Management is an important part of business for both commercial and non commercial organizations. Management can be described as an act that brings together all resources belonging to an organization including people with the aim of achieving and utilizing them optimally to achieve overall corporate goals (Watson 2006, 34-40).
Organizations are governed by missions, vision and values which stakeholders are part of and it thus becomes the duties of organizational managers to plan, organize lead and control various activities and individuals who possess certain talents within the organization in order to ensure that the organization succeeds in its objectives (Camillus 1986, 54-56). Effective management theories can be the basis of a success in a business.
Management in any kind of organization can learn from the tried and applied management ways. Top leaders are often enthusiastic to adopt the most recent theories in their organization. For instance if the latest change management concept is espoused with a big fanfare, the staff are trained properly, only for the benefits to be accrued insignificant after some time. And when the programs stutter to a stop the management turns its interest to another management craze.
Today’s volatile business environment has even made the role of managers within organizations become more imperative and complex hence making the technical and rational depiction of managing differ largely with realities of being a manager. Thus, the level of ambiguity in the commercial environment may require managers to defy logical and textbook descriptions of management descriptions in order to maximize their performance.
Organizations are often divided into different functional areas which are similar to sub systems that exist within the entire organization. It is thus the duty of managers to plan, organize, lead and control the various functional areas with the aim of ensuring that the entire organization moves towards the same organization (Roberts 1984, 287-302).
Managers are individuals who must possess certain set of skills that will enable them carry out their intended responsibilities, this is why in some cases managers must be individuals who have the necessary technical skills, communication skills, logical reasoning skills and analytical skills that will often assist them to plan, organize, lead and control the organization in the right direction.
But it is in times of crises that reality strikes and it demands quick decisions be made managers thus they may not follow conventional theories of management but may rely on their own wits or internal mechanisms to make decisions. It’s therefore important to have technical and rational knowledge of being a manager but when it comes to real life situations managers are often required to go an extra mile to successfully carry out their roles.
Looking at companies like HP, IBM, BMW, Samsung, General Electric, Toyota, Apple, Google and other leading multinational organizations, it becomes clear that the managerial skills within their managerial pool in their organizations have made these organizations very successful despite some of them being very big conglomerates and spreading their operations across many nations ,this is simply because they have trained managers to adapt to varying situations and not only rely on what they learnt on the book. (Johnson & Whittington, 2008 p.78-94)
Planning is a holistic process that involves all facets of an organization and requires managers to become futuristic and long term oriented thus developing a framework of anticipated future actions in advance is crucial. But in reality when managers are faced by adverse risks and situations they may opt to make decisions without comprehensive planning in order to tap into an opportunity within the expected time frame.
The best example common of such a tool is budgets and other pro forma statements that managers often use to make strategic business decisions. A budget is a planning tool that is used by managers to plan for the future by allocating money to various areas of the organization with the aim of funding interdepartmental and functional area activities so that the organization can achieve its strategic goals (Camillus, 1986 p.32-41).
But some managers in reality may decide to engage in an opportunity even if they lack sufficient planning data simply because they believe in its viability. Organizing is another rational and technical task that is carried out by managers in various organizations. An organizations environment is usually chaotic and once managers have made all the necessary plans, it becomes necessary to execute them in an orderly fashion whereby the anticipated outcomes are more accurate.
The function of organization requires managers to use their logical and analytical skills to determine the required activities and assign the required resources to see to it that they succeed in accordance with the intended objectives (Jackall 1988 p.65). As much as it is rational for managers to organize tasks, some situations usually come up in ordinary course of business for instance; catastrophes that demand managers to take quick measures to save their businesses.
Leading is another rational and technical task that managers are required to exercise in order to carry out their duties and responsibilities. Leading can be done in various ways but the best ways of leading are leadership styles that do not coerce individuals to streamline themselves within a leader’s opinion. Leadership should be carried out by managers through inspiration, communication and participation (Watson 2006 p.70-90).
A good leader is a leader who is able to influence the behavior of employees in favor of the organizations corporate path by enabling them to embrace a strong corporate culture that is in tandem with the corporate vision. Leadership is thus often a source of motivation among subordinates and consequently managers should always look for always to use the most appropriate leadership style that will encourage employees be better and increase their output.
Controlling is the last technical and rational task that managers are required to exercise in order to ensure that organizational objectives are realized. Plans usually represent desired targets but at the end of the day managers are hit by the hard reality which may deviate from actual plans (Knights & Roberts1982 p.54-56). Hence, in contrast managers may sometimes hoard information in order to protect their businesses because some employees may take advantage of their leadership.
Management is a rational and technical task that requires managers to develop essential skills that will enable them effectively and accurately plan, organize, lead and control various functional areas and departments within the organization.
But in reality organizations are faced with ambiguous and complex situations due to high levels of votility in the business environment hence, managers are often faced with the herculean task of charting the way forward for the organization by making decisions that often requires them to think outside the traditional management theories.
Thus their inherent skills that are part of their personality enables them plan, organize, lead and control events as they occur along the path of the organization in order to maximize positive outcome and place the organization in a competitive advantage as compared to other organizations.
Camillus, J., 1986. Strategic planning and management control: systems for survival and success. Lexington, KY: Lexington Books.
Jackall, R., 1988. Moral mazes: the world of corporate managers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Johnson, G, S., & Whittington, R., 2008. “Exploring corporate strategy: texts and cases.” Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Knights, D., & Roberts, J., 1982. ‘The power of organization or the organization of power?’ Organization Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 47-63.
Parker, M., 2002. Against management. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Roberts, J., 1984. ‘The moral character of management practice’, Journal of Management Studies, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 287-302.
Watson, T., 1996. ‘How do managers think?’ Management Learning, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 323-341.
Watson, T., 2001. In search of management. Revised edn. London: Thompson Publishers.
Watson, T., 2006. Organising and managing work. 2nd edn. London: Penguin.