Management Functions

Topics: Management, Decision making, Planning Pages: 5 (1355 words) Published: January 3, 2014
Learning Objectives

The readings and questions in the lesson will help you to:

Define the four management functions.
Describe a mission statement and how it relates to the management hierarchy. Explain the process of delegating.
Define authority, power, responsibility, and accountability. Identify the decisions a supervisor must make and the process used to make decisions. Discuss techniques for developing diversity in an organization.

Mission and Management Hierarchy

We continue to explore the job of a supervisor by examining the theories of management. Management is only one aspect of supervision, although it encompasses many functions. These functions can be classified as planning, organizing, directing, and controlling.

Mission and Management Hierarchy

Before we begin to discuss these functions, it is important to understand what a business entails. Employees of any organization, large or small, should be able to define the purpose of their operation. This is accomplished by a mission statement (which is also commonly referred to as a vision statement). In a hospitality operation, this statement would include ideas about the quality of food or lodging, service, and cleanliness. When writing a mission statement, the most important consideration is to emphasize what you want your customers to gain from the product or service you offer. In other words, if you were a customer of your establishment, what would you expect to obtain or experience?

Once you have insight into your mission, it is important to explore the management hierarchy. The staffing of any operation falls into "layers" which make up the formal organization. The bottom layer is typically comprised of non-management employees, while the layers that flow upward progressively include a variety of management positions. (Some organizations reverse this pyramid and place the non-management employees at the top and the management personnel at the bottom. This is known as an "inverted pyramid.") The management hierarchy defines each employee's position in the organization.

Each employee has a level of authority, responsibility, and accountability, but not everyone has power. Power is an ability to influence, while authority is the right given to a supervisor to direct the work of others. While power can be a function of one's position (legitimate power), more often than not, power is acquired by treating subordinates courteously and in a consistent manner.

Every employee is responsible for his or her own actions and has a duty to follow through on assignments. Accountability can be defined as having to respond to superiors for those actions, whether good or bad. Keep in mind that authority, power, responsibility, and accountability are not necessarily negative terms, although many times they may be used in that manner.


An important management function that is often overlooked and underused is delegation. Many supervisors do not like to delegate tasks because they feel they can do the job faster and better than a subordinate can. What many supervisors fail to recognize is that subordinates need to be educated about their positions if the supervisor is to advance in the organization, or simply to be able to enjoy a vacation or time away from the business. While not all tasks may be delegated in their totality, it is important to delegate assignments so that subordinates can "learn the ropes." You should never consider yourself indispensable to your operation.

The process of delegation entails defining the task, choosing the employee who will complete that task, assigning the project, and finally, checking with the employee to make sure the task is completed properly. Delegation needs to be encouraged and promoted in every organization. Examples of areas to consider delegating include taking a physical inventory, performing an inspection, ordering or planning a special event, or overseeing a...
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