Management can be defined as a series of actions which includes planning, organising leading and controlling the resources owned by the corporate in order to accomplish goals which are set by the corporate in an efficient and effective way. (Davidson et al 2009, pg 9; Bartol et al 2008, pg 7; Mullins 2005, pg 34; Jones and George 2006) Therefore, management is actually about practising the four basic functions and without it, most probably the company's goal will not be achieved. What a manager actually doing is accomplishing the corporate goals by making use of the resources efficiently and effectively (Lussier 2009, pg 6).
In order to achieve the organization's goals, managers will carry out the four management functions which are planning, organising, leading and controlling. Among the four functions, planning and leading will be discussed. The first function which is planning is an action of setting goals of a corporate and determines the most efficient and effective way to achieve it (Lussier 2009, pg 6). Planning is crucial for organizations as a good planning allows an organization to know how to allocate the resources and determine the best way to achieve it and this will often lead to success. For example, before Michael Dell had success in the computer industry, he paid so much effort in planning where he set up his goals, decides on the options available and also plan in how to allocate his limited resources (Jones and George 2006).
The second function is leading where “others are influenced to engage in work behaviours to reach organizational goals” (Bartol et al 2008, pg 7). The style of leading had changed as compared to the past. Some organizations may practise autocratic leadership style during the past but it is no longer applicable in today's world according to Johnson and Johnson findings cited by Levasseur (2005). Instead of autocratic style of management, Levasseur (2005) suggested that managers should practise participative style of management which is focusing on interact and motivate employees. An interaction with the employees will help to create a sense of belonging of the employees in the organization and this will lead to a full contribution from the employees to the organization.
Other than the four functions, Henry Mintzberg says that managers have ten roles which can be classified into three categories which is interpersonal, informational and decisional roles. The first example is the role of spokesperson under informational category. Spokesperson is a role where a manager is holding the responsibility to convey relevant information regarding the company to the stakeholders. (Mullins 2005, p. 208). Therefore, spokesperson is considered as the bridge between the stakeholders and the company. In order to play this role well, communication skills are crucial as they need to transmit the information in a way that others will fully understand. As a real life example, the regional head of commercial from Air Asia, Kathleen Tan has spoke to the media and the public regarding the increasing in the frequency of flights to Hang Zhou in the February.
The next example of a manager's role is the role of figurehead under interpersonal roles. As a figurehead, the manager is responsible to represent the company in attending formal events (Mullins 2005, p. 207). As an example of figurehead, the Cambodia Country's manager of Maybank, Jubely Pa had represented the company in the opening ceremony of the company's seventh branch in January 2010. As a figurehead, interpersonal skill is important. The manager should play a good job in communicate and understand others. Without good interpersonal skill, managers will be less effective in carry out the managerial jobs as a poor communicator will not be able to give clear instructions and motivate the employees.
The third role is disseminator under informational role where the manager holds responsibility to send out information to the employees (Lussier 2009 p. 14). Communication skills again play an important role here. It is important for the managers to send out relevant information to the employees in order for them to know more about the operations of the business. When an employee understands about the company, they will pay more effort in helping the company to achieve its goals (Herring 2008). Therefore, a manager must always update the employees with information about the company so that they will fully contribute to the company. For example, Chevron's retail district manager in Hong Kong, Liman Yung will let his subordinates to know about the company's objectives and also eager to get feedbacks from the subordinates (Huen 2007).
In today's world, there are so many changes every day and this causes changes in the way of management. Globalization forces manager to adapt themselves in managing diversity instead of monoculture employees. Diverse workforce is made up from different cultures, religions behaviours and others. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (cited in Bartol et al 2008, p. 82), 66 percents of the workers are Australian while the remainder are from other different countries. Through a good management, diversity workforce can actually benefit an organization in many ways like improving bottom line, increase competitive advantage and improve organization's performance (McCuiston 2004). For example, Coca-Cola is practising a diverse workforce and uses their understanding in diverse labour force to come out with marketing campaigns. (Bartol et al 2008, p. 22).
Today's manager also has to manage change and innovation. Change is the “alteration of the status quo” (Bartol et al 2008, p.282). A change will causes impact to organizations as managers have to change the way of management to cope with or minimize the interference. There are many incidents that happen recently had cause changes towards the organisations, for example, the global financial crisis in 2008 which caused the economic downturn. Therefore, organizations should always be in its healthiest state to cope with sudden changes. Innovation is where new ideas came in for the purpose of improvement. Innovation is important to managers as technology or products advancement is taking place every day. An organization which is reluctant to innovate will fall behind others as good innovation will lead to improvement of an organization. According to Lengnick-Hall and Bower & Christensen (cited in Bartol et al 2008, p.22), “successful firms [are] increasingly emphasise innovation opportunities”. For example, Nokia had changed from an industrial corporation in the early days to today's one of the largest hand phones provider.
In conclusion, the manager's final goal is actually helping the company to reach targeted goals. Although the way of management may change throughout the years, this will never change the goal of a manager in helping the company to reach its goals.
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