Managerial Functions: Plan, Organize, Lead, Control

There are four key components involved in effective management. The components are planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Managers will be faced with multiple roles in their jobs; the roles they play are categorized as interpersonal roles, informational roles and decisional roles. Interpersonal roles are multifaceted and are geared at the accomplishment of tasks through the efforts of others. Among the interpersonal roles managers encounter are leaders to their employees and as liaisons to persons and groups both internal and external.

In informational roles, managers gather information from a variety of sources and distribute it through the proper channels. The decisional role of management is the one most associated with the position. In this role, the manager makes decisions that affect the company and its stakeholders (Bovee, Thill & Mescon, 2007). Planning For managers, planning is the process of developing strategies for success, establishing goals and objectives for their organization and the development of courses of action based on their strategy. An important practice for managers is strategic planning.

Strategic planning is the outlay of long term goals and planning the actions that will achieve those goals. Part of the strategic planning process is the development of a business model. The business model outlines how the company will generate revenue. There are additional items involved in the strategic planning process. The first of these is the development of a clear vision of how the company will grow and improve in the future. The second is the creation of a mission statement which lays out how to realistically achieve the vision of the company.

Third is performing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. Fourth, a company develops forecasts or predictions of future occurrences involving what will occur and when and also the impact it will have on the business. Fifth the competition should be analyzed to compare costs, product similarities and unique qualities and to determine the focus strategy for the company. The sixth element of strategic planning is the establishment of goals and objectives. Goals are general accomplishments a company wishes to obtain over the long term, typically 5 years or more.

Objectives are specific short term plans, typically 12 months that are developed to help work towards those goals. The final component of strategic planning is the development of action plans. The action plan outlines the steps that will be taken to achieve the long term goals (Bovee, Thill & Mescon, 2007). In 2008, Starbucks Coffee unveiled new plans to help cope with a faltering economy and to transform the company in an effort to remain competitive. In following the concept of planning, Starbucks executive management began by laying out long-term goals.

The goals given by CEO and President Howard Schultz were to strengthen the core-business meaning their coffee and partners, elevate the experience of the customers and making decisions and investments to facilitate the long term growth of the company. In order to achieve these goals, some hard decisions had to be considered. One of the plans being put into action is the closing of 600 company owned stores throughout the US. In addition, a great amount of restructuring was undertaken to position the company for worldwide transformation.

One step taken in investment for long term growth was the acquisition of the Coffee Equipment Company, manufacturer of the Clover brewing system, a system that is considered to brew the best cup of coffee out there. In addition, other technological changes have been implemented in existing equipment. In order to strengthen relations with customers and “elevate” the experience, Starbucks began a rewards program to Starbucks card holders, a practice long successful with many hotels and airlines (Starbucks, 2008). Organizing To effectively carry out the plans created by management, companies must have a structure in place.

The development of this structure is achieved through organizing. In order to organize, managers have to think through all processes performed by employees and determine the structure to best carry out those processes. When organizing, management must determine the personnel that will be most effective to carry out the plans of the business. In addition, they must decide what equipment will be needed in order to achieve the company’s goals. They must also decide on the proper facilities for the implementation of their strategy.

When organizing, managers should think ahead and consider all contingencies. Employee turnover can create problems because employees trained on the processes and systems must be replaced by new personnel with no training. Equipment and technology becomes dated and will over time become obsolete. Over time, facilities may need to be expanded to adapt to changes in the needs of the company (Bovee, Thill & Mescon, 2007). General Electric has faced difficulties similar to many large, multi-faceted companies. One of the main difficulties has been in the complex structure of the company.

Operating multiple business segments, each containing multiple businesses has led to problems in developing strategies for growth and innovation. In July of 2008 Jeff Immelt, CEO, announced a complete restructuring of the company into four business segments. In announcing the change, Immelt stated that “we have structured the company to best utilize our strong leadership team while maximizing synergy and execution. ” The new organization created four segments, GE Technology Infrastructure, GE Energy Infrastructure, GE Capital and NBC Universal.

The company structure under the new segment is overseen by a Vice Chairman who is responsible for that segment. Each individual business within the sectors is led by a President who oversees the operational components of that business. That president has Vice Presidents under him who are over the individual modalities of each business. Under the Vice Presidents are General Managers, who could be classified as middle managers, who oversee the modalities. The General Managers oversee front line managers who perform the various tasks for day-to-day operations (General Electric, 2008).

Leading Leading is the act of positively moving employees in a direction that is in line with the goals of the company. It is important to understand that managing and leading are not the same. A manager that is not a good leader will find it difficult to inspire and motivate employees, even if they are a good manager. There are several key factors that make a manager an effective leader. Managers with good self awareness are able to understand their personal feelings and the effect of those feelings on those around them.

