A Level Business Studies: Introduction to management and management functions
- Management is one of those key terms you will come across as you study Business Studies
- This is a term that is used both as a noun to collectively refer to people who manage businesses and other organisations as well as a verb to describe what they do
- So what is management? What is a manager? What do they do? Are they born or can one be trained to be a manager?
- We will answer some of these questions both here and in other topics.
- To underscore just how important management is in businesses, business studies used to be referred to as Management of Business.
- This is because most of the stuff you will study is taught from the perspective of a manager
- Management can be defined as the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling resources (people, money, materials, and time) to achieve organizational goals.
- The main functions of a manager include:
- Planning: setting goals, objectives, and strategies to achieve them.
- Coordinating-Involves ensuring that different parts of the organization work together to achieve common goals.
- Organizing: arranging resources in a way that they can be utilized efficiently and effectively.
- Directing/Leading: motivating and leading employees to achieve organizational objectives.
- Controlling: monitoring performance and taking corrective action when necessary to ensure that goals are met.
- Now that you know the functions of a manager, it’s time to explain each function in detail
- A plan can be defined as a predetermined course of action
- Planning is therefore refers to the process of creating plans
- The planning function involves the following processes
- defining organizational goals, such as increasing revenue by 10% in the next fiscal year
- identifying the resources required to achieve these goals, such as hiring additional staff or investing in a new point-of-sale system
- developing strategies and tactics to achieve these goals, such as offering promotions or expanding product offerings
- setting timelines and budgets for implementing these strategies, such as launching a new product line by the end of the quarter Example: A manager at Pick N Pay planning to increase revenue by 10% in the next fiscal year would need to identify the target market, develop a marketing plan, allocate resources for inventory and pricing, and set a launch date.
- determining the tasks required to achieve organizational goals, such as restocking inventory or hiring new employees
- dividing these tasks among team members, such as assigning specific departments or employees to handle certain tasks
- establishing reporting relationships and communication channels, such as setting up regular check-ins with department managers
- creating a structure of authority and responsibility, such as delegating decision-making power to department managers
- coordinating resources and activities, such as ensuring that the right amount of inventory is ordered and restocked in a timely manner Example: The manager of a Pick N Pay supermarket would need to organize staff, assign roles and responsibilities, ensure that each department operates efficiently and effectively, and coordinate activities such as restocking shelves, handling customer inquiries, and managing employee schedules.
- Different terms are used for this function as shown above we can call this step directing, leading or commanding
- The reason for this variation in terms is because various managers carry out this step differently depending on their organisation or preference
- For example in the army or other uniformed such as the police and fire brigade this function is likely to take the form of commanding
- In a movie production company this would take the form of directing while in a general business direction we can call this leading
- You will learn more about these distinctions once we get to Leadership styles
- This step involves several processes including those explained below
- motivating employees to achieve organizational goals, such as recognizing and rewarding exceptional performance
- communicating expectations and providing feedback, such as setting performance targets and conducting performance reviews
- resolving conflicts and addressing performance issues, such as handling employee disputes or underperformance
- creating a positive work environment, such as fostering a culture of teamwork and collaboration Example: A manager at Pick N Pay directing a team of cashiers would need to motivate them to provide excellent customer service, provide feedback on their performance, and create a positive work environment that encourages productivity and collaboration.
- A manager is supposed to ensure that different parts of the organisation work together harmoniously so as to allow the organisation to achieve its goals
- This involves several tasks including those outlined below
- ensuring that activities and resources are aligned with organizational goals, such as making sure that departments are working together towards a common objective
- monitoring progress towards achieving goals, such as tracking sales data or inventory levels
- adjusting plans and activities as needed, such as adjusting inventory levels based on customer demand
- collaborating with other departments and stakeholders, such as working with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of products Example: The manager of a Pick N Pay supermarket coordinating resources such as inventory, staff, and pricing to ensure that products are stocked and priced correctly, collaborating with suppliers to ensure that products are delivered on time, and monitoring sales data to adjust inventory levels as needed.
- monitoring progress towards organizational goals, such as tracking revenue or sales data
- analyzing variances between actual and planned performance, such as identifying areas where sales are lower than projected
- taking corrective action to address performance issues, such as adjusting pricing or product offerings
- evaluating the effectiveness of strategies and tactics, such as analyzing the success of promotional campaigns Example: The manager of a Pick N Pay supermarket controls inventory levels, analyses sales data, and taking corrective action to address underperforming departments or products.
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