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So, what exactly is management? Management is the process of designing, organizing, leading, and controlling an organization’s resources to achieve its goals. It’s a broad term encompassing everything from operations and finance to human resources and marketing.
In short, management is responsible for ensuring that an organization runs smoothly and achieves its objectives. But being a successful manager isn’t easy; it takes skill, knowledge, and a lot of hard work. So, if you’re looking to become a better manager or want to learn more about this important field, then read on! In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about management, including what it entails, the skills and knowledge required for success, and how you can become a better manager.
What is Management?
The process of coordinating and administering activities to attain a goal is known as management. Setting the organization’s plan and synchronizing the efforts of employees to achieve these goals through the use of available resources are examples of administration tasks. Management can also refer to the seniority system for staff members within an organization.
To be an effective manager, a person must communicate with others effectively. In addition to these skills, an individual must have strong leadership qualities for management.
What is project management?
It is the process of planning, organizing, securing, managing, leading, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals.
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet or exceed stakeholders’ expectations and achieve objectives. It is a dynamic process that changes as the project evolves. Project management aims to ensure that all projects are completed successfully within the defined constraints.
What is risk management?
Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling risks. The goal is to minimize losses and maximize profits.
Risks can come from a variety of sources, including market fluctuations, accidents, natural disasters, and fraud. Risk managers use various techniques to identify and assess risks, including scenario planning, probability analysis, and fault tree analysis. They then put in place controls to mitigate the risks.
Examples of risk controls include insurance policies, safety procedures, and financial safeguards. Risk management helps companies stay afloat in uncertain times by minimizing losses and maximizing profits.
What is supply chain management?
Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the flow of materials and finished products from the point of origin to the point of consumption to meet customers’ requirements. It includes the coordination and integration of key business processes across different organizations within a company or across companies.
The main objectives of SCM are to reduce inventory costs, ensure on-time delivery, optimize the use of resources, and improve customer service. A successful supply chain management strategy requires close cooperation between all supply chain members, including suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
What is change management?
Change management is the process of planning, implementing, and monitoring changes to a company’s business processes, structures, and systems. It also includes the identification and assessment of risks associated with change.
The goal of change management is to ensure that changes are made in a controlled and safe manner and that the company’s goals are met. Change management includes technical aspects (such as system changes) and people aspects (such as communication and training).
Basic Management Skills
There are three essential skills that managers need to know when starting in the business world. These are also called functional skills, knowledge of how to do things in a business. They are not what you know about your job but how you implement that knowledge.
The three essential skills are:
Communication is the essential key to good management. A manager will need to know how to convey thoughts, feelings, and needs with proper communication skills so that the intended recipient understands what is being said.
Leadership refers to a manager’s ability to motivate employees toward accomplishing desired goals for their benefit and the benefit of the business.
Delegation is a part of every manager’s job, and it is also an essential key to success in any field. It involves teaching employees the skills you have gathered throughout your career to be efficient enough to accomplish their jobs without you having to micromanage them or do anything for them.
Functions of management
At its most basic level, management is a field of study with five essential functions: planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. These five activities are part of a larger body of knowledge on being a good manager.
Planning is the process of defining how something will be achieved. It involves setting goals and determining the best way to achieve them; it requires that you establish clear objectives for your staff, implement a plan to meet those objectives, and execute that plan.
Effective planning consists of five main steps:
- Setting clear objectives
- Identifying what tasks are needed to achieve those objectives
- Determining the best way to complete those tasks
- Creating a schedule to implement that plan, and
- Communicating, monitoring, and revising the plan throughout the process.
The term “Organizing” means to arrange things in an orderly and systematic way. It is the process of putting tasks into categories or classifying them according to some criteria or system.
The primary goal of organizing is to ensure that needed resources are provided to individuals and tasks when they are required. This includes coordinating workers’ efforts, identifying the distribution of work within an organization, allocating responsibilities among staff members, directing actions toward goals or objectives, and ensuring everyone knows their role.
Leading is the process of motivating and guiding individuals or groups toward a shared goal. Many people confuse leading with managing, but this is incorrect. Management is concerned with methods and systems; leading deals with people.
The goal of leading is to motivate those you work with by providing incentives such as opportunities for professional growth, rewards, or recognition when they do a good job and by inspiring them to give their best efforts.
