General Overview Of Management

GENERAL OVERVIEW OF MANAGEMENT

INTRODUCTION

The term “Management” is commonly used by everyone regardless of social status, position within an organization as well as level of education. Management can be and perceived in various ways such as process and profession or discipline. However, as as an organization (whether profit or non-profit) is eoncerned, Management can be understood as an established way of handling human and non-human ftiources in most effective and efficient manner.

1.1     DEFINITIONS OF MANAGEMENT

Management is the set of activities including planning, decision-making, organizing, leading and controlling directed at organizational goals, resources with the aim of achieving organizational goals in the an efficient and effective manner (Griffin, 1997).
Management is the process of designing, implementing and maintaining an environment for efficiently accomplishing selected aims (Weihrich and Koontz, 2005).
Management is the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals (Baternan and Snell, 1999).
The   most   popular   traditional   definition   by   Mary-Parker Follet, Management is an art of getting things done through others.
Management   is   the   art   of   getting   things   done through   and   with   people in formally organised groups towards   achieving   a   common   goals   and objectives in an ever changing environment.
1.2  CHARACTERISTICS OF MANAGEMENT

These refer to the common features of management.

It is common practised across the globe that is all over the world which makes it universal.
It   is  goal  –  oriented which  is determined  by the nature and purpose of establishing the organization.
It is always responding to environmental demands which means that it adapts and/or adopts to change for organizational survival and success.
It is one of the inputs/factors of production apart from   machines,    materials,   human   resource, money, etc,
It is  a  process  because  it explains  the vities carried   out   in   the   day   to   day   running   of   an organisation.
It is a body of organised knowledge and methods as well as an expression of skills for obtaining desired results. Therefore, it is considered to be 3 science and an art.
1.3     FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT

There are four traditional/basic functions of Management which include: Planning, organizing, leading and controlling. However, coordinating has been included as the fifth basic function of Management. It is important to state that these traditional functions can be broken down further in smaller bits.

Planning:   This   is   a   fundamental   function   of management which entails forecasting, formulation and choosing future course(s) of actions. It is the process which specifies the vision, mission and goals to be achieved and marshals out appropriate line of activities in advance on how the goals will be attained. It is the process of deciding in advance future course(s) of actions from among available alternatives.   There   are   three types of planning depending on the time horizon considered such as strategic planning, tactical planning and operational planning.
Organising: This is the process of arranging the intended structure of positions, line of authority and    roles    for    people    to    occupy    within    the organisation in order to achieve the predetermined future goals. It is the process which reveals the line of authority and responsibility relationship within an   organisation   in   a   logical   manner.   It  is   the process interested in the “establishment of who is to do what job/task, who is in charge of whom and how different people and parts the organization relates to each other as well as work with one another.
Leading: This is a management function which deals with motivating, influencing, communicating and directing human resource whether as an individual or as a group. It is the process of influencing the human element to contribute to the achievement of group and organizational goals and objectives.
Coordinating: This management function deals with the process of unifying all the group/departmental efforts within an organisation towards the achievement of predetermined goals. It is the process which determines how work flows without conflict of human and material resources in order to achieve desired objectives.
Controlling: This is the process of measuring, comparing, correcting and monitoring of individual, group and organisational activities such that performance must comply with laid down standards which is usually in form of budgets. It is the process that monitors and measures observed’
Performance and makes necessary changes to correct negative performance towards the achievement goals.
1.4      SCOPE OF MANAGEMENT

This refer to the various areas organisation by management such as Human Resource/Personnel, Marketing, Production/Operations, Accounting and Finance, Purchasing, Corporate Affairs, etc

1.5     LEVELS OF MANAGEMENT

There are three major levels of management peculiar to most organisations. However, in some large organisations there are many levels of management in order to take care of their complexities. The three major levels are Top level, Middle level and Front-Line,

1.       Top Level Management: This level of Management is also referred to as the Strategic Level of Management. This level is saddled with the responsibilities of formulating policies, creating an enabling work situation through supervision and interacting with the external of the organisation, such that the desired goals are achieved. The job titles at Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President, Managing Director and *°’ Board of Directors.

