The Roles of Management in an Organization

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The success of an organization rests on the ability of managers to plan, organize, direct and control.' The aim of this essay is to examine to what extent the above statement is an accurate appraisal of successful management? To illustrate the arguments put forward this essay will refer to the case study 'The launch of the centaur' taken from Paton et al text 'Organizations, Cases, Issues and Concepts'. The case study reports on the problems that occurred when Centaur replaced Paravel car manufacturers.

This essay will include a study of Henri Fayol's five key managerial elements in order to display whether it is essential to plan, organize, direct and control followed by practical examples drawn from the highlighted case study. Fayol's career began as a mining engineer and then moved into research geology and in 1888 joined, Comambault as Director. The company was in difficulty but Fayol turned the operation round. On retirement he published his work - a comprehensive theory of administration - described and classified administrative management roles and processes then became recognised and referenced by others in the growing discourse about management. Fayol categorized management into five key elements, which can be seen in appendix one.

The first of the elements is planning; Fayol believes that planning " means both to access the future and make provision for it"[1] Fayol views the "action plan" as the most useful output of the planning process. He notes that this plan must consider the firm's resources, work- in-progress, and future trends of the eternal environment. Fayol also believes that a good action plan must consist of continuity, unity, flexibility and precision. Pugh and Hickson state that " The problems of planning which management must overcome are: making sure the objectives of each part of the organisation are securely welded together (Unity); using both short and long term forecasting (continuity); being able to adapt the plan in the light of changing circumstances (flexibility); and attempting to accurately predict courses of action Precision"[2]. The essence of planning is to allow the optimum use of resources. The views of Fayol and Pugh and Hickson illustrate the importance of planning when seeking to be a successful manager.

The second of the elements is organizing, Fayol states that "personnel is the focus of this section"[3] He believes that managerial duties of an organisation must be realised through the use of personnel. He argues that despite the variety of business, every firm of similar employee size differs mainly in the " nature and relative value of constituent elements"[4]. The task of management is to build up an organisation that allows the activities to be carried out in an optimal manner.

Pugh and Hickson state, "Central to this is a structure in which plans are effectively prepared and carried out. There must be unity of command and direction, clear definition of responsibilities, precise decision making backed up by an efficient system for selecting and training managers"[5]. The views of Fayol and Pugh and Hickson illustrate the importance of organizing when seeking to be a successful manager. Fayol has identified that there are many key objectives of organising, which can be located on Appendix two

The Fayol's third element comes logically after the first two, plan and control his third element is to command. In relation to the question command is part of the ability to direct. Fayol states that commanding is "the responsibility of every manager"[6]. The purpose of this is to achieve the maximum contribution from all personnel to help with the interests of the organization. Pugh and Hickson state that with the "ability to command the manager obtains the best possible performance from subordinates"[7]. Organisations have a variety of tasks to perform so co-ordination is needed, which is the fourth of Fayol's elements and the other half of the ability to direct. Fayol...
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