What are the main functions of management?

What are the main functions of management?

Management is a process which refers to various functions which a manager performs in an organization. Various management scholars studies different organizations at different times and identified separate functions of management. For instance, Henry Fayol, the father of functional management remarked, “To manage is to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control.”


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Thus, Henry Fayol classified management functions into five categories they are as given under:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Staffing
  • Direction and Leadership
  • Coordinating
  • Controlling
  • Motivation



Planning function determines the objectives to be achieved and the course of action to be followed to achieve them. It is a mental process requiring the use of intellectual facilities, for sight and sound judgment. It is selecting and relating of facts and making and using of assumptions regarding the future in the visualization and formation of proposed activities believed necessary to achieve the desired results. It involves deciding in advance what to do, when to do it, where to do it, how to do it and who is to do it and how the results are to be evaluated. Thus, planning is the systematic thinking about the ways and the mans for the accomplishment of predetermined objectives.

Organizing and Organization

Organization or organizing is an important managerial activity by which managers bring together the manpower and material resources for the achievement of objectives of the enterprises. Organization has also been defied as the process of establishing relationships among the members of the enterprise. The relationships are created in terms of authority and responsibility. Each member in the organization is assigned a specific responsibility or duty to perform and is granted the corresponding authority to perform his duty. Thus,  organization involves identification and grouping the activities to be performed and dividing them among the individuals and creating authority and responsibility relationships among them.



Staffing is an executive which involves the recruitment, selection, training, placement, compensating promotion and demotion and finanlly the retirement of an employee. Thus, staffing is a process of managing the organization and keeping it manned. The sole aim of staffing is to take right man for the right job. It needs manpower planning, job analysis and such other staff functions. It is the capacity of hired personnel which governs the future of the business enterprise.

Direction and Leadership

Direction and leadership is an important function of management. As the process of management is concerned with getting work done through and with people, they require continuous encouragement to work effectively. According to Terry, “Directing means moving to action and supplying simulative power to group of persons. “So management guides and leads tem continuously. It imparts instructions to them, communicates them orders, rules and decisions, motivates, provides leadership and guidance, supervises their work and behavior, inspires them towards improved performance. Though it is very simple to define direction than to proactive it. It requires foresight and experience.



Some others considers co-ordination as a separate function of management while many others call it as “essence of manager-ship”. The process of co-ordination involves synchronizing individual actions with the goals of the enterprise. Today, organizations have grown in size and in character. A large number of people work there in. So co-ordination has become very necessary. In the words of koonty and O Donnell. “The best co-ordination occurs when individuals see how their jobs contribute to the dominant goals of the enterprise. This implies knowledge and understanding of enterprise objectives.”


The next function of management is controlling. In the words of Henry Fayol, “In an undertaking control consists in verifying whether every thing occurs in conformity with the plan adapted, the instructions issued and principles issued.” Thus, the control is a measuring and corrective device. It measures performance against goals and plans. Where as planning guides the management in the timely use of resources to accomplish specific goals, the control ensures the effective planning.


The term, motivation, is derived from the word ‘motive’ which means a need or an idea emotion that prompts an individual into action. It is a psychological process of creating urge among the subordinate to do certain things or behave in a desired manner. Motivation is an acto fo or behave in a desired manner. Motivation is a act of providing personnel an inspiration to get to their hobs with zeal and enthusiasm and perform efficiently the work assigned to the management. Management has responsibility to utilize the capacity of its task force to the maximum. This could only be possible with the help of motivated personally who, if satisfactorily and effectively motivated, would pull their respective weigh in right direction and gave their loyalty to the enterprise wholeheartedly. They would then carry out the activities allocated to them with purposeful sincerity.

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