Question

The new chief executive officer (CEO) of your company is a strong believer in the four functions of management theory. In preparation for a management meeting, he has asked you to write a report that he can use to explain the theory to his management team. In the report, he would like to see some specific examples of firms that practiced these four functions. For a company with which you are familiar, use each of the four functions to do the following:

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  • Assess how the overall management team performed in terms of the four functions of management, which are as follows:
    • Planning
    • Organizing
    • Leading
    • Controlling
  • Identify and explain the strong points of the managers.
  • Identify and explain areas in which improvement is needed.

If you do not have any firsthand experiences, ask friends or colleagues for anecdotes or search the Web for specific, real-life examples.

Specifically regarding the controlling function of management, answer the following questions:

  • How did most employees feel about the monitoring of activities that managers put in place to monitor employee performance and overall company performance?
  • How well was the need for control and monitoring explained to everyone before the controls were put in place?
  • Did the controls have a meaningful impact on the overall department or company performance? Cite some specific examples.

Answer:

Management

Management functions of controlling, planning, organizing, and leading are responsible for the success or failure of various organizations. The manager’s input with respect to the four functions determines whether the company would attain its vision and mission. Successful company’s attribute their achievements to how best their managers integrated and applied the management functions in the organization (Kinicki & Williams, 2010). The four functions of management are interrelated and absence of one function would result to failure of the management. Thus, managers attempt to implement theoretical models of the management functions in their firms to attain the desired objects.

Planning

Planning function is a process of designing the objectives of the company and developing approaches of achieving those objectives (Carpenter, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2013). The management of the firm must create a plan and evaluate the viability of the plan before executing it. In fact it entails identifying what the company needs to do, how to do it, where and when to do it, who to do it and the expected results. In practice, firms such as Zara attribute their success to effective management. It has created successful plans on how to produce products on time and coordinate with marketing factors to reach the target consumers on time. Zara’s success borders on the market theory, which states that if retailer is able focus on the demand accurately and provide the information to the producer in advance, the producer would be able to produce in mass hence reducing the cost of production and other cost (Loeb, 2013). The company has been able to reduce production and inventory costs using this theory.

Organizing

Organizing function refers to the process of providing the firm with everything that is needful to its functioning. It is arranging people, tasks, and all the necessary resources to accomplish the organization’s objectives (Carpenter, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2013). To function effectively, the firm should receive raw materials, capital, tools, and personnel. The management should be able to arrange the organizational tasks, utilize the resources, and the personnel to attain the objects of the firm. Normally, the management would use the plans of the company to design approaches of acquiring the necessary items needed to run the firm. In Zara, organizing function is evident in the manner in which the company runs its activities from the company’s headquarters in La Coruna, Spain (Loeb, 2013). It has various outlets in Europe, Asia, and America, yet it coordinates the activities of the outlets without hitch.

Leading

Leading function encompasses three sub-functions namely communication, leadership and motivation. Leading is the process of influencing and arousing the desires of the employees to perform organizational activities (Kinicki, & Williams, 2010). The management employs various techniques to motivate the employees. For example, Zara motivates its employees by offering monitory rewards and psychological encouragement (Loeb, 2013). It recognizes the input of every employee. It also uses the information technology to communicate to its employees. This approach enables the company to implement its objective with ease.

Controlling

Controlling function is the process of ensuring that organizational activities occur in conformity with the established plans. Controlling involves establishing standards of performance, evaluating performance against the set standards, and correcting areas that have not met the standards (Kinicki, & Williams, 2010). The management of Zara approaches controlling function by setting performance standards for each department, it monitors the performance of these departments. It abolishes or improves departments that are unproductive to the company.

Monitoring activities put in place by managers made the employees to feel obliged to company’s success or failure. The employees hold the view that poor performance would amount to failure of the company. The manager of the company gave a detail explanation of the importance of control and monitoring employees’ performance. The explanation was adequate because it made the employees to realize their role in influencing the company’s failure of success.

The controls have brought meaningful impact in the overall performance of the company. For example, Zara controls and measure the performance of its employees. It boost of effective performance that has let to high profits. In the absence of control and monitoring, the company might not boost of good results.

The strong points of Zara’s manager are the ability to create a concrete plan for the company. Zara has success borders on its effective plans that have enabled it to compete favorably in the apparel industry (Loeb, 2013). He has effective plan on how to compete with rival companies, reduce costs, and address the needs of the consumers on time. Another strong point of the manager is the ability to lead the company. Many employees are contented with his leadership. He motivates the employees to feel as part of the company.

Zara should improve its internal and external coordination because it defines the success of the company. The activities of the company largely depend on how best departments of the organization work together. In addition, sharing of information among the departments affect how fast the company is able to create plans and act on the same. Another item that Zara should improve is motivation of the employees. Employees determine the success or failure of an organization through their approach to work (Robbins, & Judge, 2012). The employees should demonstrate the urge to lead the company to the desired goals. Notably, motivation is a continuous process.

 

References

Carpenter, M., Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2013). Principles of Management, v. 1.1. New York: Prentice Hall.

Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. (2010). Management: A Practical Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Loeb, W. (2013). Zara’s Secret To Success: The New Science Of Retailing. Retrieved on 24 July 2014 http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterloeb/2013/10/14/zaras-secret-to-success-the-new-science-of-retailing-a-must-read/

Robbins, P. S., & Judge, A. T. (2012). Organizational Behavior 15th Edition. New York: Prentice Hall.

 

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