Management Functions Defined

Managers must perform several major functions or activities to establish the success of any organisation.

Managers must perform several major functions or activities to establish and operate an effective organisation. The key management functions include planning, organising and staffing, leading and controlling. Each function is critical to the success of any manager and organisation.



This is analysing a situation, determining the goals that will be pursued in the future and deciding in advance the actions that will be taken to achieve these goals. Plans are developed for entire organisations, for specific work units and for individual managers and workers. The plans may cover long periods of time (years) or a short time (days or weeks). They may be very general or very specific.


Organising and Staffing

This includes the work to assemble the human, financial, physical and informational resources needed to complete the job and to group and coordinate employees, tasks, and resources for maximum success.



This function focuses on the efforts of the manager to stimulate high performance among employees. This activity involves setting directions, directing, motivating and communicating with employees, both as individuals and in groups. It includes influencing people to follow the direction.



This function involves monitoring the progress of the organisation or the work unit toward goals and then, if necessary, taking corrective action. It includes the ongoing collection of feedback, adjustment of systems, processes and structures.

These management functions are the cornerstones of a manager’s job. A common view of management is that it is about getting things done through others. However, it also means the job of management is to support employees’ efforts to be fully productive members of the organisation. Managers also need a variety of skills to execute these functions successfully.

The three general skill categories managers need include : technical skills (the ability to perform a specialised task that involves a certain method or process); interpersonal and communication skills (human or people skills); conceptual and decision skills (abilities to recognise complex and dynamic issues, to examine the numerous and conflicting factors that influence these problems, and to resolve such situations for the benefit of the organisation). Bateman, T. & & Zeithaml, C. (1990) Management Function and Strategy. Richard D. Irwin, Inc. USA.

Some other key functions include financial management, systems development, working ‘on’ and ‘in’ the business; public relations/marketing.

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