SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Firstly, let start this topic by talking about the “BUSINESS”. When the term business is taken, we usually have a vivid image of a company dealing with goods and services, money, profit and loss. This is the most common image any person creates at the back of their minds, be it a commerce student or any other student. But, when we talk about business, in a professional manner, it is a lot more than just money, goods and services. “BUSINESS”, deals with very deep and broad concepts which helps the manager to create a healthy environment for the employees as well as the clients, which in return helps the business to fulfill their objectives and reach new goals every day. In today’s world, where the growth is very rapid, globalization is at its peak, creativity has got a complete new face, it is very important for the businesses to come up with new ideas and thinking which can perused the customers to buy your produce out of the million products available in the market.
Any business, while dealing with their customers have two main objectives,
Businesses basically compete with each other in the market for better profit margins and lesser cost involved in marketing. A business that successfully does this, falls in the criteria of a successful business. Seeing it from afar, it usually seems quite easy to establish a business and run it, but when you actually do it practically, you get to know the innumerous hurdles while establishing and running a business. The very first lesson that is usually taught in business classes is, a businessman should have a “strong heart”, so, that if a business ever incurs lose, the owner should be strong enough to take it, and not suffer from any serious health issues. It is a very basic and a natural concept when it comes to business that, “RISK”, is a constant in any form of business. It is possible for a manger to reduce the risk, but eliminating the risk is impossible. Therefore, while setting up a business, the owner or the financial provider should be mentally prepared for anything and everything. Starting up a business is not at all a child’s play, it is a completely different, and extremely competitive world, where the word “mercy”, does not exists.
Business includes a lot of topics and areas, but a few areas without which a business cannot exist are as follows:
These are just a very few of the topics amongst the uncountable topics in business. Apart from these sub-heads, there are some internal topics without which the basic functioning of the business will not be possible, which are:
The above mentioned points, are usually the most important internal aspects of a business, but if you see it with proper definition, then, these are the “basic operations” of the business “management”.
The management side of the business is the most basic and fundamental part of any organization. If we asked to properly define management, word to word, then, management can be defined as:
VARIOUS DEFINATIONS OF THE TERM “MANAGEMENT.”:
“Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups accomplished selected aims”- Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich.
“Management is defined as the process of planning, organizing, actuating, and controlling an organization’s operation in order to achieve coordination of the human and material resources essential in the effective and efficient attainment of objectives.”- Robert L. Trawelly and M. Gene Newport.
“Management is the process of working with and through others to effectively achieve organizational objectives by efficiently using limited resources in the changing environment.”- Kreitner
CONCEPT OF MANAGEMENT:
Management is a very popular term and has been used extensively for all types of activities and mainly for taking charge of different activities in any enterprise. Management is an activity which is necessary wherever there is a group of people working in an organization. People in organization are performing diverse tasks but they are all working towards the same goal. Management aims at guiding their efforts towards achieving a common objective- a goal. Thus, management has to see that tasks are completed and goals are achieved (i.e., effectiveness) with the least amount of resources at a minimum cost (i.e., efficiency).
Management, has therefore, been defined as a process of getting things done with the aim of achieving goals efficiently and effectively.
The three important term used here are:
Process in the definition means the primary functions or activities that management performs to get things done. These functions are planning, organizing, directing, controlling and staffing.
Being effective or doing work effectively basically means finishing the given task. Effectiveness in management is concerned with doing the right task, completing activities and achieving goals. In other words, it is concerned with the end results. But it is not enough to just complete the tasks. There is another aspect also, i.e., being efficient or as we say doing work efficiently.
Efficiency means doing the task correctly and with minimum cost. There is a kind of cost-benefit analysis involved and the relationships between inputs and outputs. If by using less resources (inputs) more benefits are derived (outputs) then efficiency has increased. Efficiency is also increased when for the same benefits, or outputs, fewer resources are used and less costs are incurred. Input resources are money, materials, equipment and persons required to do a particular task. Obviously, management is concerned with the efficient use of these resources, because they reduce costs and ultimately lead to higher profits.
Therefore, it is important for management to achieve goals (effectiveness) with as minimum resources (efficiency) as possible while maintaining a balance between effectiveness and efficiency. Usually, high efficiency is associated with high effectiveness which is the aim of all managers. But undue emphasis on high effective is also not desirable. Poor management is due to both inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
At times, a business may concentrate more on producing goods with fewer resources i.e., cutting down cost but not achieving the target production. Consequently, the goods do not reach the market and hence the demand for them declines and competitors enter the market. This, is a case of being efficient but not effective since the goods did not reach the market. Similarly, there can also be a case where in the goods reached the market but, not in time, not when the goods were required in the market. Even in this case the management is efficient but not effective.
Hence, for every business to grow, it is a very vital for the management not only to work efficiently but also effectively. Putting in nutshell, it can be said that both EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFECIENCY are the 2 sides of the same coin.
Now, that the basic concept of “management” is clear, let’s move forward and see the characteristics of management, which again is a very important subject for the smooth functioning of a business. Characteristics are also known as, FEATURES OR NATURE.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MANAGEMENT:
After going through some of the definitions we find some elements that may be called the basic characteristics of management.
