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Management- the Basics

Almost every day, we come across words like HR management, sales/marketing management, project management; but do we know what management is?

Management is a widely used term used to define something that directs/narrows down group efforts towards the intention of fulfilling or efficiently accomplishing pre-set goals by working with and through others. F.W. Taylor defined management as “an art of knowing what to do when to do and see that it is done in the best and cheapest way”.

Good management involves efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency includes doing the task with the least (preferably zero) mistakes along with minimum expenditures or wastage of resources. Effectiveness ensures following the best-suited procedures for given tasks within specific timelines to yield the most productive results.

Its functions include planning, organizing, directing and controlling an organisation (based on its set goals).

Planning systematically can help avoid uncertainty or even wastage of time and resources while being executed. Planning involves setting goals/tasks that an organization wishes to achieve across a timeline.

Organizing helps better synchronisation and clarity of communication between the financial and physical resources along with the personnel of the company. This happens by providing a course of action that avoids bottlenecks by identifying, classifying, delegating and coordinating activities.

Providing direction helps keep productivity in check by supervising, guiding and motivating staff members. This requires interpersonal skills and a knack for being able to communicate.

Controlling an organisation makes sure that the usually evolving standards of performance set by the company is being maintained and met by staff’s collective output.

Now that we know its functions, one must also know of its objectives.

Managements usually have three main objectives- organisational, social and personal.

Organisational objectives adhere to the interests of all company stakeholders along with the government, the customers as well as employees.

There are three such organisational objectives- survival (being able to generate enough revenues to cover the operational costs), profit (to provide a safety net in times of unprecedented risks/costs and for providing incentives) and growth (measuring the growth statistically based on results by analysing data).

Social objectives differ from company to company but it mainly revolves around the idea of providing benefits for society by the means of their work. Some companies do this by funding initiatives that provide amenities like healthcare, some do it by practising environment-friendly methods of production, some do it by providing fair wages and some by providing fair opportunities. It all depends on the scale of their business/organisation.

Personnel objectives such as salary, perks, social and financial incentives are also decided by the management. Promoting activities that improve recognition and interaction among peers usually are observed to cater to the growth and development of the personnel and motivate them to put in more effort.

There are three levels of management that one should be aware of- top, middle and operational.

Top management includes the senior-most executives in a company (Chairman, CEO, COO, President, Vice-President) and they are responsible for coordinating the various activities of all departments. Not just that, they also are needed to observe and analyse the business environment and keep evolving the standards and goals of the company to keep the growth from not stagnating.

Middle management is composed of division heads. They link the operational management to the top management by conveying the policies framed by top management to their respective departments/divisions and ensuring its proper implementation. They also need to ensure that their department/division understands the decisions made by the top management while also understanding and complying with their policies.

Operational management consists of supervisors/section leads or people that directly oversee the efforts of the workforce. Ensuring quality control and punctuality of work/goals being accomplished within deadlines is their responsibility. The responsibilities and authority of supervisors are drawn out by top management.

After knowing so much, one might wonder what the point/purpose of all this might be? Well, the purpose of management is to try new things, to acclimatise to changes in the competition/technology/market, guide and nurture those under their wing and also improve their skills to increase productivity and reliability.

Its importance lies in-

Helping goals of groups/organisations to be accomplished by giving a common direction for all individuals in the organisation to work towards. Not just group goals, management also helps achieve personal objectives by providing incentives and rewards.

It helps the organisation and its members adapt to change and remain dynamic to maintain its competitive edge. The ability to keep evolving and confirming the needs of the customers sheds light on the potential success of an organisation.

Lastly, management helps increase efficiency by proper analysis in all spheres of work.

All that being said, one must keep in mind that management is a rapidly evolving field with various theories that have remained in practice or been modified as per the changing needs and advancement. Organisations all over the world try out new ways of making the best decisions, managerial approaches and various other measures to get the set the best environment and culture for growth.

To know of the theories that existed and cultivated what management is today, and the areas one needs to consider to approach new management approaches, stay tuned!


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