possible for jobs to become too narrow and specialized. When this happens, negative outcomes result, including decreased job satisfaction and organizational commitment and increased absenteeism and turnover.

Recently many organizations have attempted to strike a balance between the need for worker specialization and the need for workers to have jobs that entail variety and autonomy. Many jobs are now designed based on such principles as job enrichment and teamwork.


Leading involves influencing others toward the attainment of organizational objectives. Effective leading requires the manager to motivate subordinates, communicate effectively, and effectively use power. If managers are effective leaders, their subordinates will be enthusiastic about exerting effort toward the attainment of organizational objectives.

To become effective at leading, managers must first understand their subordinates' personalities, values, attitudes, and emotions. Therefore, the behavioral sciences have made many contributions to the understanding of this function of management. Personality research and studies of job attitudes provide important information as to how managers can most effectively lead subordinates.

Studies of motivation and motivation theory provide important information about the ways in which workers can be energized to put forth productive effort. Studies of communication provide direction as to how managers can effectively and persuasively communicate. Studies of leadership and leadership style provide information regarding questions such as, "What makes a manager a good leader?" and "In what situations are certain leadership styles most appropriate and effective?"


Controlling involves ensuring that performance does not deviate from standards. Controlling consists of three steps, which include establishing performance standards, comparing actual performance against standards, and taking corrective action when necessary. Performance standards are often stated in monetary terms such as revenue, costs, or profits, but may also be stated in other terms, such as units produced, number of defective products, or levels of customer service.

The measurement of performance can be done in several ways, depending on the performance standards, including financial statements, sales reports, production results, customer satisfaction, and formal performance appraisals. Managers at all levels engage in the managerial function of controlling to some degree.

The managerial function of controlling should not be confused with control in the behavioral or manipulative sense. This function does not imply that managers should attempt to control or manipulate the personalities, values, attitudes, or emotions of their subordinates. Instead, this function of management concerns the manager's role in taking necessary actions to ensure that the work-related activities of subordinates are consistent with and contributing toward the accomplishment of organizational and departmental objectives.

Effective controlling requires the existence of plans, since planning provides the necessary performance standards or objectives. Controlling also requires a clear understanding of where responsibility for deviations from standards lies. Two traditional control techniques are the budget and the performance audit. Although controlling is often thought of in terms of financial criteria, managers must also control production/operations processes, procedures for delivery of services, compliance with company policies, and many other activities within the organization.

The management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling are widely considered to be the best means of describing the manager's job as well as the best way to classify accumulated knowledge about the study of management. Although there have been tremendous changes in the environment faced by managers and the tools used by managers to perform their roles, managers still perform these essential functions.

The manager

Interestingly, the great management thinker Peter Drucker described the term "management" as "a singularly difficult one." But the title of the book in which he said this offers a concise enough summary of his take on what it is: Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. Moreover, the scope of that work denotes the great range and importance of the field.

But one thing he did say that we know without a doubt is that management is professional:

We further know that management is independent of ownership, rank, or power. It is objective function and ought to be grounded in the responsibility for performance. . . It is no longer relevant whether the manager is also an owner; if he is, it is incidental to his main function, which is to be a manager."

This distinction between the organizational roles of ownership and management, may seem strange in today's world of dual-hatted CEO/chairs. And the cynical chorus of praise rained down on those who act upon what are taught as singular individual leadership characteristics, from which alone emanate business success - indeed, according to some, the organization itself - certainly acts to dilute the professionalism of those who strive to practice it.

But the truth is that success comes not from the unique individual traits, elevated personal character, or rarefied spiritual or intellectual depth of particular people. It comes from the disciplined and studied attention we pay to the tasks, responsibilities, and practices which we develop and which make up our profession. These are not mysterious rites by which a select few gain entry to a secret priesthood. They are roles and behaviors we all develop to help make possible the management of this remarkable new world dominated by organizations. And virtually any of us has the capacity to discharge them.

So, managers must give up the grandiose self-absorption marketed so assiduously to them, and focus on doing the job. What's more, in order to do it best, they must understand that they are doing so as an employee for someone else. With that perspective, the mind-clouding angst goes down considerably, and it becomes about the work. In turn, when that has happened, all the management functions - including those of the leadership process within management's purview - become more clear and doable as well.

All managers at all levels of every organization perform these functions, but the amount of time a manager spends on each one depends on both the level of management and the specific organization. Some of these functions include:

· Planning: This step involves mapping out exactly how to achieve a particular goal. Say, for example, that the organization's goal is to improve company sales. The manager first needs to decide which steps are necessary to accomplish that goal. These steps may include increasing advertising, inventory, and sales staff. These necessary steps are developed into a plan. When the plan is in place, the manager can follow it to accomplish the goal of improving company sales.

· Organizing: After a plan is in place, a manager needs to organize her team and materials according to her plan. Assigning work and granting authority are two important elements of organizing.

· Staffing: After a manager discerns his area's needs, he may decide to beef up his staffing by recruiting, selecting, training, and developing employees. A manager in a large organization often works with the company's human resources department to accomplish this goal.

· Leading: A manager needs to do more than just plan, organize, and staff her team to achieve a goal. She must also lead. Leading involves motivating, communicating, guiding, and encouraging. It requires the manager to coach, assist, and problem solve with employees.

· Controlling: After the other elements are in place, a manager's job is not finished. He needs to continuously check results against goals and take any corrective actions necessary to make sure that his area's plans remain on track.

Definition: A Manager is the person responsible for planning and directing the work of a group of individuals, monitoring their work, and taking corrective action when necessary. For many people, this is their first step into a management career.

Managers may direct workers directly or they may direct several supervisors who direct the workers. The manager must be familiar with the work of all the groups he/she supervises, but does not need to be the best in any or all of the areas. It is more important for the manager to know how to manage the workers than to know how to do their work well.

A manager may have the power to hire or fire employees or to promote them. In larger companies, a manager may only recommends such action to the next level of management. The manager has the authority to change the work assignments of team members.

A manager's title reflects what he/she is responsible for. An Accounting Manager supervises the Accounting function. An Operations Manager is responsible for the operations of the company. The Manager of Design Engineering supervises engineers and support staff engaged in design of a product or service. A Night Manager is responsible for the activities that take place at night. There are many management functions in business and, therefore, many manager titles. Regardless of title, the manager is responsible for planning, directing, monitoring and controlling the people and their work.