The characteristics of management are as follows:
Management is a goal-oriented process:
Should be simple and clearly stated. Different organizations have different goals. Management unites the efforts of different individuals in the organization towards achieving these goals.
Management is all pervasive:
The activities involved in managing an enterprise are common to all organizations whether economic, social or political.
Management is multidimensional:
Management is a complex activity that has three main dimensions:
Management of work: All organizations exist for the performance of some work. Management translates this work in terms of goals to be achieved and assigns the means to achieve it. This is done in terms of problems to be solved, decisions to be made, plans to be established, budgets to be prepared, responsibilities to be assigned and authority to be delegated.
Management of people: Human resources or people are an organization’s greatest asset. Despite all developments in technology “getting work done through people” is still a major task for the manager. Managing people has two dimensions:
It implies dealing with employees as individuals with diverse needs and behavior.
It also means dealing with individual as a group of people.
Management of operation: Organization requires a production which entails the flow of input material and the technology for transforming this input into the desired output for consumption.
Management is a continuous process:
The process of management is a series of continuous, composite, but separate functions (planning, controlling, staffing, controlling and directing). These functions are performed by all managers all the time.
Management is a group activity:
Every member of the group has a different purpose for joining the organization but as members of the organization they work towards fulfilling the common organizational goal. This requires team work and coordination of individual effort in a common direction.
Management is a dynamic function:
Management is a dynamic function and has to adapt itself to the changing environment. An organization interacts with its external environment which consists of various social, economic, and political factors.
Management is an intangible force:
Management is an intangible force that cannot be seen but its presence can be felt in the way the organization functions.
The above mentioned points were the characteristics of management. These characteristics shows the basic working or the functioning of a management team in an enterprise. The characteristics basically, puts forward the aims or the objectives of the organization. It helps the employees to understand what they have exactly signed up for. Hence, making it crystal clean, what the organization expects out of you, and what are you ready to give to the organization.
After clearly stating the characteristics of the management, now the manager accelerates with defining the objectives of the management. It is very known fact that, each organization has a very different sets of objectives, each having different schemes, plans and strategies to accomplish their objectives. But, the point of focus here is, for a company to function, it is necessary for the enterprise to have an objective in mind, based on which they can form the entire game plan. Therefore, having an objective for an enterprise is the very basic start.
OBJECTIVES OF MANAGEMENT:
Following are some of the objectives of the management:
It has to achieve a variety of objectives in all areas considering the interest of all stakeholders including shareholders, employees, customers and the government. The main objective of any organization should be to utilize human and material resources to the maximum possible advantage, that is, to fulfil the economic objectives of a business. These are SURVIVAL, GROWTH AND PROFIT:
SURVIVAL: Management must strive to ensure the survival of the organization. In order to survive, an organization must earn enough revenues to cover costs.
PROFIT: Management has to ensure that the organization makes a profit. Profit provides a vital incentive for the continued successful operation of the enterprise. Profit is essential for covering costs and risks of the business.
GROWTH: To remain in the industry, management must exploit fully the growth potential of the organization. Growth of a business can be measured in terms of sales volume increase in the number of employees, the number of products or the increase in capital investment etc.
This refers to consistently creating economic value for various constituents of society. This includes using environmental friendly methods of production, giving employment opportunities and providing basic amenities like schools and crèches to employees.
Organizations are made up of people who have different personalities, backgrounds, experiences and objectives. They all become part of the organization to satisfy their diverse needs. These vary from financial needs such as competitive perks, social needs such as peer recognition and higher level needs such as personal growth and development.
IMPORTANCE OF MANAGEMENT:
After understanding the broader concept of management and its objective, let’s take the next step, which is the importance of management in any organization. Simply, stating the objectives doesn’t mean that the employees will actually work on it, and fulfil the objectives of the firm, it is very obligatory for the organization to have a keen eyes on the operation of the employees. For this to happen in a proper manner, the importance of management should be defined properly, which in turn can help the managers and the employees to work together for the achievement of the common goal or objective of the firm.
Following are the importance of management:
MANAGEMENT HELPS IN ACHIEVING GROUP GOALS:
Management is required not just for itself but for achieving group goals of the organization. The task of a manager is to give a common direction to the individual effort in achieving the overall goal of the organization.
MANAGEMENT INCREASES EFFICIENCY:
The aim of the manager should be to reduce costs as discussed in the very starting, and increase productivity through better planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling the functioning of the enterprise.
MANAGEMENT CREATES A DYNAMIC ORGANIZATION:
Almost all the organizations have to function in an atmosphere which is frequently changing. It is generally seen that the individuals in an organization struggle to the changes as it often means moving from a familiar, protected environment into a fresher and more stimulating one. Management helps people adapt to these changes so that the organization is able to maintain its competitive control.
MANAGEMENT HELPS IN ATTAINING PERSONAL OBJECTIVES:
A manager inspires and leads his team in such a manner that specific members are able to achieve personal goal and objective while subsidizing the overall organizational goal. Through enthusiasm and guidance the management helps individual to develop team spirit, collaboration and guarantee to group success.
