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The Concept of Management

The term management has different meanings. To some people, management refers to the functions being performed by those who manage.

Gulick and urwick (1937) identified the functions of a manager with an acronym ‘POSDCORB’ which means planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, Reporting and Budgeting. It must be noted that the list of managerial function is both endless and overlapping.

Management is also defined as ‘getting things done through other’s ibukun (1997) felt that any useful and meaningful definition of management should take into consideration, the structure, actors, functions and goals of management.

Hence, he defined management as a process of delimiting an organization into structural levels and arranging workers and activities into performance units and coordinating resources and production procedure through appropriate leader behaviours to achieve organizational goals.

In other words, management is the effective and efficient utilization of human and material resources for the attainment of organizational goals.

Any useful definition of management must have following implications.

  1. Managers have functions to perform with an organization (e.g planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling).
  2. Productivity the essence of management is for the manager to create surplus or profit maximization and this is made possible through increased productivity.
  3. Management cuts across all kinds of organizations.
  4. It applies to all levels in all Organizations. This includes top level, middle level and operational level.

Elements of Management

The elements of management are planning, organizing, coordinating controlling and evaluating.

A. Planning

Planning is the determination of goals and objectives and selecting the policies, procedures, and strategies to achieve them in advance in such way that the programmes are executed at minimum risk of failure or problem.

Planning involves what to do? Why it should be done? Who should do it? Where to do it? When to do it? And how do it?

Importance of planning

(a) It reduces time and effort
(b) it aids optimal use of resources.

(c)  It improves decision making rationally

(d) It focuses on means and ways of achieving set goals

(e) It makes it easy to identify the problems of an organization

(f) It injects rationality, critical analysis and logic into organizational activities.

(g) It ensures control.

Kind of planning

Planning is futuristic. The future may be immediate, distant or long time

To this end we have

  1. short term planning (0-2years)
  2. Medium term planning (1-5years)

iii. Long term planning (5-20years)

Stage/step in the Planning process (Ibunkum 1977)

  1. Identification of planning problem
  2. Setting of objectives
  3. Prioritization
  4. Information collection and analysis
  5. Development of Alternative Plans
  6. Selection of Action Plan
  7. Budgeting
  8. Contingency support Plans
  9. Implementation procedures
  10. Review and Evaluation of plains

B. Organizing

Organizing is the establish of staffing structure and functions that could best lead the achievement of set goals. It shows authority relations in the organization. It involves departmentisation   for work and people into performance units to be coordinated by superiors that is the orderly arrangement of human and material resource to achieve organizational goals.

C. Directing

Directing is the ability of the superior to influence his subordinates to carry out their duties in a way that will facilitate the accomplishment of organization objectives.

For the function to be effective, the goals of the organization must be made clear, the structure must be clearly defined, leaders must be ready  to delegate duties to their subordinates based competency and effective communication.

D. Coordinating

Coordinating is the synchronizations, of individual efforts towards the accomplishment organizational goals in  order to prevent workers form working at cross- purposes.

If the activities of members are not coordinated, they will be working towards different goals to the detriment of the organization goals.

E. Controlling

Controlling is the measurement of performance against laid down standard so as to make appropriate adjustment where and when necessary, it deals with evaluation of tasks against the objectives. It may involve location, allocation and relocation of materials and personnel to reduce deviations from plans.

Four steps are involved in the control process;

  1. Establishment of standards/objectives
  2. Measurement of performance against standards
  3. Correcting deviations from standards
  4. Ascertaining whether control has yielded desired change

F. Evaluating

Evaluating is a process of comparing stated and theoretical standards with observed or actual performance. The difference between controlling and evaluating is that while period (1 year, 5years etc) specified by the management.

There are various types of evaluation namely programme evaluation, staff evaluation and material evaluation.

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