1. WHAT IS BUSINESS?
Business is a word, which is commonly used in many different languages. But exactly what does it mean? The concepts and activities of business have increased in modern times. Traditionally, business simply meant exchange or trade for things people wanted or needed. Today it has a more technical definition. One definition of business is the production, distribution, and sale of goods and services for a profit. To examine this definition, we will look at its various parts.
2. WHAT IS A MANAGER?
A number of different terms are often used instead of the term “manager”, including “director”, “administrator” and “president”. The term “manager” is used more frequently in profit-making organization, while the others are used more widely in government and non-profit organizations such as universities, hospitals and social work agencies.
So, whom do we call a “manager”?
In its broad meaning, the term “manager” applies to the people who are responsible for making and carrying out decisions within a certain system. A personnel manager directly supervises people in an organization. Financial manager is a person who is responsible for finance. Sales manager is responsible for selling of goods. A marketing manager is responsible for promotion of products on the market.
3. DIFINITION OF MANAGEMENT
One reason people go to college is that college prepares them to become managers. Students have told us, “I don’t know what I want to do, really. I guess I would like to be in management.” Management is attractive to students because it represent authority, money, prestige, and so on. But few students are able to describe just what it is that managers do.
Management could be called the art of getting things done through people and other resources. Managers give direction to their organizations, provide leadership, and decide how to use organizational resources to accomplish goals. Both definitions give you some idea for what managers do.
4. MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS.
Management plays a vital role in any business or organized activity. Management is composed of a team of managers who have charge of the organization at all levels. Regardless of the specific job, most managers perform four basic functions: 1) planning, 2) organizing, 3) directing, 4) controlling. Planning involves determining overall company objectives and deciding how these goals can best be achieved. Organizing, the second management function is the process of putting the plan into action. In directing, managers guide, teach, and motivate workers so that they reach their potential abilities and at the same time achieve the company goals that were established in the planning process. Effective managers meet the objectives of the company through successful combination of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling.
Planning is the first managerial function used to pursue organizational goals. Planning involves the process of setting objectives. Therefore, it is important to understand what goals are and how they differ from objectives. Goals are the broad, long-term aims an organization wishes to attain. Objectives, on the other hand, are specific, short-term statements detailing how to achieve the goals. Strategic planning determines the major goals of the organization and the policies and strateries for obtaining and using resources to achieve those goals. Tactical planning is the process of developing detailed, short-term decision about what is to be done, who is to do it, ahd how it is to be done. Contingency planning is the preparation of alternative courses of action that may be used if the primary plans do not achieve the objectives of the organization.
How often have you heard the comment, “One of these days we’ll have to get organized?” Clearly, organization is an important managerial task. Basically, organizing means allocating resources, assigning tasks, and establishing procedures for accomplishing the organizational objectives.
The basic concepts are rather easy to understand because you already have some organizing experience. For example, if you have ever played baseball, you know you have to gather together some materials: gloves, ball, bat. Then you have to find people to play the various positions. (in business, this is called staffing.) Then each person is assigned some task: first, base, pitcher, outfield, and so on. Someone must decide who bats first, who second and so on.
When organizing, a manager develops a structure or framework that relates all workers, tasks, and resources to each other.
After the plans are made and the organization is designed, managers must direct the workers in activities to meet the goals and objectives of the organization. Directing involves giving assignments, explaining routines, clarifying policies, and providing feedback on performance.
All managers, from top managers to first-line supervisors, direct employees.
The process of directing is quite different, however, at the various levels of the organization. The top managers are concerned with the broad overview of where the company is heading. Their immediate subordinates are middle managers, who are responsible, in turn, for directing employees to meet company objectives. The directions of top managers to subordinates, therefore, are characteristically broad and open-ended. The further down the corporate ladder, the more specific the manager’s directions become. First-line managers in the past often allocated most of their time to giving specific, detailed instructions to employees.
Often managers get so involved with the planning process and the day-to-day crisis management of the firm that they tend to shortchange the control function. The controlling function involves measuring performance relative to objectives and standards and taking corrective actions when necessary. The control function, therefore, is the heart of the management system because it provides the feedback that enables managers and works to adjust to any deviations from plans and to changes that have occurred in the environment that have affected performance.
Let’s say you are a runner and you say you want to “improve” your distance. When you started your improvement plan last year, you ran two miles a day. Now you run 2.1 miles a day. Did you meet your goal? Well, you did increase your distance, but certainly not very much.