MANAGEMENT HELPS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY:
An organization has manifold objectives to serve the purpose of the diverse group that constitutes it. In the process of satisfying all these, management helps in the expansion of the organization and through that it helps in the advancement of the society. It helps to provide decent quality products and facilities, generates employment opportunities, and adopts new technology for the greater good of the people and lead the path towards progression and improvement.
NATURE OF MANAGEMENT.
Management as a subject isn’t a new concept, this concept has been in use the ancient time. The only difference between the earlier usage of management term and recent usage is, “KNOWLEDGE”. There were and still are a lot of scientists, who study management are try to come up with the most innovative and creative ideas which is easy to put in action. Earlier, the term management wasn’t given a lot of significance, it was just treated as a side topic, unlike now, where management is basically and practically the backbone of any organization. Management in today’s world has outgrown a lot of limits and is on its way to create new benchmarks.
However, having said all these things about management, it is still not clear if management is an ART, SCIENCE or BOTH?
There are different views regarding the nature of management, some argue that management is an art, while others put forward their evidences in favor of management being a science. Hence, this topic is quite debatable. To know whether management is an art or science, let’s dive in both the topics separately and see what conclusion can be drawn out of it.
MANAGEMENT AS ART
What exactly is an art? Art is basically the skillful and personal application of existing knowledge to achieve desired results. It can be acquired through study, observation and experience. Since art is concerned with personal application of knowledge some kind of ingenuity and creativity is required to practice the basic principles learnt.
FEATURES OF AN ART
Basic features of an art are as follows:
EXISTENCE OF THEORETICAL KNOWLDEGE:
Art presupposes the existence of certain theoretical knowledge. Experts in their respective areas have derived certain basic principles which are applicable to a particular form of art.
For example; literature on dancing, public speaking, acting or music widely recognized.
The use of this basic knowledge varies from individual to individual. Art, therefore, is a very personalized concept, like, may be the definition of art is a completely different concept for me, and is a 180 degrees opposite concept for another person.
For example; two dancers, two speakers, two actors, or two writers will always differ in demonstrating their art.
BASED ON PRACTICE AND CREATIVITY:
All art is practical. Art involves the creative practice of existing theoretical knowledge. We know that all music is based on seven notes. However, what makes the composition unique is, an artist’s personal combination of those seven notes.
Argument in favor of management being an art.
Management can be said to be an art based on the following conditions’ that it fulfills:
A successful manager practices the art of management in the day-to-day job of handling the company based on study, opinion and skill. There is a lot of literature accessible in countless areas of management like marketing, finance and human resources which the manager has to specialize in. There is 100% existence of theoretical knowledge.
There are various theories of management, as propounded by many management thinkers, which prescribe certain universal principles. A manager applies these scientific methods and body of knowledge to a given situation, an issue, or a problem, in his own unique manner. A good manager works through a combination of practice, creativity, imagination, initiative and innovation. A manager achieves perfection after long practice. Students of management also apply these principles differently depending on how imaginative they are.
A manager applies this acquired knowledge in a personalized and skillful manner in the light of the realities of a given scenario. A manager is involved in the activities of the organization, studies critical situations and formulates his own theories for use in a given situation. This gives rise to different styles of management.
The best managers are highly committed and devoted individuals; extremely accomplished and educated, with personal qualities such as spirit, self-motivation, ingenuity and imagination, a desire for development of the self and the organization they belong to. All management practices are based on the same set of principles; what distinguishes a successful manager from a less successful one is the ability to put these principles into practice.
Hence, the points mentioned above proved that management can always be defined as an ART. All the facts and points stated were completely agreeable. There is no doubt that management does play a very vital role in every form of art. However, we can’t conclude on anything until and unless we have seen the other side of the coin too, which is “management as science”.
MANAGEMENT AS A SCIENCE
Science is a systematized body of knowledge that explains certain general truths or the operation of general laws.
Science is a very practical aspect of education and knowledge. It usually ignores the theory and focuses on the facts and figures.
FEATURES OF SCIENCE
Basic features of science are as follows:
SYSTEMISED BODY OF KNOWLEDGE:
Science is a systematic body of knowledge. Its principles are based on a cause and effect relationship. For example; the phenomenon of an apple falling from a tree towards the ground is explained by the law of gravity.
PRINCIPLES BASED ON EXPERIMENTATION:
Scientific principles are first developed through observation and then tested through repeated experimentation under controlled circumstances.
Scientific principles have universal validity and application. They are not just agreed upon with some “not so important” facts, they need to be approved universally, only then they can be tagged as scientific facts.
Based on the above facts and features, we can say that management has some characteristics of science.
Arguments in favor of management being scientific.
Management has a systematized body of knowledge. It has its own theory and principles that have developed over a period of time, but it also draws on other disciplines such as economics, sociology, psychology, and mathematics. Like all organized activity, management has its own vocabulary of terms and concepts.
For example; all of us discuss sports like cricket and soccer using a common vocabulary. The players also use these terms to communicate with each other. Similarly, managers need to communicate with one another with the help of common vocabulary for a better understanding of their work situation.
The principles of management have evolved over a period of time based on repeated experimentation and observation in different types of organizations. However, since management deals with human beings and human behaviors, the outcomes of these experiments are not capable of being accurately predicted or replicated. Therefore, management can be called an inexact science. Despite these limitations, management scholars have been able to identify general principles of management.
