Emil Păun and Anca Nedelcu

Cuprins Pagina de start eBooks
Despre autori



III. 4. Managerial function

III. 4.1 Conceptual remarks

The leadership of any organization appears as a distinct subsystem, as a process consisting of a range of cyclical activities. These group of distinct activities, developed in every stage, represent what we call management functions. They also designate the types of actions specific to managers.

The first to define these functions was Henry Fayol who, in 1916, published in “Bulletin de la Societe de l’Industrie Minerale” his work “Administration industrielle el generale – Prevoyance, organization, commandament, coordination, controle”.

The managerial activity includes five categories of distinct activities: forecast and planning, organization, command, coordination and control. These functions are embraced by more recent studies, whose authors have added a few more. For instance, W. Thimm identifies six functions: diagnosis, forecast, planning, decision, organization, control and remediation.

In our opinion, the number and nature of management functions must be analyzed based on the management level, related to the attributions of the managers and their scope of competency.


III. 4.2. The content of management functions

  • Planning - is the activity that allows managers to evaluate the future, to grasp the trends, the probable circumstances of the influential factors that shall act (in a positive or negative sense) upon the organization. Based on the extent of the forecast, three types of predictive activities can be identified: prognosis, planning and scheduling.

  • Prognosis is a long term forecast, spreading over a period over 10 years and concretized in prognosis studies and/or scripts based on which strategic decision are made at the superior hierarchic level.

  • Planning is a medium and short-term predictive activity, covering from a few years down to a semester or even less, a month. This activity results into a plan.

  • Scheduling covers short periods of time (10 days, a week, a shift), is very detailed with regard to actions, means and resources used to fulfill a certain plan. The elements included in scheduling need to have a high degree of accuracy and also involve sophisticated methods, such as the Delphi method.

  • Organization (structuring):

    It rationally combines all the elements necessary for the correct functioning: material resources, labor resources, financial means etc.

    As a management function, organization refers to two distinct aspects:

    • One regarding the structure of the organization.

    • The second regarding the structure of the personnel and of the material and financial resources necessary in order to develop the activity in optimum conditions.

  • Coordination provides the cooperation between compartments and people, the harmonization of their actions, in order to avoid parallel and overlapping actions and the waste of resources and means.

  • Involvement represents the actions developed by managers in order to determine the staff to participate to the organizational activity in an active, responsible and creative way.

  • Motivation should be based on harmonizing the staff’s interest with the objectives of the organization through a diversified system of motivational methods and techniques, according to each particular situation. This motivational process is going to be a lot easier if, upon hiring the staff, their abilities and expectations are thoroughly considered.

  • Control consists of supervising the development of the respective system and comparing the results with the expectations. This can be a preventive activity (in order to avoid any possible and predictable errors) or corrective (when it brings the system to the normal functioning parameters).

    It is a process that, generally, goes through the following steps:

    • Setting the objectives.

    • Selecting the measurement criteria and standards necessary in order to assess the results.

    • Obtaining information with regard to these results (activities).

    • Comparing these results with the objectives of the controlled activity.

  • Assessment is a process through which information is obtain with regard to the analyzed activity, the results are compared to various objectives or standards and decisions are made with regard to the improvement of the assessed activity.

Although control includes an assessment feature, assessment in itself is more complex and can be performed through different means. All these various management functions constitute an integrated system that makes the management activity coherent.

Last, but certainly not least, a key point in any managerial activity, often regarded as a specific function is decision, process consisting in choosing one way of action out of many possibilities. It has a procedural character and includes a succession of activities: preparing and adopting the decision and the implementation measures, implementing the decision and controlling the way in which it is being observed:

  • Decision preparation: this involves identifying the problems, obtaining the necessary information, selecting, organizing and processing the information, elaborating various alternatives and projects for measure plans.

  • Decision making: this involves the analysis and comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative, followed by the selection of the most advantageous or less disadvantageous alternative.

  • Decision implementation: it involves a succession of organizational and motivational activities: communicating the decision; explaining it in order to motivate the staff; organizing the practical action; controlling the decision and regulating the action when problems appear; assessing the final outcome.

Summarizing all these functions and tasks it is clear that the managerial activity is a very complex one, involving multiple skills and abilities. In fact, managers have to be good team workers, good communicators, good time-mangers, good fund raisers, good motivators, negotiators…or more detailed, a manger should be:

  • An organizer, with capacity to understand, plan and co-ordinate efforts and resources to meet the objectives;

  • A strategist, able to set clear long and short-term objectives, keeping these in mind together with the reasons for the organization’s existence

  • A motivator, with skills and attitudes enabling him/her to motivate and commit people to the goals

  • A fund-raiser, with knowledge and confidence to apply for funds to administer and account for them with integrity and competence
  • An activist, in the meaning of someone able to spot initiatives and to organize ideas into meaningful actions

  • A visionary, someone able to imagine social innovation and change

  • A community worker, with particular concern for the affairs of the community or/and organization

  • A teacher and a learner capable of empowering people while at the same time being able to learn from the experiences and use that for the organization, project or community – monitoring and evaluating a process in relation to the objectives, changing plans and ultimately objectives in relation to the circumstances. (Abrignani, Gomes, de Vilder, 2000, p. 39).


Cuprins Pagina de start eBooks
Despre autori


© Universitatea din Bucureşti 2003. All rigths reserved. No part of the text may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the University of Bucharest, except for short quotations with the indication of the website adress and the web page. This book was first published by Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti ISBN: 973-575-815-6
Comments to: Emil Păun and Anca Nedelcu
Last update: Noiembrie 2003
Web designer, Text editor: Annemarie Lihaciu