The manager's role. Our society is made up of all kinds of organisations, such as companies, government departments, unions, страница 4


It generally is acknowledged that all managers and supervisors perform certain basic managerial functions. The words used to describe these functions vary. In this book they are called: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Below is a short, general description of each of these functions. Most of the book is devoted to the specifics of each of these functions.


Planning is that managerial function which consists of determining what should be done in the future. It consists of determining the goals, objectives, policies, procedures, and other plans needed to achieve the purposes of the organization. In planning, the manager contemplates various alternative courses which are available. Planning is mental work; it is primarily intellectual in nature. Planning means thinking before acting; it means looking ahead and preparing for the future; laying out in advance the road to be followed; thinking about what and how the job should be done. It includes collecting and sorting data and information from numerous sources in order to make decisions.

Many supervisors find that they are constantly confronted with one crisis after another. The probable reason for this is that they do not plan; they do not look ahead. It is every supervisor's duty to plan, and this cannot be delegated to someone else. Certain specialists, such as a personnel director or a production scheduler, may provide the supervisor with assistance in planning; but it is up to each supervisor, as the manager of the department, to make plans. Of course, these plans must coincide with the general, broad objectives established by higher levels of management. But within general and overall objectives, directives and boundaries, it remains for each supervisor to determine specific departmental plans.

Planning comes before the supervisor performs any of the other managerial functions. Even as the supervisor proceeds with other managerial functions, planning continues, previous plans are revised, and different alternatives are chosen as the need arises. This is particularly true as a supervisor evaluates the results of previous plans and adjusts future plans accordingly. Although planning is the function that comes first, the supervisor will continue to plan while performing the other managerial functions.


Organizing means to answer the question, "How will the work be divided and accomplished?" To answer this question, the supervisor must define, group and assign job duties. The supervisor determines and enumerates the various activities which are required, assigns these activities, and at the same time gives subordinates the authority needed to carry out the activities assigned. Organizing means designing the department's structural framework within which the various duties are performed and deciding how the duties should be performed.

The structural framework of a department must fit into the overall framework of the organization. When designing the organization's overall structural framework, the top executive must make sure that authority relationships between various departmental supervisors are appropriately aligned. This requires the executive to give authority to the supervisor. It is absolutely essential for a supervisor to possess authority in order to manage effectively; this will be discussed later in this chapter. In performing departmental organizing functions, the supervisor in turn clarifies problems of authority and responsibility within the department.


Staffing is the managerial function of selecting and training employees. It involves the problems of appraising their performance, of promoting them, and of providing them with further opportunities for development. In addition, staffing includes devising an appropriate system and rate of pay. Some of the specific activities involved in the staffing function might be handled by the personnel department in some companies. The basic day-to-day responsibility, for staffing, however, remains with the supervisor.