Since the principles of management are not as exact as the principles of science, their application and use is not universal. They have to be modified according to a given situation. However, they provide managers with certain standardized techniques that can be used in different situations. These principles are also used for training and development of managers.
Now that, both the sides are openly clarified and enlightened, it is understood that management has both the features of ART as well as SCIENCE. The practice of management is an art whereas managers can work better if their practices is based on the principles of management, which are scientific facts.
Therefore, MANAGEMENT AS AN ART AND SCIENCE ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE, BUT COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER.
Management thus, is a very far-reaching and expansive concept, which can neither be explained in matter of couple of days nor can it be understood so easily. Nevertheless, studying management is very obligatory in today’s competing world, where each organization strives to out chance the other organization. In today’s market, the level of competition has reached a new advanced level.
MANAGEMENT AS A PROFESSION
Till now, we have understood all forms of organized activity that needs to be managed. We all observed that organizations look for individuals with specific qualifications and experience to manage them. It has also been observed that there has been an increase in the corporate form of business on the one hand and increasing emphasis on managed business concerns. The question that arises here is, does this imply that management is a PROFESSION? To answer this question let us examine the salient features of a profession and see whether management satisfies them.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PROFESSION:
WELL-DEFINED BODY OF KNOWLEDGE:
All professional are based on a well-defined body of knowledge that can be acquired through instruction.
The entry to a profession is restricted through an examination or through acquiring educational degree. For example; to become a chartered accountant in India a candidate has to clear a specified examination conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
All professions are affiliated to a professional association which regulates entry, grants certificate of practice and formulates and enforces a code of conduct. To be able to practice in India lawyers have to become members of the Bar Council which regulates and controls their activities.
ETHICAL CODE OF CONDUCT:
All professions are bound by a code of conduct which guides the behavior of its members. All doctors, for example, take the oath of ethical practice at the time they enter the profession.
The basic motive of a profession is to serve their client’s interests by rendering dedicated and committed service. The task of a lawyer is to ensure that his client gets justice.
Management does not meet the exact criteria of profession. However, it does have some of the features of a profession.
FEATURES OF PROFESSION AS MANAGEMENT:
All over the world there is marked growth in management as a discipline. It is based on a systematic body of knowledge comprising well-defined principles based on a variety of business situations. This knowledge can be acquired at different colleges and professional institutes and through a number of books and journals. The subject of management is taught at different institutions. Some of these have been set up with the specific purpose of providing management education such as the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in India. Entry to different institutes is usually through an examination.
There is no restrictions on anyone being designated or appointed as manager in any business enterprise. Anyone can be called a manager irrespective of the educational qualifications possessed. Unlike profession such as medicine or law which requires a practicing doctor or lawyer to possess valid degrees, nowhere in the world is it mandatory for a manager to possess any such specific degree. But professional knowledge and training is considered to be a desirable qualification, since there is a greater demand for those who possess degree or diplomas from reputed institutions. Therefore, as such the second criterion has not been strictly met.
There are several associations of practicing managers in India, like the AIMA (All India Management Association) that has laid down a code of conduct to regulate the activities of their members. There is however, no compulsion for managers to be members of such an association nor does it have any statutory backing.
The basic purpose of management is to help the organization achieving its stated goals. This may be profit maximization for a business enterprise and service for a hospital. However, profit maximization as the objective of management does not hold true and is fast changing. Therefore, if an organization has a good management team that is efficient and effective it automatically serves society by providing good quality products at reasonable price.
After having a glance at the features and characteristics of “management as profession”, it is clear that, there are a few points that supports this notion and a few that goes against the notion. But, the fact that every story has two view, too stands true in this case. For some, management can be defined as profession, for some they can’t relate to it at all, and then there are some, who doesn’t have any perspective. Thus, not all the views can be taken care of, there will always be a few section of people, who won’t be satisfied.
Therefore, in a few instances management can be related to profession and some it cannot be.
LEVELS OF MANAGEMENT
Like any other branch of business and organizations, even management comes with different “levels” of management. Each level comes with their own rule, regulations, responsibilities and tasks. People designated at each level are chosen based on their qualifications, experiences, credentials and knowledge. The better they are at these criteria the better will be their job level.
Management is a universal term used for certain functions performed by individuals in an enterprise who are bound together in a hierarchy of relationships. Every individual in the hierarchy is responsible for successful completion of a particular task. To be able to fulfill that responsibility he is assigned a certain amount of authority or the right to take a decision. This authority-responsibility relationship binds individual as superiors and subordinates and gives rise to different levels in an organization.
Generally speaking there are three levels in the hierarchy of an organization.
LEVELS OF MANAGEMENT.
SUPERVISORY OR OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT.
They consist of the senior-most executives of the organization by whatever name they are called. They are usually referred to as the Chairman, The Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, President and Vice-president. Top management is a team consisting of managers from different functional levels, heading finance, marketing etc. For example; chief finance officer, vice president (marketing). Their basic task is to integrate diverse elements and coordinate the activities of different departments according to the overall objectives of the organization. These top level managers are responsible for the welfare and survival of the organization. They analyze the business environment and its implications for the survival of the firm. They formulate overall organizational objectives and strategies for their achievement. They are responsible for all the activities of the business and for its impact on society. The job of the top manager is complex and stressful, demanding long hours and commitment to the organization.
