Fayols Four Functions Of Management Management Essay

The first of Fayol’s functions is planning. The definition of planning is “defining goals, establishing strategies for achieving goals and developing plans to coordinate activities.” (Robbins, et al., 2008). Planning is to assess the future and make provision for it. (Fayol, 1949). It is taking the initiative for the plan of action that managers carry out the managerial function. Mr.Seet’s job involves planning function. Understandably, he is the top level manager, so he has to get involved in all the manufacturing process like designing, process planning and material planning. The purposes of planning is to provide directions, so that employees can coordinate activities and corporate with each other when they know where the organisation is going and what they have to contribute to reach the goals. Hence, Mr. Seet’s plan is operational plans that specify details of how the overall goals are to be achieved. Apparently, it is a short term plans that covering of one year or less, but it is a specific plan which all the plans are clearly defined. He set goals of the organisation and then broken down into sub goals of each level of the organisation. In addition, planning reduces uncertainly by forcing managers to look ahead, anticipate and consider the impact of change. Managers plan to anticipate changes and develop the most effective response to them. Other than that, planning also minimize waste and redundancy, when work activities are coordinated around established plans, wasted time and resources can be minimize. Inefficiency become obvious and can be corrected or eliminated. Thus, SMART (Specific, Measurable and quantifiable, Attainable, Realistic, Time frame) goals are to be enforce by the managers. Consequently, Fayol (1949) describes the general features of a product plan and the advantages and shortcomings of forecasts, noting that the best plans, make allowances for contingencies. Fayol (1949) asserts that it would be useful for those whose concern is management to know how experienced managers go about drawing up their plans and proceeds to identify the planning process. (Lamond, 2003).

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The next Fayol’s functions would be organising. According to Robbins, Bergman, Stagg & Coulter (2008), organising is defined as “determining what tasks are to be done, who is to do them, how the tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom and where decisions are to be made.” Organising is arranging and structuring work to accomplish the organisation’s goal. Mr.Seet’s job also involves organising function. He needs to manage and divide all the tasks equally to his workers in order to save time and increase efficiency. Mr. Seet divides all the work activities into separate jobs task to different department like functional department, product department, process department and customer department. He also holds meeting for every week to discuss current problems, motivate employees and appoint a team at committees. On top of that, if managers change the organisation’s strategy, the structure should change to support the new strategy. Structure is adapted based on increasing level of complexity and sophistication. The more routine the technology, the more mechanistic the structure can be. Hence, Fayol (1949) argues that to create an organisation it is not enough to group people and distribute duties, there must be knowledge of how to adapt the organic whole to requirement and how to find essential personnel. Thus, Fayol (1949) states that “organising is to provide the undertaking with everything useful to its functioning.”

The other Fayol’s functions is leading. Based on Robbins, Bergman, Stagg & Coulter (2008), leading is defined as “motivating subordinates, influencing individuals or teams as they work, selecting the most effective communication channels, or dealing in any way with employee behaviour issues.” The mission of leading is to set the organisation going. (Fayol, 1949). The objective of leading is to get the optimum return from all employees, while the art of leading rests on certain personal qualities and knowledge of general principles of management. (Fayol, 1949). Mr.Seet’s job includes leading function. He ensures all his workers are in a friendly and comfortable work environment. He also gives training and guidance to employees by counseling whenever necessary. This can relate to the Katz’s human skills and Mintzberg’s interpersonal skills. (Lamond, 2003). Mr.Seet has motivates his employees by offering sales commission and bonus. According to Katz’s human skills, all level of management need human skills in order to interact and communicate with other people successfully. (Peterson & Van Fleet, 2004). Thus, Mr.Seet reflects the requirement of leading functions and human skills needed as a top manager.

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The last Fayol’s functions is controlling. Controlling is defined as “monitoring actual performance, comparing actual to standard, and taking action if necessary.” (Robbins, et al., 2008). Controlling is verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with the plan adopted, the instructions issued and principles established. (Fayol, 1949). Mr.Seet’s job also includes controlling function. He has to make sure that the transportation or delivery of goods is safe and fast. Orders must also be taken correctly and accurately. Besides that, he also has to make sure that the monthly targeted sales are achieved and the company continues to make profit. In addition, he has to ensure the whole process is effective and efficient and also perfect product quality to satisfy customers. Thus, the objective of controlling is to point out weaknesses and errors in order to resolve them and prevent recurrence. Besides, the other objective is to contribute the smooth working of each department in particular and of the concern in general. (Fayol, 1949). Mr.Seet is involved in job like trouble shooting for rejected goods and work force shortage. He needs to think of a way to solve rejected goods by finding out the problems, minimize the loss and maintain customer’s trust towards the organisation. When there is work force shortage, he needs to make decision whether to hire more employee or working over time. This also can be relates to Mintzberg’s decisional skills where he must have ideas to make the right decisions. (Mintzberg, 1975).

Management is about opinions and view points that may vary among different individuals. This interview has shown that Fayol’s four functions were needed by a top manager. There are some exemptions on his theory depending on what type of organisation is the manager managing. As a matter of fact, Katz’s theory stated that human skill is needed at all level of management. His theory is further explained by Mintzberg’s 10 roles of management under the interpersonal role category. Hence, one theory cannot work without the other. Indeed, Fayol’s characterisation of management still represents the most useful way of conceptualizing the manager’s job. (Carroll and Gillen, 1987).

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References list:

Carroll, S. & Gillen, D., (1987). Are the Classical Management Functions Useful in Describing Managerial Work? The Academy of Management Review, 12(1), 38-51.

Fayol, H. (1949). General and Industrial Management. London: Routledge.

Lamond, D. (2003). Henry Mintzberg vs Henri Fayol: Of Lighthouses, Cubists and the Emperor’s New Clothes. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 8(4), 5-23.

Mintzberg, H. (1975). The manager’s job: Folklore and fact, Harvard Business Review, 53(4), July – August 49-61.

Peterson, T. O. & Van Fleet (2004). The ongoing legacy of R.L. Katz: An updated topology of management skills. Management Decision, 42(10), 1297-1308

Robbins, S., Bergman, R., Stagg, I., & Coulter, M. (2008). Management (5th ed.). Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: Pearson Education Australia.

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