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The Four Functions of Management

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The Four Functions of Management

Management is accomplished through four functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. According to Bateman-Snell, planning is the management function of systematically making decisions about the goals and activities that an individual, a group, a work unit, or the overall organization will pursue in the future. Organizing is the management function of assembling and coordinating human, financial, physical, informational, and other resources needed to achieve goals. Leading is the management function that involves the manager's efforts to stimulate high performance by employees. Controlling is the management function of monitoring progress and making needed changes. The four functions of management, in a day care facility, the four functions of management are applied and utilized.

The first function is planning. In this function, you are setting goals and objectives, then scheduling the steps to achieve the goals in a certain time. Then you need to decide on the resources that are needed to ensure that the objectives are met.

Pre-planning can save a tremendous amount of time. One way to do this is to use SWOT analysis completed by senior management before you even start the planning process. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Completing a SWOT analysis will save you almost an entire hour in the planning process (Rowland, R. p.4).

In a day care facility, they are constantly planning. They are planning on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. On a daily basis, they are planning pick-up and drop-off of the children, preparation of meals, clean up of the facility, and attendance sheets. On a weekly basis, they are planning activities for the children and grocery shopping. On a monthly basis, there is the paperwork that needs to be submitted, automobile servicing, and a detailed clean up of the facility.

The next function is organizing. In this function they are allocating and configuring resources to accomplish the goals and objectives. A CEO of a major company uses organizational charts, which outline the various areas of functional responsibility and levels of authority, the hierarchy of the company. He said, "Of course, that is not the way that it works." He then proceeded to draw a number of dotted lines across the various functional divisions and levels of authority, explaining that these were the lines of communication which really governed day-to-day operations. He was astute enough to recognize that while organization charts are necessary to define responsibility and accountability, they cannot be allowed to define channels of communication and even the responsibility for taking action. Otherwise, the company would be so slow and cumbersome in making decisions and taking action that it would be almost totally ineffective (Suutari, p12-14). In a daycare they use this function in order to be effective in their goals of caring for the children. The capacity as to how many children are in the facility, the files most be organized and up-dated, and the ratio of care must be organized.

Then, there is the leading function of management. In this function leading is establishing direction and influencing people to follow that direction. This function involves the manager's efforts

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