The term “controlling” refers to the process of measuring how well goals or objectives are being met and taking steps toward correcting deviations from those objectives. For example, a primary goal of controlling is to ensure that the organization meets its financial targets at the end of a project or fiscal year. Controlling can also refer to measuring and managing other performance indicators such as quality, safety, and efficiency.
Managers should ensure that their employees are aware of their expectations; they need to motivate employees by providing incentives through recognition and rewards. Managers also need to monitor how well those objectives are being met. Finally, managers need to revise or modify their plans if goals are not met.
The process of hiring employees who are capable of doing what the job requires is called “Staffing.” The staffing function is crucial because it’s tough, if not impossible, to operate without adequate staff.
Good management ensures a sufficient number of qualified individuals in each position to continue unhindered operations. Staffing includes recruiting the right people, training them, reviewing their performance regularly to ensure that they’re performing as expected, and giving them feedback if they aren’t.
Levels of Manager
Managing an organization effectively will be tough without having a clear understanding and ability to influence others. This is where levels of management come into play.
Every manager is assigned a level in the organization, determining how much power and influence they have over others. The higher levels of management are also responsible for increased leadership, delegation skills, and strategic thinking.
There are four levels that all managers in an organization fit into depending on their job responsibilities and day-to-day tasks. These are:
- Front-Line Management
- Middle Management
- Senior Management
- Chief executive officer (CEO)
1. Front-Line Management
Front-line managers are responsible for most tasks and operations within an organization. They are the first point of contact for employees and ensure that all work is completed efficiently.
They report to middle management and are responsible for implementing their instructions. Front-line managers also play a vital role in developing and motivating employees.
2. Middle Management
Middle managers are responsible for planning, organizing, and controlling the work of front-line managers. They also provide support and guidance to employees and implement the strategic plans set by senior management.
They report to senior management and are responsible for:
- Defining and discussing important policies for lower management
- Guiding lower-level management to achieve better performance
- Executing organizational plans at the direction of senior management.
3. Senior Management
Senior managers are responsible for setting the overall direction of an organization and determining its short-term goals. They also oversee the work of middle management and ensure that all tasks and operations are carried out efficiently.
They report to the CEO and provide middle management guidance, feedback, and support. They also provide help with carrying out research and setting long-term strategies.
4. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The CEO is responsible for the overall success of an organization. They set their goals and strategy and develop business plans to achieve these goals. They also provide guidance and support to middle management to ensure that employees remain motivated and efficient.
3 Types of management styles
Every manager has a style of managing people. However, what is typical between all management styles is that they are made up of specific sets of values that guide their managers in bringing about an effective work environment where employees can freely contribute to their success.
There are three main management styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire.
Autocratic Management Style
If implemented correctly, the autocratic management style is perhaps the most efficient. The manager involved in this type of style makes decisions based on his knowledge or expertise; he expects employees to carry out their duties without explaining what needs to be done and in what order. He also expects employees to know their job description and carry it out accurately without requiring frequent guidance from the manager himself.
The autocratic management style can efficiently organize work processes that benefit managers and employees alike.
Due to its efficiency, however, this management style is usually tough to implement successfully. The manager uses his power and position to make decisions that he expects the employees will carry out without question, but this can lead to employees feeling their opinions are not being valued or considered seriously.
The autocratic management style has been used in all business areas, from manufacturing to hospitality and marketing, and it is very effective when used correctly. Still, if implemented incorrectly, it can lead to a breakdown in communication between managers and employees, which will hinder the company’s success.
Related: Autocratic Leadership
Laissez-faire Management Style
The laissez-faire management style is one of the easiest styles for managers to implement but one of the most difficult for new management to understand. Managers who choose this management style expect employees to be self-directed and work independently without guidance, direction, or assistance from the manager.
This management style can lead to a situation where some employees may feel their managers do not care about them and that those in charge are ignoring them. If this is done incorrectly, the employees will feel ignored and not valued or respected by their managers.
The Laissez-faire management style is usually used in small companies where it is easy for managers to keep track of what each employee does daily. However, this management style can also be implemented effectively in companies where employees are research-oriented. It gives them more freedom to use their ideas and explore different options they feel would benefit them.
The laissez-faire management style is not very efficient when it comes to efficiency but can be helpful with creativity; therefore, this type of management style works best in smaller companies where communication between management and employees is accessible.
