Management in business and organizations means to coordinate the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization or initiative to accomplish a goal. Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.
Since organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action, including design, to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system. This view opens the opportunity to ‘manage’ oneself, a prerequisite to attempting to manage others.
In for-profit work, management has as its primary function the satisfaction of a range of stakeholders. This typically involves making a profit (for the shareholders), creating valued products at a reasonable cost (for customers), and providing rewarding employment opportunities for employees. In non-profit management, add the importance of keeping the faith of donors. In most models of management and governance, shareholders vote for the board of directors, and the board then hires senior management. Some organizations have experimented with other methods (such as employee-voting models) of selecting or reviewing managers, but this is rare.
In the public sector of countries constituted as representative democracies, voters elect politicians to public office. Such politicians hire many managers and administrators, and in some countries like the United States political appointees lose their jobs on the election of a new president/governor/mayor.
The top consists of the board of directors (including non-executive directors and executive directors), president, vice-president, CEOs and other members of the C-level executives. They are responsible for controlling and overseeing the entire organization. They set a tone at the top and develop strategic plans, company policies, and make decisions on the direction of the business. In addition, top-level managers play a significant role in the mobilization of outside resources and are accountable to the shareholders and general public.
The board of directors is typically primarily composed of non-executives which owe a fiduciary duty to shareholders and are not closely involved in the day-to-day activities of the organization, although this varies depending on the type (e.g., public versus private), size and culture of the organization. These directors are theoretically liable for breaches of that duty and typically insured under directors and officers liability insurance.
Fortune 500 directors are estimated to spend 4.4 hours per week on board duties, and median compensation was $212,512 in 2010. The board sets corporate strategy, makes major decisions such as major acquisitions, and hires, evaluates, and fires the top-level manager (Chief Executive Officer or CEO) and the CEO typically hires other positions. However, board involvement in the hiring of other positions such as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has increased.
In 2013, a survey of over 160 CEOs and directors of public and private companies found that the top weaknesses of CEOs were “mentoring skills” and “board engagement”, and 10% of companies never evaluated the CEO. The board may also have certain employees (e.g., internal auditors) report to them or directly hire independent contractors; for example, the board (through the audit committee) typically selects the auditor.
Helpful skills of top management vary by the type of organization but typically include a broad understanding competition, world economies, and politics. In addition, the CEO is responsible for executing and determining (within the board’s framework) the broad policies of the organization. Executive management accomplishes the day-to-day details, including: instructions for preparation of department budgets, procedures, schedules; appointment of middle level executives such as department managers; coordination of departments; media and governmental relations; and shareholder communication.
Consist of general managers, branch managers and department managers. They are accountable to the top management for their department’s function. They devote more time to organizational and directional functions. Their roles can be emphasized as executing organizational plans in conformance with the company’s policies and the objectives of the top management, they define and discuss information and policies from top management to lower management, and most importantly they inspire and provide guidance to lower level managers towards better performance. Their functions include:
- Design and implement effective group and inter-group work and information systems.
- Define and monitor group-level performance indicators.
- Diagnose and resolve problems within and among work groups.
- Design and implement reward systems that support cooperative behavior. They also make decision and share ideas with top managers.
Consist of supervisors, section leaders, foremen, etc. They focus on controlling and directing. They usually have the responsibility of assigning employees tasks, guiding and supervising employees on day-to-day activities, ensuring quality and quantity production, making recommendations, suggestions, and up channeling employee problems, etc. First-level managers are role models for employees that provide:
- Career planning
- Performance feedback
Appleton Greene has a number of standard and bespoke corporate training programs available which focus upon management. These programs enable clients to implement practical business processes that are designed to ensure that management improvements are professionally researched and developed, effectively implemented and consistently managed over a sustainable period of time.
Appleton Greene also has a variety of Learning Providers and Consultants with specific expertise and experience relating to management process re-engineering, improvement and sustainability.