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What is Management: Definition, Levels, and Functions

Management is essential for personal and professional life alike. Good managers form the backbone of successful organizations. Hence, it is necessary to find good managers who lead their teams towards better performances. However, different managers adopt different management styles as well. So, what is management? What are these various management styles? How does one describe the different levels of management? What are the functions managers must perform? Let us have a look.

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What is Management?

According to Van Fleet and Peterson, management is defined “as a set of activities directed at the efficient and effective utilization of resources in the pursuit of one or more goals. Hence, management involves one’s tasks at home or in a business environment.  We will be focusing on the business management definition and how it can affect your business’ performance.

Contemporary organizations are very complex with constant changes and innovation. The efficient management of various functions is necessary to keep everything in check and run the organization smoothly.  Managing in the workplace then becomes an act of creating a business environment where every member of the organization can work as a team and achieve business objectives efficiently and effectively. However, it is important to note that management and leadership differ. One can be a good manager without being a good leader, and vice versa.

Read: Management vs Leadership: How they differ

Levels of Management

There are different levels of management in an organization’s hierarchy. These three levels are Top-level management, Middle-level management, and Lower-level management.

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Top level management

This is the highest level in the hierarchy. Top-level management involves executives, directors, and every other person involved in the decision-making process at the top of the organization. People at this level of management create organizational goals, objectives, formulate plans, strategies, and so on.

Middle Level management

Middle-level management plays the role of the communicator or linker between the top-level managers and lower-level managers. This level includes departmental and divisional heads and managers who are leading various teams that help the organization with different functions. They are responsible for controlling and managing the plans and strategies set out by top-level management.

Lower level management

Lower-level management is also known as functional or operational management. This is because it includes first-line managers and supervisors who oversee everyday tasks and operations. Lower-level managers are directly in contact with workers and are responsible to deal with everyday requirements to keep the organization functional.

Functions of Management

The functions of management have 5 parts: Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, and Controlling.

Planning

This may be the most important function of management. This process consists of making strategies, policies, production schedules, simulations, and so on. Furthermore, planning is carried out by top-level managers. However, other levels and employees have to be involved to make the process more efficient.

team management

Organizing

Resources must be organized once the plans have been made. This is where the organizing function of management comes in. Furthermore, the organization of resources involves assigning tasks, allocating resources and people, and making sure all functions have the necessary equipment to be carried out.

Staffing

This process involves hiring personnel for the different tasks that have to be completed. Staffing decisions are very important. If done incorrectly, job performance will be inefficient. Moreover, this process may also involve the training of the hired personnel.

Directing

This is the process through which managers guide, motivate, and supervise subordinates towards the fulfillment of organizational goals and objectives. Hence, this is where the leadership qualities of managers will come into play the most, where they will have to deal with various problems related to their teams and make sure to solve them.

management in work

Controlling

The controlling function of management involves making sure everything is going smoothly and according to the laid-out plans. This involves a number of steps that have to be taken to make sure that the performance of the employees is as per the plans. Moreover, If performance is below par, corrective action must be taken to make sure actual performance meets the required standards.

Management is an important aspect of successfully running an organization. This is because organizations that manage their employees and operations efficiently tend to be more profitable and successful. Are you fulfilling the aforementioned functions of management in your personal and professional life?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

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Syed Muhammad Ismail
Writer and Content Developer at PACE Business.With interests in Sports and Business, Ismail combined the two when he started his entrepreneurial journey. Along with the PACE Business, he has been running a sports management company, manufacturing Awards and Memorabilia for International sporting events. Check us out at: @sparkinnv

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