Related: Laissez-Faire Leadership
Democracy Management Style
The democratic management style is quite common with managers who have established an environment where employees feel free to voice their opinions as long as they respect that the manager has the final say in all decisions. This management style can be implemented effectively when employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions and knowing that the manager will implement only those ideas he agrees with.
The democracy management style is less efficient than other types of management styles since it takes longer for managers to reach a consensus on decisions that need to be made, but when implemented correctly, can lead to an environment where employees are encouraged to voice their opinions and managers can use the best ideas in order to improve the company.
Related: Democratic Leadership
7 Types of Workplace Management Theories
There are many different workplace management theories, each method of planning and executing a company’s day-to-day activities.
These seven managerial leadership styles can help you figure out your style and also work on strengthening areas that might be lacking to succeed in any management role:
1. Scientific management theory
Scientific management is all about standardization and using the best possible method for each activity. This theory is attributed to Taylor and was a popular management style in the early part of the 20th century.
It focuses on labor to increase productivity and has its core principle that workers should be viewed as assembly lines rather than individuals.
2. Principles of administrative management theory
This theory was developed by Henri Fayol, a senior executive and mining engineer. He looked at an organization from the viewpoint of managers and the possible situations they might face. He believed leaders had six primary functions: planning, coordinating, commanding, and controlling. Therefore, he created principles for interacting with their team members. The principles need not be fixed, but it is up to the manager to manage effectively and efficiently.
The principles he outlined are:
- Initiative: This is the level of freedom employees should have in carrying out their responsibilities without being ordered or forced.
- Equity: This principle means that everyone should be treated equally in an organization and that there should be a climate of kindness.
- Scalar chain: This principle states that a hierarchy of supervisors should run from the top to the bottom. Communication generally flows from the top to the bottom. He stressed that any complex rules do not govern communication through the chain.
- Remuneration of employees: This principle states that there should be both non-monetary and monetary remuneration depending on performance to build a bond between the employee (and the employer).
- Unity of direction: According to this principle, there should only be one manager in each department responsible for coordinating group activities that achieve a single goal.
- Discipline: This principle requires employees to be respectful and obeyible. An organization should establish rules and regulations that clearly define rules, provide supervision, and include a reward-punishment system.
- Division of work: This principle states that management should be split and that each team member should have a role based on their interests and skills to be more efficient and effective.
- Authority and responsibility: This principle states that there should be a balance between authority (the right to make decisions and give orders) and accountability (an employee’s obligation to complete the assigned tasks).
- Unity of Command: This is the idea that employees should only receive orders from one supervisor and must be accountable only to that person.
- Subordination of individual interests to general interests: There must be harmony between the individual’s and the organization’s interests, but the corporate interest should always be first as it will reward the individual.
- Centralization: This principle states that the highest level of authority should be centralized at the top of management. They have the power to make all the important decisions within an organization.
- Order: This principle states that for an organization to function smoothly, it must have the right people doing the right jobs. Therefore, each employee and material should be given a place.
- Stability of tenure: To be effective, employees need job security.
- Espirit de Corps: This belief is that there must be a united team contribution. Cooperation is always better than the sum of individual performance.
3. Bureaucratic management theory
Developed by Max Weber, this theory focuses on the importance of clearly defined roles within a business and how authority is delegated to those roles. It also deals with how rules and laws are developed, implemented, and enforced throughout a business hierarchy. Instead of achieving goals or outcomes, this method focuses on carrying out tasks effectively and efficiently.
Related: Bureaucratic Leadership Style
4. Systems management theory
Systems management theory is a branch of systems thinking that involves designing, improving, and maintaining complex systems. It looks at how the individual parts interact to achieve the desired goal. Systems thinking is a management theory that looks at how systems operate and how to run more smoothly.
Systems thinking has helped managers improve communication, change management, and leadership skills. It also helps people identify the system they are part of and how it works. Systems thinking has its roots in biology and cybernetics.
Systems thinking was first proposed by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the 1920s and 30s. He suggested that living organisms were complex cybernetic systems that could be understood as a whole rather than individual components. In the 1950s, other scientists built on his work to create more detailed models of how systems and subsystems interact and influence one other.
Systems thinking has since been applied to various fields, including education, leadership, and organizational management. It has also been adapted for modern business practices such as marketing.
5. Contingency management theory
Contingency management theory is a behavioral theory that suggests that the best way to change someone’s behavior is first to change their environment. Dr. William Glasser developed it in the early 1960s.