Middle management is the link between top and lower level managers. They are subordinate to top managers and superior to the first line managers. They are usually known as division heads, for example production managers. Middle management is responsible for implementing and controlling plans and strategies developed by top management. At the same time they are responsible for all activities of first line managers. Their main task is to carry out the plans formulated by the top managers. For this they need to:
Interpret the policies framed by top management.
Ensure that their department has the necessary personnel.
Assign necessary duties and responsibilities to them.
Motivate them to achieve the desired goals.
Coordinate and co-operate with other departments for the smooth functioning of the organization.
At the same time they are also responsible for all the activities of the first line managers.
SUPERVISORY OR OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT:
Foreman and supervisors comprise the lower level in the hierarchy of the organizations. Supervisors directly oversee the efforts of the workforce. Their authority and responsibility is limited according to the plans drawn by the top management. Supervisory management plays a very important role in the organization since they interact with the actual work force and pass on instructions of the middle management to the workers. Through their efforts, quality of output is maintained, wastage of materials is minimized and safety standards are maintained. The quality of workmanship and the quantity of output depends on the hard work, discipline and loyalty of workers.
The above mentioned points explained the level or the hierarchy of management, which are mainly three. The functions of each level is very clearly stated in the above points. Each level has a very different set of orders to follow and then report to their bosses or subordinates. When the management functions properly according to the levels mentioned above, the flow becomes very smooth and an undisturbed one.
Hence, it is very essential for a management’s level to function accordingly. When a manager puts his utmost effort for the best functioning of the management, it automatically helps in better, smooth, even operating of the management levels.
There are also a few reported cases, where in, there happens to be conflicts either between the departments or between the member of the same department. It so happens, that there is usually a conflict of interest amongst the employees, which then becomes the whole and sole reason of misunderstanding and clashes. Such problems should be sorted out by the top level management in the first go itself, because if problems like these persists in departments it acts like a huge hindrance in the achievement of goals and smooth functioning of the management.
Hence, it will be safe to say, that, the proper, appropriate and accurate working of the levels of management is very significant for the betterment of the organization as a whole.
FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT
Management is described as the process of planning, organizing, directing and controlling the efforts of organizational members and of using organizational resources to achieve specific goals.
Planning involves decision of determining in advance what is to be, how and when to do it. Planning implies setting goals in advance and developing a way of achieving then efficiently and effectively. Planning cannot prevent problems, but it can predict them and prepare contingency plans to deal with them if and when they occur. Planning is a very basic and the initial stage of starting or initiating any work or mission. Until and unless your plans isn’t specified properly and clearly, it will be very tough for the managers and the employees to work on the accomplishment of the task.
Hence, planning not only gives a framework to the task but also provides a way to deal with the upcoming problems and risks related to any particular project. A manager should also keep in mind that, if the initial stage of planning isn’t performed appropriately, then then the following steps will definitely be very weak. So, for the success of any project or task, it is very essential for the managers to work with full concentration and awareness in the very first step that is, planning.
Organizing is the management function of assigning duties, grouping tasks, establishing authority and allocating resources required to carry out a specific plan. Once a specific plan has been established for the accomplishment of an organizational goal, the organizing function examines the activities and resources required to implement the plan. It determines what activities and resources are required. It decides who will do a particular task, where it will be done, and when will it be done. Organizing involves the grouping of the required tasks into manageable departments or work units and the establishments of authority and reporting relationships within the organizational hierarchy.
Proper organizational techniques help in the accomplishment of work and promote both the efficiency of operations and the effectiveness of results. Different kinds of business require different structures according to the nature of work.
Staffing simply stated, is finding the right person for the right job. A very important aspect of management is to make sure that the right people with the right qualifications are available at the right places to accomplish the goals of the organization. This is also known as the human resource function and it involves activities such as recruitment, selection, placement and training of personnel. Infosys technologies which develops software needs systems analysts and programmers, whereas Fabmart needs a team of designers and craftspeople.
Directing involves leading, influencing and motivating employees to perform the tasks assigned to them. This requires establishing an atmosphere that encourages employees to do their best. Motivation and leadership are two key components of direction. Directing also involves communicating effectively and efficiently as well as supervising employees at work. Motivating workers means simply creating a work environment that makes them want to work. Leadership is influencing others to do what the leader wants them to do. A good manager directs in such a way that it brings out the best in any employee.
Directing can be successful, only when the manager works with full zeal to show the employees not only the easiest and the best way to do a task but also an interesting way of doing it. It is quite obvious that, when a certain work is done with interest, automatically the efforts put in that work increases, and hence, the results are astonishingly amazing.
Controlling is the management function of monitoring organizational performance towards attainment of organizational goals. The task of controlling involves establishing standards of performance, measuring current performance, comparing the current performance with the established standards and taking corrective action where deviation is found.
Here, management must determine what activities and output are critical to success, how and where they can be measured and who should have the authority to take corrective actions.
