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Functions of Management

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Functions of Management

Virtually everyone is aware of the infamous "dot-com" crash in early 2000. However, not everyone is as conscious of the telecom bust. According to the editorial of The Economist, The Great Telecoms Crash, "The telecoms bust is some ten times bigger than the dotcom crash: the rise and fall of telecoms may indeed qualify as the largest bubble in history." Companies caught up in the telecommunications industry were forced to take huge debt write-offs and even resorted to fraudulent accounting tricks as displayed by WorldCom (Economist). Being involved in the manufacturing segment of the telecom market, I witnessed first hand the results of the crash, including massive layoffs, hostile corporate take-over, and enormous company debt. Many top managers and front-line supervisors were so consumed with demands, changes and challenges of the exponential growth of the telecom market that portions of the four functions of management were short-circuited , which are planning, organizing, leading and controlling.

The first function for managers at all levels is to engage in planning. Planning involves devising a scheme for attaining the goals of the organization. "Planning is setting goals and deciding on courses of action, developing rules and procedures, developing plans and forecasting" (Dessler 5). One method of how our company accomplishes this endeavor is defining the mission, which is the purpose of our organization. Planning involves setting goals, and our organization formulated the goals into a tree. This tree consisted of revenue growth, earnings before income taxes and appreciation (EBITA), productivity, free cash flow, and people.

The key matter in accomplishing the goals set forth in the planning process is configuring the work of the organization. Organizing is defined as gathering and arranging the necessary resources. These resources can be human, financial, physical, or informational to carry out the plan. Our company has organizational charts for each level and shows job titles, lines of authority and relationships between departments. One aspect of the organizing function that is apparent in our business is the production manager matching employee skill level with task requirements to maximize productivity.

The third significant task that a manager does is leading. The textbook by Bateman-Snell, Management: The New Competitive Landscape, simply defines leading as stimulating people to be high performers. A leader can be a manager, but a manager is not necessarily a leader. With years of being in the workforce, I have come to believe that a manager is not necessarily a leader. There have been several managers that were proficient at the administrative aspects, which are planning, organizing and controlling but lacked the interpersonal portion of the manager's job. Recently, another corporation purchased our company, and with the looming transition approaching, there was anxiety concerning the restructuring and inevitable layoffs. However, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) gave a town hall presentation and afterward the anxieties were abated and employees were as enthused and confident as the COO that the



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