Management is a difficult term to define because of its diversity and the secret that lies in its success and failure. Management could be simply defined as the act of coordinating and organizing the available resources of a business, group, or individual to achieve the desired objectives (Fulmer and Conger, 2004). The resources used in management include money, equipment, technology, and human resources just to mention a few. It, therefore, goes without saying that for management to be effective, people have to be involved in the process. Nonetheless, people may have either have a positive or negative impact on the organization being managed. This paper is thus an in-depth analysis of the term ‘management through an evaluation of the functions of management and different types of management skills.
Functions of management
Management entails five key functions comprising organizing, controlling, planning, directing, and staffing of the organization (Pakhare, 2007). All the aforementioned functions of management are geared towards goal achievement. The manager is normally bestowed with the obligation of integrating the functions of management and the available resources to ensure that an organization achieves its goals. However, despite the fact that the management of an organization could be in the hands of the managers, it is at times difficult to understand the way it is implemented. More often than not, management is affected by external forces that have a strong impact on the organization. For instance, a person owning an enterprise as a sole proprietor will be the manager of the enterprise. In that case, the sole proprietor will set the objectives of the enterprise and work towards achieving the set goals without the interference of any other party. However, in the case of corporations, the shareholders own the organization but because of factors such as lack of skills and qualifications, time, and their large number that could affect management efficiency, they opt to hire managers. In that case, the managers work towards achieving the goals that have been set by the organization’s shareholders. This, therefore, means that the management of the organization is open to many people since the shareholders have the authority to alter the management functions. The managers do not thus work according to their own minds and skills. Instead, they follow what is stipulated by the shareholders. Such managers may be compared to puppets because they are manipulated and not given an opportunity to express their own ideas.
Managers are expected to perform various functions in an organization (Pakhare, 2007). The performance of the management roles depends on the style of management used or adopted by the manager. Each of the different styles of management has its own unique characteristics. The commonly used leadership styles include permissive and autocratic styles. An autocratic leader is the one who makes decisions on his own, while a permissive leader is the one who incorporates the subordinates in decision making. Other leadership styles applied in management could be democratic, charismatic, and authoritative leadership. The application of different leadership styles in management is what makes it difficult to define the term ‘management. As such, given the different leadership styles, the results of the managers are bound to be different. However, despite the fact that a manager could have an inborn leadership style or may have an adopted style, it is important that the style used depends on the situation. For instance, there have been cases of managers using a different style of leadership in one organization or department but applying another in a different organization or department. Therefore, depending on the situation that the manager is presented with, he or she will apply different styles of leadership in order to achieve the set objective (Fulmer and Conger, 2004). For example, the manager of a cooperative society dealing with coffee farmers will use the democratic leadership style since there are numerous people involved, and all of them have their own opinion. On the contrary, charismatic leadership is required for managers of political campaigns in order to win the trust of the followers and the public.
From the above analysis of the term ‘management, it can be deduced that it is truly difficult to define. Management is the order of the day in most places in society since almost everything has to be managed. However, the diversity in management is something difficult to unfold because managers are leaders who are given the power to run an organization and, as a result, achieve the desired goals and objectives. Depending on the type of business, managers perform the management role according to the laid down regulations or in their own way as it is in sole proprietorship businesses.
Fulmer, R.M., & Conger, J.A. (2004). Growing your company’s leaders: How great Organizations use succession management to sustain competitive advantage. New York: AMACOM.
Pakhare, J. (2007). Management concepts: The four functions of management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.