The above mentioned points were the functions of management. Without these functions management cannot deal properly. Each function plays a very vital role, and each has its own importance. Each function is independent, but also, each function depends upon each other for the attainment of best results. It is very important to keep in mind that, all these functions are to be treated individually, and should be given equal importance.
The various functions of managers are usually discussed in the order given above, suggesting that a manager first plans, then organizes, puts right staff for the right job, then directs and finally controls. In reality, managers are rarely able to carry out these functions in isolation. The activities of a manager are interrelated and it is often difficult to pinpoint where one ended and the other began.
Thus, by now it is very clear that management as a subject is a very huge one, and requires lot of understanding and indulgence. Though, management is a very gigantic part, but it also is part without which any business or organization cannot function at all. Businesses are very complicated, and to un-complicate it a bit, it is necessary for us to learn each of the subject separately and attentively.
COORDINATION – THE ESSENCE OF MANAGEMENT
By now we have understood that a manager has to perform five interrelated functions in the process of managing an organization which is a system made up of different interlinked and interdependent systems. A manager has to link these diverse groups towards the achievement of a common goal. The process by which a manager synchronizes the activities of different departments is known as COORDINATION.
“Coordination is the force that binds all the other functions of management”. It is the common thread that runs through all activities such as purchase, production, sales, and finance to ensure continuity in the working of the organization. Coordination is sometimes considered a separate function of management. It is however, the essence of management, for achieving harmony among individual efforts towards the accomplishment of group goals. Each managerial function is an exercise contributing individually to coordination. Coordination is implicit and inherent in all functions of an organization.
The process of coordinating the activities of an organization begins at the planning stage itself. Top management plans for the entire organization. According to these plans the organizational structure is developed and staffed. In order to ensure that these plans are executed according to the plans directing is required. Any discrepancies between actual and realized activities are then taken care of at the stage of controlling. It is through the process of coordination that a manager ensures the orderly arrangement of individual and group efforts to ensure unity of action in the realization of common objectives. Coordination therefore involves synchronization of the different actions or efforts of the various units of an organization. This provides the requisite amount, quality, timing and sequence of efforts which ensures that planned objectives are achieved with a minimum of conflict. Coordination is not a separate function of management but its very essence. For an organization to effectively and efficiently achieve its objectives coordination is required. Like a thread in a garland, coordination is a part of all management functions.
CHARACTERISTICS OF COORDINATION.
COORDINATION INTERGRATES GROUP EFFORTS:
Coordination unifies unrelated or diverse interests into purposeful work activity. It gives a common focus to group effort to ensure that performance is as it was planned and scheduled.
COORDINATION ENSURES UNITY OF ACTION:
The purpose of coordination is to secure unity of action in the realization of a common purpose. It acts as the binding force between departments and ensures that all action is aimed at achieving the goals of the organization. Coordination is one of those aspects of management which helps the organization to withhold the entire organization firmly and strongly. Coordination helps the firm or the business enterprise to overcome the problem of conflicts and problems amongst the employees and different department of an organization.
COORDINATION IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS:
Coordination is not a one-time function but a continuous process. It begins at the planning stage and continues till controlling. It cannot be said that, a manager puts in effort only for once and then reaps the fruit for the entire life of the business. A manager has to plan and work continuously for better coordination in his or her organization.
COORDINATION IS AN ALL PERVASIVE FUNCTION:
Coordination is required at all the levels of management due to the interdependent nature of the activities of various departments. It integrates the efforts of different departments and different levels. The purchase, production and sales departmental efforts has to be coordinated by the manager of the organization for achieving the organizational objective harmoniously. In the absence of coordination there usually is overlapping and chaos instead of harmony and integration of activities.
COORDINATION IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL MANAGERS:
Coordination is the function of every manager in the organization. Top level managers need to coordinate with their subordinates to ensure that the overall policies for the organization are duly carried out. Middle level management coordinates with both top level and the first line managers. Operational level management coordinates the activities of its workers to ensure that work proceeds according to plans.
COORDINATION IS A DELIBERATE FUNCTION:
A manager has to coordinate the efforts of different people in a conscious and deliberate manner. Even where members of a department willingly cooperate and work, coordination gives a direction to that willing spirit. Cooperation in the absence of coordination may lead to wasted efforts and coordination without cooperation may lead to the dissatisfaction among employees.
After fully understanding the characteristics of coordination, it becomes even easier to understand the value of coordination in management. It is like, without coordination may be the management can exist, but with coordination being in every step of management, it becomes like a “stress-free” element for the managers of all departments.
Thus, coordination is a very much required force in management, without which management cannot function properly.
IMPORTANCE OF COORDINATION.
Coordination is important as it integrates the efforts of the individuals, departments and specialists. The primary reason for coordination is that departments and individuals in the organization are interdependent, i.e. they depend on each other for information and resources to perform their respective activities. Thus, managers need to reconcile differences in approach, timing, effort or interest. At the same time, there is a need to harmonize individual goals and organizational goals.
GROWTH IN SIZE:
As organizations grow is size, the number of people employed by the organization also increases. At times, it may become difficult to integrate their activities and efforts. All individuals differ in their habits of work, background, approaches to situations and relationship with others. It becomes necessary to ensure that all individuals work towards the common goals of the organization. But employees may their own individual goals also. Therefore, for organizational efficiency, it is important to harmonize individual goals and organizational objectives through coordination.