This theory is based on the premise that human behavior results from an interaction between individuals and their environment. More specifically, it aims to explain how changes in the contingencies surrounding a behavior can alter the frequency of that behavior. Generally speaking, this means that if someone’s environment changes so that performing a particular task becomes more manageable, less costly, or more likely to produce the desired outcome, then that person will be more likely to do that task.
6. Theory X and Y
Theory X and Y are two different management theories that Douglas McGregor developed. Theory X is based on the idea that people inherently dislike work and avoid it whenever possible. As a result, managers need to be strict and enforce rules to get employees to work.
On the other hand, Theory Y is based on the idea that people are motivated by work and enjoy it when it is challenging. As a result, managers should trust their employees and give them the freedom to work.
7. Human relations theory
Human relations theory is how people interact with each other in organizations. It looks at the way that people communicate and collaborate, as well as how they resolve conflicts. It also examines the role of emotions in the workplace.
Many people believe that success as a manager is not based on your knowledge about management but on your abilities to communicate and interact with others. Knowledge alone may equip you with a set of skills, but it will not prepare you for the practical application of those skills. People who understand human relations theory can successfully apply their knowledge in a corporate environment to better manage the people around them.
The Qualities of a Good Manager
Many different qualities make a good manager. Some people may think that it takes a particular personality type or set of skills, but really, it depends on the individual and the situation. Some general qualities are necessary for anyone in a management position, such as solid communication skills, empathy, and motivating employees. However, specific attributes will be more important depending on the business industry or company culture.
The responsibility of managers in an organization is tremendous; they need to manage and lead people to achieve the business goals and ensure productivity. Now we will discuss some critical qualities that make a manager successful:
Vision: A good manager has a clear vision for the future and can articulate it to employees. They can see beyond the current situation and identify what needs to be done to achieve long-term success.
Strategy: Good managers develop and implement effective strategies to help them reach their goals. They think ahead and plan for potential challenges, ensuring they have a backup plan if things don’t go as planned.
Leadership: Leaders motivate people and inspire them to do their best work. They set the tone for the organization and create a positive culture where employees feel appreciated and supported.
Problem Solving: Effective problem solving is critical for managers; it allows them to handle difficult situations quickly and effectively. They need to be able to think on their feet, come up with creative solutions, and make decisions in the company’s best interest.
Decisiveness: Good managers need to make decisions quickly and confidently. They can’t afford to sit on the fence about important matters; they have to be willing to take risks and make tough calls.
Adaptability: A good manager is adaptable and can handle change well. When things don’t go as planned or new challenges arise, they can roll with the punches and find a way to succeed.
Flexibility: A good manager is also flexible in addition to being adaptable. When necessary, they can change their plans and work with employees to find a solution that works for everyone.
Communication: Strong communication skills are essential for managers; they need to communicate effectively with employees, stakeholders, and other members of the organization. They need to listen attentively and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Empathy: A good manager has empathy for their employees and understands what they’re going through. They are supportive and understanding, and they know how to give constructive feedback.
Lead by Example: Finally, a good manager leads by example. They set the tone in the organization and walk the talk. Employees look up to them as role models and follow their lead.
These are some of the essential qualities that make a good manager. Of course, every individual will have their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s crucial to find a manager who fits your specific company culture and goals well. If you’re looking for a new management position, carefully assess the company and look for these critical qualities.
Related: 10 Management Behaviours that define great leaders
Management vs. Leadership
Managers and leaders are two different roles that complement each other. A manager’s job is to ensure that the company’s employees (or team) work according to the company mission and achieve organizational goals. He should ensure all tasks are accomplished on time and within budget, provide quality targets, meet deadlines, etc.
On the other hand, a leader motivates employees to achieve organizational goals. He implements a shared vision with all employees. He inspires them to take ownership of their responsibilities to reach the end goal.
Leaders should also function as role models for their employees and serve as a source of motivation when necessary. In addition, they need to know how to communicate with employees at all levels of the organization.
There are numerous examples of great leaders who also act as managers (and vice versa). Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is a good example; he has always played both roles since co-founding the company in 1975.
Recommended: What is Leadership?
Management is an essential part of any organization, large or small. The roles and responsibilities of managers vary depending on the level and type of management. Still, the goal is always to ensure that the organization runs smoothly and achieves its goals.
Whether you are a manager yourself or just someone who wants to understand what management is all about, we hope this article has been helpful. Please share this article if this article was helpful.
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