The dawn of the 21st century has brought many transitions in the workplace, one in which everyone must adapt to the rapidly changing society with frequently shifting opportunities and demands. Furthermore, the economy has expanded globally and is driven by technology and innovations, and companies or organizations have to transform themselves to serve the new and dynamic customer expectations effectively. However, the current economy presents dramatic uncertainties as well as challenging opportunities. Moreover, the current economy has become performance-driven and more knowledge based. Respect, Teamwork, participation, empowerment, and self-management are the significant themes in the present context area. In the light of the above, a more dynamic leader is required to guide the business through turbulence. These tasks are done by managers. A manager is somebody who oversees and coordinates the works of other people so that the set goals and objectives can be accomplished (Freeman 2010). While management refers to the process of effective planning, coordinating, organizing, communicating, controlling, and budgeting to enable the organization meet and exceed their set goals. It is important to highlight the functions of management they include;
Planning: the planning function controls all the planning that enables an organization to run smoothly. It involves defining the organizational goal and determination the best effective course of action that is needed to attain the set goals. Furthermore, it also incorporates knowledge of the organizations resources and the future objectives of the organization. It, therefore, demands the manager to be flexible to be able to coordinate with all the levels of leadership and management within the organization.
Organizing: this management function typically controls the overall structure of the organization. An organization must have a distinct structure to enable day-to-day operations of the organization. It involves designating responsibilities and tasks to all employees with specific knowledge and skills needed to complete the allocated tasks effectively. Moreover, it involves the development of the organizational structure and the chain of the command within the organization (Freeman 2010).
Staffing: this is an important management function that controls all recruitment and human resource needs of the organization. The primary purpose of staffing is to have the right manpower for the right job to attain the organizational objectives. Besides, it also encompasses development and training, promotions and transfers, performance appraisals and motivation. It is an essential function because the human resource brought on the board contributes to determining the success or failure of the organization.
Controlling: the core aim of this management function is ensuring that all other management functions are operating harmoniously and are in place. It involves the establishment of performance standards and regular monitoring of employees output to ensure every employee that seriously need to address through the creation of performance standards. The performance levels determine the success of the organization.
Coordinating: the coordinating function of management controls planning, organizing, and staffing activities of the organization to ensuring that all the activities of work together for the good of the organization. It aims at ensuring that the functions are well linked and are on the same page in terms of goals and objectives. It incorporates supervision, communication and direction by the management.
The three levels of management include the first line managers, the middle managers, and the top management team. Managers are also required to perform certain roles, and they include, the interpersonal roles involving liaison activities. Decisional roles and informational roles incorporating monitoring and spokesperson activities are also some of the roles done by managers (Freeman 2010).
Besides, Freeman (2010) ascertains that there are management skills that are needed to perform the challenging duties associated with management. The three essential skills include technical skills of the job knowledge, human skills and conceptual skills that are being able to conceptualize in complex situations.
Management Yesterday and Today
Historical background of management
Management functions have existed for thousands of years. Tangible projects such as the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids involving tremendous scope and also employing hundreds of thousands of workers effectively completed during the ancient times. There were people overseeing the projects dictating what is to be done. Regardless, of how they were called they enabled the organization of materials and people, direct, lead and impose some degree of control to ensure everything works out as planned. Such situations demonstrate that managers have in existence for thousands of years. However, two major significant historical events can be attributed to the study of management (Keane 2001).
In 1776, The Wealth of Nations was written by Adam Smith, in which reasoned out that the economic advantages that societies and organizations would gain from job specialization or division labor. That is the break-down of jobs into smaller and repetitive tasks. He gave an example of the pin industry, where he argued that ten individuals with everyone doing designated work could produce more than 48,000 pins within a day among them. But, if each person worked independently while performing each task independently, it will even be harder to produce more than ten pins in a day. He concluded that division of labor improved productivity through enhancement workers skill and dexterity. As time is saved, that could be lost in shifting from one task to another and by creating labor-saving machinery and interventions (Keane 2001). There has been increased the popularity of division of labor in the current management practices such as the in hospitals every task performed by different people or the specific positions played by football players on a football team. It is undoubted because of the economic benefits cited by Adam Smith.
