Management can be defined in several ways. A general definition would be that management is the process of coordinating work activities, working with human, financial, and physical resources, so that they are completed efficiently and effectively to achieve organizational objectives (Robbins et al, 2006 p.9).
Webster's New World College Dictionary (2001) defines the term function' as "the normal or characteristic action of anything; especially, any of the natural, specialized actions of a system ". There are four general functions of management. They include planning, organizing, leading or motivating, and controlling. All four functions are immensely important and no one function is better than the other. These four functions must be coordinated to have management operate as a whole.
Planning encompasses looking forward and developing things in advance. Planning involves deciding what needs to take place in the future and creating plans for action in initiating the process of achieving organizational goals. It is up to the management to be able to make the plan and have firm decisions. Sometimes, it is difficult to plan, but it provides and important focus for any business. Plans vary from annual plans to daily plans. These plans should and always can be revised (Wikipedia, 2007). In almost all cases of management, either a formal plan or a written plan will be devised. Mission statements are all about the actual purposes or aims in a short period, whereas vision statement is in relation to a longer period of time. Both are equally important to planning in a sense that it builds an idea or what the company is going to do.
Organizing is another crucial function of management. The basics are to consider what resources and what activities are needed. It is the manager's job to assign responsibility of objectives to employees. When tasks are successfully assigned, everyone has adequate things to do. Therefore, work is reasonably spread among employees and everything gets done (Wikipedia, 2007).
Leading is the third function of management. Leading can be done in various ways. The meaning of leading is that you are able to get employees to do what needs to be done. Leading can be done by living up to the standards expected from employees, promoting those that do good work, and rewarding employees when they reach certain goals. Leading is providing a path and motivation to get things done by firing up staff's spirits as well as solve any issues among the staff (Robbins et al, 2006).
The last function of management is controlling. Controlling is devising ways to ensure that plans are being achieved. Managers need to constantly check on things and ensure that correct measures are being taken, as well as compare the actual performance to the standard that has been set so that things do not go off track. This can be done by running a few quick meetings daily (Robbins et al, 2006).
On the other hand, the term role' is defined by Webster's New World College Dictionary (2001) as "a part or character played by an individual". According to Henry Mintzberg (Robbins et al, 2006), the roles in managerial jobs are grouped into three major categories:...