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MGT 498 Week 5 Learning Team Assignment Learning Team Reflection

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Management, Page 1
Management Strategies
The Four Functions of Management
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MGT330
1/31/2010

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Management, Page 2
Effective and efficient managers are one of the keys to a successful business organization.
Management on any level embodies several components and processes, yet these sometimes complicated
tasks can be summarized by describing the four functions of management.
The first and arguably most important step is the planning stage. Planning establishes a
foundation for the other functions, and provides an outlook on potential challenges. This stage focuses on
setting goals, realizing appropriate actions to reach these goals, and identifying internal and external
factors which may impede upon such goals.
Considering how important planning is for success, my previous organization’s management team
could have utilized this function more effectively. The management team directly above me was tasked
with implementing continuous improvement initiatives in order to improve the quality of work and reduce
waste. A vision was established which cited the scope of the project along with long term goals, but short
term projects to achieve these goals were handled incorrectly. I believe that the effort required to achieve
long term goals was underestimated, and the internal factors that undermined the project could have been
indentified in a more thorough planning stage.
The second function of management is organizing. One important aspect of organizing is making
sure employees have appropriate resources to carry forward what was established during the planning
function. This could refer to physical tools to perform labor, or perhaps a database of necessary
information made available to business associates. A second part of organizing is delegation. “Delegation
is distribution of authority. Delegation frees the manager from the tyranny of urgency. Delegation frees
the manager to use his or her time on high priority activities. Note that delegation of authority does not
free the manager from accountability for the actions and decisions of subordinates (Erven).” A wise
management team can successfully divide responsibility between managers and employees.
Management teams within my previous organization were comprised of several individuals, and
at least three to four “layers” of delegation. Management teams involving a high number of people can
lend many differing opinions concerning a project, which can be for better or for worse. Effective
organization is important for such a group.

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Management, Page 3
The third function of management is leading. “Managing and leading are not the same activity. A
manager manages employees; this person makes sure that tasks are completed on time and policies are
followed. Employees typically follow managers because he or she is the supervisor and in-charge of
employees. Employees see a leader as someone that motivates them and guides them to help meet the
firm’s goals. In an ideal situation, the manager also serves as the leader. Managers who want to lead
effectively need to discover what motivates their employees and inspire them to reach the company
objectives (Rothbauer-Wanish, 2009)
The final function of management is control. As a manager or a member of a management team,
controlling is monitoring all aspects of your firm’s project in an effort to ensure its success. This refers to
a real world measure of the effectiveness of your team’s actions in relation to project goals.
Management teams that I have worked with in the past have relied on performance metrics,
customer surveys, and quarterly statements to measure their performance.
Management of any firm is often a difficult task. Following the simple guidelines set by the
functions of management is a way to create a baseline for management success.
Bibliography
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