2.       Middle Level Management: This Management level is also known as the Tactical Level of Management. This level reports to  the Top  Level  Management executives. Managers who occupy at this translates the goals and plans formulated by the Top level managers into more specific activities, goals and objectives for each of the business units within the organisation. At this level are the positions of an Office Manager, Chief Accountant. Human Resource Manager, etc.

3.       Front-Line Management: This is the Lowest level of Management     which is called Operating Management Level.   This   level   of   management is headed by foremen, supervisors, etc. The duties entail supervision and coordination of the activities of operating employees. The Front-Line Management   implements   higher   level   decisions, makes day to day operational decisions as well as oversees the workforce on the production or operations line.

1.6     IMPORTANCE OF MANAGEMENT

Management is a very essential function within an organization and must not be handled with levity. Management is both administrative and executive because of the routine tasks and strategic decisions so that the various activities in the organization can move smoothly. The significance of management is as follows:

1.      It  helps   to   achieve   desired   goals   by  encouraging every human resource to be committed. It   is   an   important   and   vital   tool   for   national development.

2. It is dynamic therefore it enables an organization to survive external threats as well as identify prevailing opportunities-It enables the application of relative objective judgments in the selection, allocation and utilization of organizational resources.

3. It brings about order- to the activities of the organization because of the level of professionalism involved.

1.7     WHO IS A MANAGER?

A manager is a person responsible for the allocation and utilization of scarce resources (both human and physical resources)   within   the   organization.   A   manager   is   an innovative person who plans for the most effective and efficient ways of achieving organizational resources.

A manager is a person who directs and controls thfl various activities in an organization so that desired objectives can be achieved. A manager is a person who leads a team by organizing, energizing and supervising subordinates towards the achievement of goals in the most efficient manner.

An Office Manager is a person in charge of secretarial work of correspondences, filing, indexing, use of office appliances, maintenance of records pertaining to the different departments.

1.8     MANAGERIAL ROLES AND SKILLS

1.       Managerial Roles:

This is referred to Managerial behaviours as observed by Henry Mintzberg. He identified three major roles of managers which can be further broken down into sub-managerial roles. These are:

1.   Interpersonal Role: Figurehead, Leader and Liaison Officer.

2.  Informational Role: Spokesperson, Disseminator and Nerve Centre/Monitor

3.  Decisional Role: Entrepreneurial, Resource Allocator, Negotiator and Disturbance Handler

2-        Managerial Skills

There are eight contemporary managerial skills contrary to the three major skills identified which are Technical Skill, Human Skill and Conceptual Skill.

Conceptual Skill: This refers to a manager’s creative skill
Interpersonal Skill: This is the ability of a manager to understand and influence other individuals within and outside the organization
Communication   Skill:   The   manager   must possess    the    ability    to    convey    idea    or information to others properly.
Diagnostic Skill: This is the ability to visualise the    most    appropriate    response    to    any situation arising.
Technical    Skill:    The    manager    must    be knowledgeable about the work/assignment to be done.
Time Management Skill: This is the ability to prioritize  the  schedule  of work to  be done efficiently and to delegate appropriately.
Decision-making Skill: This is an unavoidable role performed by every manager in the day to day running of an organisation. This is the ability to recognise and define challenges and opportunities and simultaneously selecting the best possible line of action.
Political Skill: This is ability to recognise, seize and exercise power in order to reflect that he/she is in-charge.
INDICATING SIGNALS OF A GOOD OFFICE MANAGER

A person who is able to explain policies as guidelines and not as rules of behaviour;
A person who is educated and informed about what is happening within and without the organisation.
A   person   who   is   always   interested   in   getting   a feedback about the organisation.
A person who is able to influence others because of his/her understanding about the basic needs of the people.
A person who is mindful about individual conduct (that is personal Style). This means that a manager personal style sends out the wrong signal that determines people’s opinion about him/her which could be beneficial or costly to the organisation. The personal style entails etiquette, physical appearance, clothes, vocabulary, relationship skills, etc.
1.10   MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

These are methods used in carrying out the operating activities by the management.

