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Introduction

Management principles are general rather than specific to a type of organization. But in our Wal-Mart case, we find that management is universal if the manager becomes familiar with specific management tools which are to be applied in dealing with a diverse workforce. Managers need to learn on planning and thus deciding on the future of the organization as well as organizing their staff and delegating them duty with a clear chain of command to ensure efficiency and easy governance.  (Introduction to management). This is especially in dealing with a diverse workforce whose ideas are also diverse.

Aim

The aim of this study is to examine the main reasons why planning and organizing are such important management functions in an organization and especially using Wal-Mart as an example, in managing a diverse workforce. The study will also determine why and how Wal-Mart is successful in using the said management functions.

Assumption and limitations

The study will be limited to using only secondary sources of information. Primary sources are not used as we could not get hold of any Wal-Mart employee nor visit their stores and authentic the secondary information we had.

Methodology

Qualitative questions will be answered by use of established qualitative procedures. Qualitative data will be given from observed instances from secondary sources including books and information on websites and peer reviewed journals. The study will document Wal-Mart information in and outside the US as available.

Discussion

Most people do wonder how the Wal-Mart supermarket chain has always been a success story throughout America. Wal-Mart utilizes the functions of management which have a potential of not only increasing profits but also ensuring that everything is done in a planned and organized way especially in managing a diverse workforce. Planning has the ability to make or break future company engagements while organizing ensures that everything is done in an orderly way by careful delegation of duties to the staff below.

Planning

Koontz & O’Donell defines planning as, “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap between where we are to, where we want to go. It makes possible things to occur which would not otherwise occur”

Planning is one of the basic functions of management and deals with mapping out a future course of action and deciding the best course of action for achieving set out goals. It is a systematic activity which determines how, when and who is going to work on a specific job. It is therefore a detailed program which shows future courses of action.  Planning takes into consideration prospective human and physical resources the organization has to effectively co-ordinate, contribute and adjust accordingly. Planning is the basic management function that includes formulation of detailed plans which are aimed to achieve optimum balance demands with the available scarce resources.

There are several tools and strategies that are available for Wal-Mart to build and maintain a diverse workforce and this is best managed in careful planning and analysing workforce trends and projections. There are critical steps used in determining skill gaps and needs and devising succession plans and strategies that are used in business planning. These are some of the facts that Wal-Mart managers so that they know how to plan and organize their resources to produce a high performance organization. They have the knowledge and expertise to use to information and assess whether the current workforce will assit the company i meeting the set out goals and objectives.

Planning has over time been recognised as an important managerial function as it provides the design of a desired future state and in turn brings the future state in accomplishing the organization’s objectives. The information will thus help understand where recruitment or retention focus should lie and what other actions maybe of impotence to create a working environment that is supportive. The company integrates diversity program activities and objectives that are inline into the agencies broader workforce planning activities.

Planning is the foundation of management, upon which all areas of management are based and built. Depending on the prevailing circumstances, a company has to change its plans to accomplish some of its goals. For strategic planning, the management has to analyse inside and outside factors that may not only affect the company goals and objectives but the company as a whole.

Planning for a diversity program

If well planned, the work force will proceed to achieve the company’s set goals and objectives. Thus successful companies like Wal-Mart do design and implement its diversity program to include specific elements that will serve and maintain its diverse and high quality workforce. The company does assess various workforce profile and the future workforce needs which identifies strengths, weaknesses and targets of opportunity.

Therefore, the company’s diversity program must be planned to include elements of diversity through recruitment, elements that maintain diversity, reward and recognition and a supportive working environment. A successful diversity program needs to entail close and continuing partnerships between the company’s human resource and a special emphasis staff. The company has a comprehensive process in building and maintaining a diverse and high quality workforce.

Characteristic of planning

The characteristics of planning are many and they include;

  • Goal oriented.
  • Planning premises.
  • Involves choice
  • Futuristic.
  • Mental exercises
  • Involves making of choices.
  • Pervasive and
  • primacy

Importance of planning

Planning is associated with a lot of importance that includes:

  • Making clear and specific objectives
  • Making meaningful activities
  • Reducing uncertainty risks
  • Promoting creativity.
  • Facilitating integration
  • Improving adoptive behaviour
  • Providing basis of control
  • Facilitating decision making and coordination  

Stages in planning

Planning is in such a way that it’s each stage must be completed before the following next stage is started. This means that planning should be systematic to follow a series of sequential activities that will eventually lead to the implementation of organizational plans. The steps in planning are as shown below;

  • The first stage in planning is that act of developing organizational skills
  • This is then followed by the planning specialists and top management developing a strategic plan and communicating the message to the immediate middle managers.
  • The third step involves the use of strategic plans to coordinate the development of intermediate plans that will be used by the middle managers.
  • Fourth step is whereby the departmental managers and supervisors develop operating plans that are to be consistent with the earlier intermediate plans that were developed.
  • The fifth step involves implementation. The step here is to make decisions and initiate the right and necessary actions to carry out plans.

