We begin part 3 of your textbook, Managing for Quality and Competitiveness, with chapter 6, The Nature of Management. 1
Management is a process designed to achieve an organization’s objectives by using its resources effectively and efficiently in a changing environment. Effectively means having the intended results; efficiently means accomplishing the objectives with a minimum of resources. Managers make decisions about the use of the organization’s resources and are concerned with planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling activities to reach the organization’s objectives. The decision to introduce new products in order to reach objectives is often a key management duty. Management is universal. It takes place not only in business, but also in government, the military, labor unions, hospitals, schools, and religious groups—any organization requiring the coordination of resources. 2
Every organization must acquire resources (people, raw materials and equipment, money, and information) to effectively pursue its objectives and coordinate their use to turn out a final good or service. Employees are one of the most important resources in helping a business attain its objectives. Successful companies recruit, train, compensate, and provide benefits (such as shares of stock and health insurance) to foster employee loyalty. Acquiring suppliers is another important part of managing resources and ensuring that products are made available to customers. As firms reach global markets, companies such as Walmart, Corning, and Charles Schwab enlist hundreds of diverse suppliers that provide goods and services to support operations. A good supplier maximizes efficiencies and provides creative solutions to help the company reduce expenses and reach its objectives. Finally, the manager needs adequate financial resources to pay for essential activities. Primary funding comes from owners and shareholders, as well as banks and other financial institutions. All these resources and activities must be coordinated and controlled if the company is to earn a profit. Organizations must also have adequate supplies of resources of all types, and managers must carefully coordinate their use if they are to achieve the organization’s objectives. 3
To harmonize the use of resources so the business can develop, produce and sell products, managers engage in a series of activities: - Planning activities to achieve the organization’s objectives - Organizing resources and activities to achieve the organization’s objectives - Staffing the organization with qualified people - Directing employees’ activities toward achievement of objectives - Controlling the organization’s activities to keep it on course Although this book discusses each of the five functions separately, they are interrelated; managers may perform two or more of them at the same time.
- Spring '14