Five Management Functions in the Army
Every successful organization uses the five management functions; but not many can compare with the United States Armed Forces. I am currently serving in the U.S. Army and this organization has effectively applied the five management functions, because its existence depends on those five functions. They Army is constantly engaging in the five management functions; their operations are well led, organized, carefully planned, staffed, and constantly evaluated. I do not believe there is any organization other than the military where you would see these five functions linking so well coordinated. “Planning is a systematic process in which managers make decisions about future activities and the key goals that the organization will pursue. The necessity of careful environmental scanning has an immediate impact on planning processes” (Reilly, Minnick, and Baack, 2011, sec. 7.2). Making plans for future activities is one of the Army’s key functions; without planning its subordinate commands would deteriorate and lose focus on mission objectives and the quality of work. In the Army, we use the Eight-Step Training Model; for which planning always starts out backwards by starting with the objective and working its way back to day zero. The planning is then broken down into three phases; long term, short-term and near term depending on the size of the organization or unit. I find the planning phase in the Army to be very effective because it is important for employees or soldiers to know what needs to happen in the days ahead. “The design methodology provides a means of approximating complex problems that allows for meaningful action” (Grigsby, 2011, p. 30). Proper use of planning in the Army keeps the employees motivated and goal oriented. When planning in the Army goes wrong, you have Soldiers sitting around waiting on orders, people go unaccounted for, and will eventually negatively affect the other four management functions. Leadership is one of the key elements of the Army; in fact, it is one of its core values. Without the function of leading, the military would have no effect. The Army depends on leadership to be able to effectively organize, staff, plan, and control in order to have a productive work environment. “Leading in a business context, consists of all activities undertaken to help people achieve the highest level of performance” (Reilly, Minnick, and Baack, 2011, sec. 7.2). In the Army everyone is a leader to a certain extend because we all have the same goal. We are taught that “leadership is having the ability to influence people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization”; when asked “What is leadership?” that will be the answer you will get from every Soldier (Department of the Army, 2006). The Army, like other military services, is unique for leader development for two reasons; one is because the system is made so that you either move up in rank or get out; in other words if you fail to get promoted after a certain amount time then it is time for you to get out. In civilian organizations, employees can attain a certain level and remain that level until retirement. Second reason for its uniqueness in leadership is that they do not hire leaders outside of their organization; instead, senior level positions become filled by the individuals that are able to achieve promotion within the same organization (Fallesen, 2011). “Organizing is the process of bringing people and resources together to create products and services in an efficient and effective manner” (Reilly, Minnick, and Baack, 2011, sec. 7.2). In order for the Army to work, it requires a lot of organization; this is because there are so many different components that are required in order to make it operational and self-sufficient. Due to the size of the Army and any other military components; it is important to departmentalize different...
References: Department of the Army. (2006). Army Leadership. Field Manual 6-22. Washington, DC.
Fallesen, J. J., Keller-Glaze, H., & Curnow, C. K. (2011). A selective review of leadership
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Grigsby, J. (2011). Integrated Planning: The Operations Process, Design, and the Military
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Reilly, M., Minnick, C., & Baack, D. (2011). The Five Functions of Effective Management. San
Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from: http://content.ashford.edu
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