Levels of Management
Published 13 Dec 2016
In the world of business today, a manager’s responsibility is to lead an organization’s staff to the achievements of previously set goals by planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. The future of management seems to be going in the direction of eliminating leading from the list of responsibilities. The role of leading is more frequently being given to employees. The technique of the “team” approach is being added to the workforce, which allows for employees to control ideas and the implementation of the ideas along with many other aspects. Almost always in a team situation, a leader or a spokesperson will emerge.
The responsibility of the manager, when using the team approach is to control the amount of work being produced from the team(s). The manager is not managing the business, but managing the employees and allowing employees to run the business. This only happens when the employees are competent and aware of their responsibilities. Usually this acknowledgement of awareness for responsibility stems from the teachings of a good manager.
A manager’s obligation is to guide an organization of staff to the achievements of previously set goals. In order to achieve set goals, a manager must utilize all resources available. An option available to managers is the opportunity to appoint or allow the rise of a shift leader or an area leader. A manager utilizing employees is the most efficient way to delegate responsibilities and to achieve goals. Leading is the process of moving resources toward objectives and goals. A strong leader and motivator keep employees performing at high-energy levels during low times. (Quinn, 1996) It is the manager’s responsibility to monitor and keep in line the productivity levels. This trend of appointing shift or area leaders is a method that can be expected to continue to be implemented into the future of management.
When considering the change of the functions of management, it has already been said that leading will be somewhat if not totally eliminated from the responsibilities of management. Planning, on the other hand, will always be a necessary function. Planning precedes all other functions; organizing, directing, and controlling all flow from proper planning. Another function of management that may see minimal change is in the area of organizing. Organizing brings together people and systems in logical groupings to carry out plans. Sound organization is no guarantee for success, but poor organization will almost always bring about conflict and frustration. (Schein, 1997) Taking this into consideration, it is likely that the tools and technology that offer added convenience when organizing will be far more advanced and more accessible in the future.
The controlling function of management, however, will always involve the tasks of monitoring and evaluating. The elements of controlling include setting standards, comparing them with events, and taking corrective action. When a staff is well managed, then the manager’s main focus is maintaining control. A well-managed staff can easily run itself with minor interventions from management to resolve conflicts. A form of management will always be in place to maintain the integrity of the business and its employees. There is relatively no possibility that this function of management will ever change.
In opinion, the future of management is in the hands of technology and the willingness of employees to step up and work for what they know and believe. Today, most jobs in corporate America require at least a Bachelor’s Degree. The hard work that is involved in obtaining an education should not be taken for granted. (Bennis, 1997) Someone entering into corporate America should be driven to succeed. Success comes from hard work, hard times, and sacrifices. An employee that has passion for their job has a career, not a job. An employee that likes their career strives to make the company better, more efficient, and more profitable. Being a good employee influences the ease of changes that are inevitable. Technology and new innovations in managerial processes are the inevitable, but the willingness to accept change will affect the prosperity of the business.
Management plays a key role in the success or failure of a business. An adept manager will utilize the four functions of management, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling to the best of his or her ability. The first function of management is planning. In our text, Management: The new Competitive Landscape, Planning is described as “specifying the goals to be achieved and deciding in advance the appropriate actions needed to achieve those goals.” (Bateman & Snell, 2004) In order to plan, one must have a firm grasp of the current situation and the ability to anticipate the future course of the business.
Our text tells us that historically, the planning process for companies was a tops-down process where senior management sent their edicts down to the masses, who then implemented the plans. In today’s modern workplace, there is a more synergistic approach to planning. Now, all levels of a company are solicited for input and responsible for formulating the planning process. The manager is responsible for the budget for all team building and morale activities for the group. I have to plan carefully what events will cost and how much of the budget allocation an event will receive.
The next function of management to consider is organizing. “Organizing is assembling and coordinating the human, financial, physical informational and other resources needed to achieve goals.” (Bateman & Snell, 2004) Organizing can include a variety of tasks from designing a workgroup to figuring out which tasks need to be done on a project. Each year I begin the project by organizing the tasks that must be complete, the volunteers to train and delegate to, the logistics and the budget involved. It is vital that a project be organized thoroughly in order to be successful. (Jaworski, 1998)
Then we move on to leading. Leading is one of the hardest management skills to master, since it contains an interpersonal component that can be very difficult for some. “Leading is stimulating people to be high performers. It is directing, motivating, and communicating with employees, inpidually and in groups.” (Scholtes, 1998) Leading means inspiring people to do their best job. Leadership involved trusting people to do their best, to innovate and come up with new ideas because they felt inspired by their management to do so. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers states that innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
This brings us to the forth function of management, controlling. “Planning, organizing and leading do not guarantee success. Controlling monitors progress and implements necessary change.” (Bateman & Snell, 2004) Controlling is one of the most important aspects of management. There are times when the course must be changed or companies must react to certain market conditions. Keeping control over your business, dept or group can make or break your company’s success on all levels. In my position, I monitor the budget for outsourcing, learning products and localization for software. If we are getting too close to our max for the quarter, it is up to me to control spending for our group by shutting down purchase orders or credit card charges. Firm financial controlling is my goal in this situation.
The four functions of management, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, are vital within my organization, by me as well as all levels of management above me. In business today, there is always to going to be the goal of being successful and offering the best of your product, and for that goal to be attained, it is going to take much planning and organizing. Success requires a leader to implement and organize the set goals. I am looking forward in the course of this class to better understand each of these attributes and use them as a catalyst for my success.
The Alpha Sporting Goods Stores is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in retailing new sporting goods, including apparel and equipment for fishing, hunting, hiking, golf, tennis, baseball, basketball, football, biking, rollerblading, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, skiing, and hockey; along with playground equipment and exercise/fitness equipment, and other sporting goods, equipment and accessories. These products are sold at sport stores and superstores. The key characteristic of the sporting good industry at the retail level is selling products generally without transformation.
To enter the market the amount of knowledge required is larger than the amount of capital in terms of sporting goods retail. But to become a sporting goods retailer a substantial amount of cash is also needed in order to build up a sufficient inventory, find an adequate store location, hire staff, etc. The purchasing of a large inventory and leasing or buying a store makes exiting very difficult due to a company being bound to so many related assets. One must choose an area with adequate sports to participate in, with adequate people who lead active lifestyles, and must have the knowledge of what sports to sell to their consumers.
This sounds easy enough, but companies must be able to position themselves against their local competition in order to be successful. This takes a lot of knowledge of customers and being aware of what market niches exist. Because of these factors entering this market does pose difficulties. However, in the case that there is an area with customers and venues but not a lot of competition, entry should be easier.
- Bateman, T. & Snell S. Management (2004): The Competitive Landscape. The McGraw-Hill Companies
- Bennis, Warren and Joan Goldsmith (Contributor). Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader. Perseus Press, September 1997.
- Jaworski, Joseph and Betty S. Flowers. Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, March 1998.
- Quinn, Robert E. Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within. (Jossey-Bass Business and Management Series) Jossey-Bass Publishers, September 1996.
- Schein, Edgar H. Organizational Culture and Leadership. (Jossey-Bass Business and Management Series) Jossey-Bass Publishers, January 1997.
- Scholtes, Peter R. The Leader’s Handbook: Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done. McGraw-Hill, September 1998.