Management and Public Administration

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POSDCoRB is a mnemonic term developed by Luther Gulick in 1937 to represent the functions of the executive. “These essential functions-Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting-provide a sort of administrative prescription which should be followed by any competent administrator.” (Blumberg, p. 247)

These functions compose a single aspect of the author’s Notes on the Theory of Organization, which discusses the elements necessary for an organization to perform its activities efficiently. After focusing on the Division and Coordination of Work, Gulick reflects on how the organization should be Organized. In order to organize the role of the executive, Gulick asks “What is the work of the executive. What does he do?” He then presents us with a list of activities-POSDCORB:

* “Planning, that is working out in broad outline the things that need to be done and the methods for doing them to accomplish the purpose set for the enterprise; * Organizing, that is the establishment of the formal authority through which work subdivisions are arranged, defined, and co-ordinated for the defined objective; * Staffing, that is the whole personnel function of bringing in and training the staff and maintaining favorable conditions of work; * Directing, that is the continuous task of making decisions and embodying them in specific and general orders and instructions and serving as the leader of the enterprise; * Co-ordinating, that is the all important duty of interrelating the various parts of the work; * Reporting, that is keeping those to whom the executive is responsible informed as to what is going on, which thus includes keeping himself and his subordinates informed through records, research and inspection; * Budgeting, with all that goes with budgeting in the form of fiscal planning, accounting and control.” (Gulick, p. 13)

These defined functions were inspired by Henri Fayol’s earlier work in the study...
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