Functions of an organization are divided into departments, divisions and sections. In an organization there may be separate departments of finance, production, marketing or human resources. All these departments may have their own objectives, policies and their own style of working. Conflicts arise in organizations because each unit/department starts performing activities in isolation from others and barriers between departments starts becoming more rigid. However, all departments and individuals are interdependent and they have to depend on each other for information to perform their activities. The activity of each department needs to be focused on attainment of common organizational goals. “The process of linking the activities of various departments is accomplished by coordination”.
Modern organizations are characterized by a high degree of specialization. Specialization arises out of the complexities of modern technology and the diversity of tasks to be performed. Organizations, therefore, needs to employ a number of specialists. Specialists usually think that they only are qualified to evaluate, judge and decide according to their professional criteria. They do not take advice or suggestions from others in matters pertaining to there are of specialization. This often leads to conflict amongst different specialists as well as others in the organization. Therefore, some coordination is required by an independent person to reconcile the differences in approach, interest or opinions of the specialists.
The above mentioned points sums up the entire concept of coordination in management. After looking at the characteristics and importance of coordination, it is now crystal clear that, coordination is a compulsion is management. Management is incomplete without coordination the same way as coordination is incomplete without cooperation.
Hence, studying this topic made it clear that, coordination and cooperation, both are very essential topics of management.
FOLLOWING ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF COORDINATION IN MANAGEMENT:
UNITY AMONGST DEPARTMENTS AND EMPLOYEES.
EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE WORKING OF MANAGEMENT.
SMOOTH FUNCTIONING OF MANAGEMENT.
PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
A managerial principle is a broad and general guideline for decision-making and behavior. For example; while deciding about promotion of an employee one manager may consider seniority, whereas the other may follow the principle of merit.
One may distinguish principles of management from those of pure science. Management principles are not as rigid as principles of pure science. They deal with human behavior and, thus, are to be applied creatively given the demands of the situation. Human behavior is never static and so also technology, which affects business. Hence all the principles have to keep pace with the changes. For example; in the absence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), a manager could oversee only a small work force that too within a narrow geographical space. The advent of ICT has expanded the capability of the managers to preside over large business empires spread across the globe. Infosys headquarters in Bangalore boast of the Asia’s largest flat screen in their conference room from where their managers can interact with the employees and customers in all parts of the world.
In developing an understanding of the meaning of principles of management, it is also useful to know what there are not. The principles of management should be distinguishable from the techniques of management. “Techniques are procedures or methods, which involve a series of steps to be taken to accomplish desired goals.”- meaning of techniques of management. “Principles are guidelines to take decisions or actions while practicing techniques.” – meaning of principles of management.
Likewise, principles should also be understood as being distinct from values. Values are something which are acceptable or desirable. They have moral connotations. Principles are basic truths or guidelines for behavior. Values are general rules for behavior of an individual in society formed through common practice whereas principles of management are formed after research in work situations, which are technical in nature. However, while practicing principles of management values cannot be neglected, as businesses have to fulfill social and ethical responsibilities towards society.
NATURE OF PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT.
By nature is meant qualities and characteristics of anything. Principles are general prepositions, which are applicable when certain conditions are present. These have been developed on the basis of observation and experimentation as well as personal experiences of the managers. Depending upon how they are derived and how effective they are in explaining and predicting managerial behavior, they contribute towards the development of management both as a science as an art. Derivation of these principles may be said to be a matter of science and their creative application may be regarded as an art. These principles lend credibility of a learnable and teachable discipline to the practice of management. As such, ascent to managerial position may not be a matter of birth, but a matter of requisite qualifications. Clearly, management principles have gained importance with increasing professionalization of management.
These principles are guidelines to action. They donate a cause and effect relationship. While functions of management are planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling are the actions to be taken while practicing management, principles help managers to take decisions while performing these functions.
Following are the nature of principles of management:
The principles of management are applicable to all kinds of organizations, businesses as well as non-business, small as well as large, public sector as well as private sector, manufacturing sector as well as service sectors. However, the extent of their applicability would vary with the nature of the organization, business activity, scale of operations and the like.
For example; for greater productivity, work should be divided into small tasks and each employee should be trained to perform his/her specialized jobs. This principles is applicable to a government office where there is a diary/dispatch clerk whose job is to receive and send mails or documents, a data entry operator whose task is to input data on the computer, a peon and an officer etc. This principle is also applicable to a limited company where there are separate departments like production, finance, marketing and research and development etc. Extent of division of work, however, may vary from case to case.
The principles are guidelines to action but to not provide readymade, straitjacket solutions to all managerial problems. This is so because in real life business situations are very complex and dynamic and are a result of many factors. However, the importance of principles cannot be underestimated because even a small guideline helps to solve a given problem.
For example; in dealing with a situation of conflict between two departments, a manager may emphasize the primacy of the overall goals of the organization.
FORMED BY PRACTICE AND EXPERIMENTATION:
The principles of management are formed by experience and collective wisdom of mangers as well as experimentation.
