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The Role of Management:- Henri Fayol's Management Functions

The French management theorist Henri Fayol detailed a number of management functions/elements of management, which provide a breakdown of the various roles of management, and what is required in order to be a good manager:-

Planning: One of the main objectives of management is to plan for the future. By devising and setting objectives, those in a managerial position can implement the necessary procedures for achieving those goals, as well as coming up with contingency plans should the expected or desired outcomes not happen. Not only will the business not operate to its maximum potential without effective planning, but a failure to plan can leave a business or organisation vulnerable to the negative impacts of unexpected change.

Organising: Once the plans have been created, the actual work of turning those plans into tangible results begins. For this to happen, workers need to be organised to perform the necessary tasks. A manager will need his or her leadership skills in order to not only organise operations properly, but also to ensure that workers remain motivated and perform to their optimum ability.

Commanding: Managers are higher than their subordinates in the organisation's hierarchy or chain of command, which means that it is their responsibility to instruct those beneath them as to what they should be doing. The responsibility for a failure by a certain department usually lies with the department manager or line manager, as it is their job to ensure that they get their team to do what is required.

Controlling: Similar to 'commanding' described above, management need to control the activities of their workforce to ensure that what they do contributes to the goals and objectives of their department and the organisation as a whole.

Co-ordinating: To achieve the company's goals, managers must ensure that workers or departments work together to contribute to the achievement of those goals. Sometimes their individual goals will be different to that of the company, and it is the responsibility of management to ensure that individual goals which conflict with the achievement of the company's goals are changed. There are many different options available to do this, including business coaching sessions or incentive schemes.

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