The sixth and final step is the follow-up and control.  This is a critical step and must    be strictly followed. (Wijesinge, A.). 

Planning for recruitment

Wal-Mart ensures that there is effective planning so as to attract strong candidates who are prepared to meet both the company’s strategic goals and priorities. For a well developed organizational system to be effective, it requires strategic, intermediate and operating plans to be developed in order of their importance to the organization. An organizational plan should have immediate plans and operating plans to be based on the intermediate plans (Bateman & Snell, 2009). To ensure for effective recruitment techniques, the company;

  • Ensures that recruiters and selection officials will work closely with HRM and special staff during recruitment to facilitate a smooth and easy recruitment.
  • They have to plan for and know their competition and their recruitment needs. The company has to consider a variety of common job locations and placement centres.

For Wal-Mart, the company has to also plan on how to adapt to several innovative changes that occur almost on a daily basis and how best to retain and be ahead of the pack. (Bateman & Snell, 2009).

Organizing

Organizing is a management function which follows planning. Therefore, a manager needs to manage an organization in an organized manner so that work may be done. A manager has the organizational responsibilities that include the ability to identify different roles, choose the right roles for the employees, delegate the tasks to the employees and ensure that the employees have the resources to perform their tasks better. Organization need to be efficient to avoid any chaos in the organization. Through this process, management has to determine the inside directorial configuration of the organization and be able to establish and maintain relationships.

Importance of organization structure and process

  • Promoting specialization
  • Define job specification
  • Classifying authority and power within the organization
  • Facilitating coordination
  • Stimulating creativity
  • Facilitating growth and adaptation
  • Acting as a source of support and security satisfaction (Wijesinge, A.). 

Delegation of authority

Authority is legitimized by power and power is the ability to influence others in the organization. Delegation is distributed through authority and delegation frees management from urgent tyranny. Through delegation, the manager is freed of their time and concentrate on high priority activities within the organization. (Bateman & Snell, 2009). Delegation of authority by the management is guided by some several key concepts that include the following;

  1. Exception of principle – it states that someone has to be in charge. A higher person in the organization has to handle exceptions to the usual. Rare and exceptional decisions have to end up at the top management level as the lower staff has no authority to handle them.
  2. Scalar chain of command- the formal distribution of an organizational authority is in a hierarchical fashion. The rule is that the higher one is in the organization, the more authority s/he has and over the others in the lower ranks.  
  3. Decentralization – decisions have always to be pushed down to the lowest feasible level in the organization. The organizational structure of the company is that it should have working managers rather than managed managers.
  4. Principle of parity- states that the delegated authority must equal responsibility. The authority to accomplish a job is through the responsibility to accomplish the particular job.
  5. Span of control- these are the total number of people a manager controls and supervises. The decision to be made in regard to the span control is the number of subordinates that a manager can effectively lead and manage. Depending on the complexity and proximity of the job, a large span of control is feasible.
  6. Principle of unity- this is to ensure that no one in the same organization reports to more than one supervisor. This is to avoid decisions by employees to think over whom they will report to their supervisors.
  7. Line and staff authority – this is the authority within an organizations chain of command. Staff authority advises line authority.  (Ervan, L.E).

Organising for hiring

To build a diverse and high quality workforce need be organized such that the different people feel represented in not only management but also all areas. The company has to organize on how it will undertake its hiring so that high quality candidates are hired. When organizing for a diversity program, there are several aspects of hiring that such companies like Wal-Mart have to consider. These include;

  • Organizing for internal human resources policies, processes and operations. This is to ensure that good candidates are not lost to competitors and thus be able to make quick job offers immediately they are due.
  • Wal-Mart does take full advantage of customizing competition process by using many staffing flexibilities and hiring authorities that are available. They also have to organize on how to take advantage of technology and do accept online applications.
  • Organize to have employees’ decisions to stay with an organization as their direct pay and benefit levels. In this way, Wal-Mart commits to cultivating broader rewards which are far better positioned to retain the diverse workforce and build on it.

Conclusion

Management is an essential tool for any organization to succeed especially to cater for a diverse workforce. All the four basic functions of management must be sound for the organization to succeed. Management function is affected by external and internal factors that will influence the decision of the managers and how they will delegate their work bearing in mind that they are dealing with a diverse workforce. In this discussion we have discussed two of these management tools (planning and organizing) that managers have to use and take into consideration that will help the organization move forward and thus guarantee its success. Today the organization is more concerned in offering lower prices to its customers than excellent service and these low prices are as a result of planning and organizing, which includes the use of automated data collection and analysis

Recommendations

  1. Management should generate alternate scenarios of the future; opportunities should be defined based on these possible scenarios, its strengths and weaknesses assessed in hiring and recruiting of employees.   
  2. After the organization’s mission has been defined, SWOT analysis should be defined and analysis completed on the same. 
  3. Delegation of duties should be done carefully to avoid duplication of resources as well that the lower staff are not despised upon by their supervisors and bear in mind that the company is dealing with a diverse workforce whose ideas and needs not be ignored.
Code: Sample20

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