Planning, Leading And Controlling | Theories

In the era of modernisation these days, it appears that the purpose of managers in every single organisation is becoming so essential that we are required to understand the real concept behind management as well as the actual tasks performed by a manager. An understanding of the nature of management is vital for all members of society because all of us will at home stage to be a manager, and an understanding of the concept will enable us to become more effective in that role. Throughout the development of management, there are classical theories of management and modern management theory. Henri Fayol and Henry Mintzberg are both key figures in the management theories today and they are also both internationally renowned academic and authors on business and management with many articles and many books written.

Henri Fayol (1841 – 1925) a French management theorist and managing director of a French mining company, is frequently seen as an essential early contributor to classical school of management theoies or more particularly, administrative management. He believed that management is an acquired skill and can therefore be taught. He wanted to introduce a set of principles that all organisations can apply in order to run properly. He built his theory of the five management functions upon personal observation and experience whilst he was working with French mining organisations, to find what worked well in terms of organisation. This theory was introduced in 1916. These functions serve the purpose of predicting the future of the environment and planning a relevant business strategy, developing a social and technical structure to the organisation, managing the activities of the staff, integrating plans and activities across the organisation and ensuring conformity with the plan via authority and feedback mechanisms to correct inappropriate activity but as he wrote his works in French it was not until some time afterwards that his management functions were recognised worldwide. The five functions were planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling.


This is the first tool of the four functions in the management process. The difference between a successful and unsuccessful manager lies within the planning procedure. Planning is the logical thinking through goals and making the decision as to what needs to be accomplished in order to reach the organizations’ objectives. Managers use this process to plan for the future, like a blueprint to foresee problems, decide on the actions to evade difficult issues and to beat the competition. Planning is the first step in management and is essential as it facilitates control, valuable in decision making and in the avoidance of business ruin.

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In order to reach the objective outlined in the planning process, structuring the work of the organization is a vital concern. Organization is a matter of appointing individuals to assignments or responsibilities that blend together to develop one purpose, to accomplish the goals. These goals will be reached in accordance with the company’s values and procedures. A manager must know their subordinates and what they are capable of in order to organize the most valuable resources a company has, its employees. (Bateman, Snell, 2007). This is achieved through management staffing the work division, setting up the training for the employees, acquiring resources, and organizing the work group into a productive team. The manager must then go over the plans with the team, break the assignments into units that one person can complete, link related jobs together in an understandable well-organized style and appoint the jobs to individuals. (Allen, G., 1998).


Organizational success is determined by the quality of leadership that is exhibited. “A leader can be a manager, but a manager is not necessarily a leader,” says Gemmy Allen (1998). Leadership is the power of persuasion of one person over others to inspire actions towards achieving the goals of the company. Those in the leadership role must be able to influence/motivate workers to an elevated goal and direct themselves to the duties or responsibilities assigned during the planning process. (Allen, G., 1998). Leadership involves the interpersonal characteristic of a manager’s position that includes communication and close contact with team members. (Bateman, Snell, 2007).


The process that guarantees plans are being implemented properly is the controlling process. Henri Fayol stated that ‘Controlling is the final link in the functional chain of management activities and brings the functions of management cycle full circle.’ This allows for the performance standard within the group to be set and communicated. Control allows for ease of delegating tasks to team members and as managers may be held accountable for the performance of subordinates, they may be wise to extend timely feedback of employee accomplishments.

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Henry Mintzberg was born September in Montreal, September 2, 1939.He was an internationally renowned academic and author on business and management. He is married to Sasha Sadilova and has two children from a previous marriage, Susie and Lisa.

Henry Mintzberg is an internationally renowned academic and author who write prolifically on the topics of management and business strategy, with more than 150 articles and fifteen books to his name. He came up with the roles of management, which he believes cover most of the things a manager will encounter in their job.

The reality of management is that ‘the pressures of the job drive the manager to take on too much work, encourage interruption, respond to every stimulus, seek the tangible and avoid the abstract, make decisions in small increments’. Mintzberg’s key contribution was to highlight the importance of understanding CEOs’ time management and tasks in order to be able to improve their work and develop their skills appropriately.

these normative systems.Mintzberg does not assume ex-ante what an (in)effective or (non)successful manager entails. He also neglects the relationship between managerial behaviour and organisational effectiveness.Furthermore, he takes a ‘neutral’ position on the managerial role omitting influences such as ownership and power. Identified contingency factors explain differences in the make-up of managerial work.The empirical study is based on five organisations in action. The small sample size means that the results should not be applied to all industry, organisations or management positions.In his 1973 study, Mintzberg declared that the manager’s position is always the starting point in organisational analysis. He also argued that managerial roles are sequential – a manager first makes interpersonal contact through his formal status which in turn allows information processing and leads to decision making. Mintzberg later rejected this relationship based on new empirical data.

The term management roles refers to specific categories of managerial behaviour, and Mintzberg concluded that what managers do, can be described by studying ten different and interrelated roles, grouped around interpersonal relationships, transfer of information, and last, but not least, decision making.

Interpersonal Roles

The ones that, like the name suggests, involve people and other ceremonial duties.

– Leader – Responsible for staffing, training, and associated duties.

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– Figurehead – The symbolic head of the organization.

– Liaison – Maintains the communication between all contacts and informers that compose the organizational network.

Informational Roles

Related to collecting, receiving, and disseminating information.

– Monitor – Personally seek and receive information, to be able to understand the organization.

– Disseminator – Transmits all import information received from outsiders to the members of the organization.

– Spokesperson – On the contrary to the above role, here the manager transmits the organization’s plans, policies and actions to outsiders.

Decisional Roles

Roles that revolve around making choices.

– Entrepreneur – Seeks opportunities. Basically they search for change, respond to it, and exploit it.

– Negotiator – Represents the organization at major negotiations.

– Resource Allocator – Makes or approves all significant decisions related to the allocation of resources.

– Disturbance Handler – Responsible for corrective action when the organization faces disturbances.


Fayol identifies five elements of management- planning, organising, co-ordinating, commanding and controlling all of which he believed were necessary to facilitate the management process. In comparison Mintzberg considers management activities to fall within three broad groups- interpersonal, informational and decisional which encompass his ten management roles of figurehead, leader, liaison, spokesperson, disseminator, monitor, resource allocator, entrepreneur, disturbance handler and negotiator. Although due to their differences, these theories can be treated as competing views, both can also be perceived as reinforcing the other as many parallels and similarities intrinsically exist. Consequentially the term ‘managerial style’ combines the two theories.

Mintzberg obtained his theory as a result of research based on observation. Hence, his roles directly depict what managers do. He argues that Fayol’s functions ‘do not describe the actual work of managers at all; they describe certain vague objectives of managerial work’ (Mintzberg 1971). As he observed the managers in his research, he found that all activities captured at lease one of his ten roles in practice whereas they could not be simplified to be known singularly as one of Fayol’s functions. For example, a manager sending a memo out to subordinates informing them of the outcome of the mornings meeting is directly taking on the informational role of disseminator- providing internal personnel with information obtained either external or internal of the organisation.

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