Those with good skills in self-regulation are able to keep their emotions in check and avoid outbursts and disruptions based on their mood. Managers who are motivated do not stop when expectations are met; they strive to exceed those expectations while moving others to do the same. Managers with a good sense of empathy are aware of the feelings of their employees and factor them in when making decisions. Finally, managers with good social skills have the ability to associate with others and a talent for finding some level of commonality with people of various backgrounds (Bovee, Thill & Mescon, 2007).

The traits of a leader lend to certain styles of leadership. These traits are controlled by the personality of the individual as well as the atmosphere and culture of the company. Autocratic leaders are in full control of the processes of the company. In this style of management, the manager restricts the ability of others to make decisions. This style is productive when used in the right setting and situation but is thought by many to be a dated method of leading. Democratic Leaders retain less power delegating responsibilities to others and involving employees in the process of decision making.

The final management style is the laissez-faire style. Laissez-faire management takes a hands’ off approach with the manager taking a role as more of a consultant than a leader. These managers value the opinion of the employees and give them empowerment over their jobs. This leadership skill is most effective in highly skilled and/or creative professions when employee contribution is greater by being able to work outside the constraints of conventional process. FMC is a company with a number of responsibilities from mining to government contracting.

Their Aberdeen facility, one of the government contractors, was organized by Bob Lancaster to be an employee run facility. The employees were organized into teams who elected a team leader on a rotating basis. The team leader was responsible for mediation among the team and leading team meetings to discuss the team’s progress toward their goals. If problems arose among members of the team they would decide among themselves the best approach to handling the problem and put that plan into action.

If the problem was an employee who was not pulling their weight, the team had the authority to give the employee the ultimatum of conforming or resigning from the company. Lancaster was a known presence among the employees of the facility; however, he limited his role to advising when needed and stepping in when the problem was beyond the scope of the employee team (Clawson, 2005). While this approach to leadership was unconventional, the results were nothing short of amazing. By empowering the employees, the facility sees job satisfaction ratings well above the normal range.

Employee turnover is minimal to non-existent. The employee teams consistently met and exceeded company goals and standards of quality while making the management structure of FMC, Aberdeen a source of study by many organizations (Clawson, 2005). Controlling The final step in the management process is controlling. Controlling is the act of monitoring the progress of a company and adjusting the processes when needed. Change may be necessary if the company is not meeting its goals, if the goals and objectives change or with changes in the environment.

One tool companies utilize to monitor their success in achieving their goals is the balanced scorecard. This tool measures all aspects of operation including finances, customer relations, inventory control and growth. One aspect of the company managers’ control is quality. Processes are put into place to assure that the standards of the company are being met. Upper level managers determine criteria to determine the performance of the overall organization. Mid-level and first-line managers employ policies to meet or exceed the company standards.

The information for overall quality comes from a combination of information supplied by employees, customers and other entities outside of the company. In 2006 after a number of recalls, Toyota announced plans to implement more stringent levels of quality control. While this resulted in slowed production, management determined that they were not concerned with the time the implemented controls would take but the outcome. Toyota also announced criminal investigations against executives who circumvented quality measures to rush production while ignoring a problem with a steering component in some vehicles.

The result was failure of the component that was known to cause 1 accident with the possibility of others. In another incident, Toyota manufactured cars with a defective windshield seal, the component that seals against weather and holds the windshield on place. By ignoring the controls put into place by management, Toyota suffered financial loss through slowed production: an ironic result of trying to speed production by ignoring a problem. In addition, they suffered damage to their reputation as one of the world’s safest auto manufacturers.

Finally, they were faced with the cost of recalling 20,000 cars for the windshield defect incurring further costs for repair parts and the facilities who replace them (Associated Press, 2006). Reference: Associated Press. (2006, August 25). Toyota: Quality control may delay some models. In FoxNews. com. Retrieved September 5, 2008 from http://www. foxnews. com/story/0,2933,210412,00. html Bovee, C. L. , Thill, J. V. , & Mescon, M. H. (2007). Excellence in business (3rd ed. ). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, Prentice Hall. (Original work published 1999) Clawson, J. G. (2005).

Custom Business Resources: FMC Aberdeen. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. General Electric. (2008, July 25). GE aligns around core industries: infrastructure, finance, media. In GE news: Press releases. Retrieved September 5, 2008 from http://www. genewscenter. com/Content/Detail. asp? ReleaseID= 3892&NewsAreaID=2&MenuSearchCategoryID= Starbucks Coffee Co. (2008, March 19). Starbucks unveils new strategic initiatives to transform and innovate the customer experience . In Starbucks. com press room. Retrieved September 4, 2008, from http://www. starbucks. com/aboutus/pressdesc. asp? id=850