The other historical event was the industrial revolution in the late 18th century. Human power was substituted by the machine power making it more economical to produce goods in factories rather at home. The large factories needed leaders or managers to predict demand, ensure materials needed were in place, assign duties to people and also to direct the daily operations. Furthermore, the need to have formal theories to direct and guide the large organizations was aroused. There were no any theories to guide manager up until early 1990 that first steps were taken to develop some of the theories. There are six main approaches to management that have been developed: quantitative management approach, scientific management approach, contingency theory, general administrative, organizational behavior and systems management. The six approaches are correct and contribute to the overall understanding of management. However, each of the theories has its limitations (Keane 2001).
This essay provides and in-depth analysis of the quantitative management theory. The human relations school of management approach and the behavioral science school of management theory in their attempt to explain the difference between management of yesterday and that of today.
Quantitative Approach to Management
The scientific methods of management have been humans most significant asset to pursue and uphold an ample number of practices and activities. It has been found out that in situations of national crisis due to the impacts of social, political, economic or cultural factors the skills and talents from all walks of life converge together to overcome the prevailing situation and rectify the problem. The use of the qualitative approach to management has enabled the facilitation of organizations in solving problems that are complex with greater accuracy and within the required time. The primary advantage of the quantitative approach to management is the fact it facilitates faster and accurate decision making. Management processes and activities have currently become complex raising a need for making right decisions to avoid losses or wrong decisions. It does not matter the nature of the organization, whether, a manufacturing unit or a service based organization, and the organizations resources has to be effectively utilized to attain the maximum output. A future forecast depicts that it is clouded with various uncertainties and dynamic and decision making activity cannot be made based on the trial and error method or the thumb rule approach. Future forecasting requires the application of scientific methods to help in decision making to improve or increase the probability of developing and implementing good decisions. A quantitative approach to management is a form of the scientific approach to managerial decision making (Levin et al. 2002). An effective and successful use of the quantitative approach for management helps an organization to solve technical and complex problems accurately within the desired time and besides in the most economical way. The current business world has employed several quantitative management techniques to help in solving managerial problems. This move has enabled managers to be explicit about their goals as it provides extra information to select an optimal decision.
A brief historical development of the quantitative managerial approach to management is of significance. Early 1900, Fredrick Taylor came up and developed the scientific management principle that formed the basis for the study of managerial problems. Then later, during the world war two, a lot of quantitative and scientific approach to management was developed to aid in the military operations. The quantitative methods were found to be successful and were later assimilated into the industrial sector to help in managerial decision-making processes and resource allocation. The importance of the quantitative methods is evidenced by the rapid growth in the use of the scientific methods in different fields of management and engineering. The methods have been diversified to various sectors of the service industry to manufacturing industries (Levin et al. 2002). At present the techniques and analysis are used by managers to make decisions scientifically.
About Quantitative technique: this approach to management adopts the scientific approach in making decisions. It uses the past data in determining the present decisions that prove most valuable in the future. Using past data systematically and constructing it into the desired model for use in the future comprises the major part of the quantitative approach to management. Taking an example where a person invests in a fixed deposit bank account or mutual funds or buying a share in a company or Life Insurance Corporation. The anticipated returns on the investments would vary based on the interest rates and the period. The quantitative management approach analysis helps in determining the value of the investment in the future. Numerous scientific method software packages have been developed to analyze and determine the problems. However, in some situations there is usually no or less availability of past records and data, in these situations quantitative factors are considered to make the decision. Further, in some cases where the range or scope of the quantitative data is limited, qualitative factors are employed and play a major role in decision-making. Situations such as the introduction of breakthrough technologies or sudden change in the tax structures are important qualitati...
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