1.       Management by Objectives

This is also known as MBO was developed by Peter Drucker in the 1960s in order to assist employees to motivate themselves. Management by Objectives is the system of allowing employees to participate along with the Top, Middle and Front-Line levels of management in the setting of goals and mapping out ways of implementing through cycle of discussion, review and assessment of objectives.

According to Nickel et al (2003), MBO entails formulation of goals, getting written commitment from everyone in the organisation, monitoring of results and giving reward for goal accomplishment. There are Six Steps involved in the MBO process:

Goals must be formulated with the cooperation of subordinates.
Departmental objectives must be mindful of the overall goals.
Individual objectives are set and documented by individuals and managers.
Constant two-way communication occurs because feedback is very needful to confirm whether progress is made towards the achievement set objectives and whenever necessary objectives can be modified
Results are evaluated in comparing with the predetermined goals
Employees are duly rewarded for their performance towards the achievement of goals.
Environmental Scanning

This is the process of identifying the factors that can affect marketing success. It is the consideration of events and trends that presents either threats or opportunities for the organisation. Examples of such factors are global, technology, economic,   social, and competition to mention a few. The SWOT Analysis is often used as a strategic management    tool    for the evaluation of the Organisation’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The external environment is further giving critical examination by the introduction of PEST Analysis or STEP Analysis   (which means Social, Technological, Economic and Political Analysis).

Pareto Principle

This is also known as TQM Rule or Pareto Theory. This theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian born in Paris economist and sociologist  He believed that 80% of the wealth of a nation is held by  20%  of the  population.   It  is  often  used  for planning,   problem-solving,   decision-making   and also    for    sanity    check    in    many    aspects    of organisational and business management. It helps to identify the relationship between two related sets of data or groups in terms of inputs and outputs and cause and effect. For example, it is believed that 80% of outputs is generated by 20% inputs. It is reliable for predicting, measuring and managing all kinds of effects and situations.

4        Total Quality Management

This is also known as TQM which is a conscious strategic commitment by top management to change the whole work method approach to business as well as making quality as a guiding culture in the organisation. TQM has four basic components which are:

Always Put Customers First
Make Continuous Improvement a watchword
Aim for Zero Defects
Regular Training and Development of Employees.
5        Forecasting

This is the process of developing assumptions about the future which managers can use in the planning process for inventory, sales, revenue, human resource and production. The statistical tools often employed are Time Series Analysis through line of best fit that is

Regression Models which are equations created to predict the dependent variable based on the known independent variable. It can to predict the future sales level, advertising expenditure, possible future revenue.
Qualitative Forecasting Models which rely on individual or group judgement based on personal experiences or intuition but not on mathematical analyses. Examples are Delphi Method or Jury of Expert Opinion Method, Sales Force Report, Customer Opinion Survey.

Linear Programming

This mathematical technique was adopted into the business circle after the Second World War based on the success recorded by the military in the allocation and utilization of ammunitions and other supplies received. The Simplex Method of Linear Programming was developed by George Dantzig and his associates for business. It can be used as a planning technique to determine the optimal combination of resources and activities in order to minimize the cost of production or maximization of profit bearing in mind the limited resources at the disposal of the organization.

Other available management techniques or tools are as follows: Break Even Analysis, Organizational Simulation, Critical Path Analysis, Programme Evaluation Review Technique, Pay-Off Matrix, Decision Trees, Inventory Models, Games Theory, Queuing Model, Distribution Model and Artificial Intelligence.

Comments

  1. aggrey mudinyu says:

    very enlightening document

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