For example; it is a matter of common experience that discipline is indispensable for accomplishing any purpose. This principle finds mention in management theory. On the other hand, in order to remedy the problem of fatigue of workers in the factory, an experiment may be conducted to see the effect of improvement of physical conditions to reduce stress. It is already a known fact that, “practice makes a man perfect.”, hence, by going according to this saying, it is not only necessary but also a compulsion for the managers to be experienced and practice oriented.
The principles of management are not rigid prescriptions, they are flexible. They are flexible and can be modified by the manager when the situation so demands. They give the manager enough discretion to do so.
For example; the degree of concentration of authority (centralization) will depend upon the situations and circumstances of each enterprise. Moreover individual principles are like different tools serving different purposes, the manager has to decide which tool to use under what circumstances.
Management principles aim at influencing behavior of human beings. Therefore, principles of management are mainly behavioral in nature. It is not that these principles do not pertain to things and phenomenon at all, it’s just a matter of emphasis. Moreover, principles enable a better understanding of the relationship between human and material resources in accomplishing organizational purposes.
For example; while planning the layout of a factory, orderliness would require that workflows are matched by flow of materials and movement of men.
CAUSE AND EFFECT RELATIONSHIP:
The principles of management are intended to establish relationship between cause and effect so that they can be used in similar situations in a large number of cases. As such, they tell us if a particular principle was applied in a particular situation, what would be its likely effect. The principles of management are less than perfect since they mainly apply to human behavior. In real life, situations are not identical. So, accurate cause and effect relationship may be difficult to establish. However, principle of management assists manager in establishing these relationships to some extent and therefore useful. In situations of emergencies it is desirable that someone takes charge and others just follow. But in situation requiring cross-functional expertise, such as setting up a new factory, more participative approach to decision-making would be advisable.
The application of principles of management contingent or dependent upon the prevailing situation at a particular point of time. The application of principles has been changed as per the requirements.
For example; employees deserve fair and just remuneration. But what is just and fair is determined by various factors. They include contribution of this employee, paying capacity of the employer and also prevailing wage rate for the occupation under consideration.
Above mentioned points were the “nature of principles of management”, clearly stating the work or the job performed by the principles of management in an organization. These principles act as the guidelines for the managers to be based upon and function with accuracy. Though, these principles weren’t of much importance earlier, but now, they play a very imperative and chief role in the smooth and indestructible working of an organization.
Having described the inherent qualities and characteristics of management principles, it should be easy for us to appreciate the significance of these principles in managerial decision-making.
Hence, principles of management are an extremely important force for an organization.
SIGNIFICANCE OF PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
The principles of management derive their significance from their utility. They provide useful insights to managerial behavior and influence managerial practices. Managers may apply these principles to fulfil their tasks and responsibilities. Principles guides managers in taking and implementing decisions. It may be appreciated that everything worthwhile is governed by an underlying principle. The quest for the management theorists has been and should be to unearth the underlying principles with a view to using these under repetitive circumstances as a matter of management habit.
Following are the importance/significance of principles of management:
PROVIDING MANAGERS WITH USEFUL INSIGHTS INTO REALITY:
The principles of management provide the managers with useful insights into real world situations. Adherence to these principles will add to their knowledge, ability and understanding of managerial situations and circumstances. It will also enable managers to learn from past mistakes and conserve time by solving recurring problems quickly. As such management principles increase managerial efficiency.
For example: a manger can leave routine decision-making to his subordinates and deal with exceptional situations which require his/her expertise by following the principles of delegation.
Supply chain management is one of the broadest topic in the area of management. Management itself is a huge chunk in business enterprises. A management as a whole helps the business to move forward effectively and efficiently. Management literally act like a backbone to any business. It is not a small or irrelevant subject when it comes to the proper functioning of a business, it actually covers and deals with almost all the major decision making process. Management also acts like a “push-forward” source in the working of a business.
When someone decides to establish business, be it, production, manufacturing or any other business, its main aim should be, to have the best management team possible. The better the management team the better will be the outcome of the business. Even if the management area requires a bit more financial aid than anticipated, the manager should definitely go for the investment, as this process is like the “sowing the seed and reaping the fruit” scenario. The more importance a business gives to its management team the better will be the profit margin and lesser will be the risk involved.
Management as a whole is a very broad and huge concept, of which SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT is just a part, but a very crucial part.
A business deals with lots of management, for instance, financial management, human resource management, risk management and so on, and each of these managements contributes to the successful running of a business.
While developing, planning, organizing, any business, the manager or the owner should keep in mind that, if the management team is well-settled, than the risk will be automatically eliminated or at least reduced, where as if there are lope holes in the management team of the company, the company will surely face lots of difficulties, which may prove to act like a liability for the business, and any such unforeseen acts may become “hindrance” to the business’s successful working. Therefore, it is very necessary for the owner or the HR manger to recruit management employees who not only acts but also take efficient and effective management decisions.
The main reason behind the successfulness or the floppiness of any business, is the mere fact of “MANAGEMENT”.
Usually, in cases where people take management for granted are the ones who face very critical consequences and also a sudden negative change in the profit margin. Hence, management is an extremely important and crucial part for making a business reach great and new heights.