Think of the functions managers should carry out. Discuss your ideas with your partners.
1. This text summarizes some of Peter Drucker’s views on management. As you read about his description of the work of a manager, decide whether the five different functions he mentions require the four qualities you selected in your discussion, or others you did not choose.
WHAT IS MANAGEMENT?
Peter Drucker, the well-known American business professor and consultant, suggests that the work of a manager can be divided into planning (setting objectives), organizing, integrating (motivating and communicating), measuring, and developing people.
· First of all, managers (especially senior managers such as company chairmen – and women – and directors) set objectives, and decide how their organization can achieve them. This involves developing strategies, plans and precise tactics, and allocating resources of people and money.
· Secondly, managers organize. They analyse and classify the activities of the organization and the relations among them. They divide the work into able activities and then into individual jobs. They select people to manage these units and perform the jobs.
· Thirdly, managers practise the social skills of motivation and communication. They also have to communicate objectives to the people responsible for attaining them. They have to make the people who are responsible for performing individual jobs form teams. They make decisions about pay and promotion. As well as organizing and supervising the work of their subordinates, they have to work with people in other areas and functions.
· Fourthly, managers have to measure the performance of their staff, to see whether the objectives set for the organization as a whole and for each individual member of it are being achieved.
· Lastly, managers develop people – both their subordinates and themselves.
Obviously, objectives occasionally have to be modified or changed. It is generally the job of a company’s top managers to consider the needs of the future, and to take responsibility fir innovation, without which any organization can only expect a limited life. Top managers also have to manage a business’s relations with customers, suppliers, distributors, bankers, investors, neighbouring communities, public authorities, and so on, as well as deal with any major crises which arise. Top managers are appointed and supervised and advised (and dismissed) by a company’s board of directors.
Although the tasks of a manager can be analysed and classified in this fashion, management is not entirely scientific. It is a human skill. Business professors obviously believe that intuition and ‘instinct’ are not enough; there are management skills that have to be learnt. Drucker, for example, wrote over 20 years ago that “Altogether this entire book is based on the proposition that the days of the “intuitive” manager are numbered,’ meaning that they were coming to an end. But some people are clearly good at management, and others are not. Some people will be unable to put management techniques into practice. Others will have lots of technique, but few good ideas. Outstanding managers are rather rarer.
Date: 2016-01-14; view: 1497