Our society is made up of all kinds of organizations such as
companies, government departments, unions, hospitals, schools, libraries, and
the like. These organizations are guided by the directions of one or more
individuals designated as "managers".
Managers do not exist only in business. Managers are found in large numbers in government agencies, hospitals, churches, and universities. Any organized group, even the smallest, needs a manager. A manager is someone responsible for the performance of one or more persons, who plans, organizes, controls, and directly supervises one or more people in a formal organization. The manager must be a planner, communicator, coordinator, leader, and controller; and most of all the manager must be a facilitator.
Management is the process undertaken by one or more individuals to coordinate the activities of others to achieve results not achievable by one individual acting alone.
Management was studied by different scientists. I mention some of them.
The well-known American business professor and consultant Peter Drucker believes that the work of management is to make people productive. Drucker's view emphasizes performance, quality, and service.
Another view of management is presented by Peters and Waterman. They believe that managers should coach in the field - with workers and in support of the cherished product. Managers are excellent communicators and value shapers, lightning rods to get the job done.
Management is the process of achieving organisational objectives, within a changing environment, by balancing efficiency, effectiveness and equity, obtaining the most from limited resources, and working with and through other people.
There are two reasons why management is so important. The quality and vigour of managers are the most vital ingredients for success of any enterprise. This is true not only in business but in government, charitable associations, churches, universities, or any other organization. Our life depends on managers decisions. To live well, we should produce well. To produce well, we should manage well. This is the first reason.
Most people know the process by which green plants turn water and carbon dioxide into food. It is called photosynthesis. This chemical reaction takes place only in the presence of light. Without light, there is no reaction. The light acts as a catalyst - it is an agent that makes things happen. But if the catalyst becomes too strong, if there is too much light, the plant dies.
The analogy is obvious. Good managers are catalysts. They are agents that make a business work efficiently. The results of catalyc managers are easily measured by the successful performance of their groups. Poor management, though, is an anticatalyst.
Second, individuals not trained as managers often find themselves in managerial positions. Many individuals presently being trained to be teachers, accountants, musicians, salespersons, artists, physicians, or lawyers will one day earn their living as managers. They will manage schools, accounting firms, orchestras, sales organisations, museums, hospitals, and government agencies.
In very large companies, there may be 10 or 12 levels of managers between the president and the workers in the factory. But the main levels are lower, middle and top.
Many early writers sought to outline the functions of managers. Chief among them was a Frenchman named Henri Fayol, manager of a large coal company. Fayol’s chief desire was to elevate the status of management practice. He wrote in 1916 a classic definition of a manager’s role. He said that to manage is “to forecast and plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate and to control.” In this way Fayol identified five functions in which managers must be engaged:
Planning: the manager should make the best possible forecast of events that may affect the firm and should draw up plans to guide future decisions.
Organizing: this managerial function determines the appropriate machines, material and human mix necessary to accomplish the planned courses for action.
Commanding: to be successful, the manager should set a good example and thoroughly know the personnel and the firm. Managers should have direct, two-way communication with subordinates. Furthermore, managers should continually evaluate the organizational structure and subordinates. They should not hesitate to change the structure if they consider it faulty or to fire subordinates who are incompetent.
Coordinating: this function includes activities that bind together all individual efforts and direct them toward a common objective.
Controlling: this function means ensuring that actual activities are consistent with plans.
An interesting modern view on managers is supplied by an American writer Peter Drucker. He has spelled out what managers do. In his opinion, managers perform five basic operations:
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