Four Functions of Management Overview

Four Functions of Management Overview

The means to balance and achieve work goals.

The four functions of management are Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling. These four functions give managers the means to balance and achieve work goals. Without these functions or if one of them is not properly carried out this can translate into significant losses for companies.

The first function of management is planning. Managers need to determine organizational goals are decide the means to achieving those goals. Typically these goals are derived from the mission and vision statement of the company. Managers will set objectives for the company goals and these objectives can be seen at all levels of work. For example, planning can be seen at every level of an organization as it is key to completing projects successfully (Higgins, 1994).

Managers are also responsible for organization of projects and work within the company. This organization function includes organizing people and utilizing resources. For instance, knowing the number of employees and the number of shifts for completion of projects and general work are key to success. As well, the manager must make sure that employees have the necessary resources to perform their jobs. Lack of organization can lead to inefficiency and lack of productivity (Higgins, 1994).

Leading is the management function through which managers are able to motivate employees to finish tasks and work productively. Leading is not entirely about overseeing employees and making sure they do their job. This defines a separation between the definitions of leaders and supervisors. Supervisors make sure that employees follow a specific formula or order of task completion. When managers lead they inspire workers by inspiring them to reach the objectives of the company (Higgins, 1994).

The controlling function of management is the measure of performance to ensure goal achievement. Managers need to make sure that performance was achieved on many scales of measurement. For instance, was the project accomplished within budget? What was the quality of the work? Skilled managers can use the controlling function to improve output and quality on future projects by communicating deficiencies and strengths to workers and thus motivating them towards improvement. Thus controlling is not as much about making sure that the job is accomplished as it is about a state of constant improvement (Higgins, 1994). Through the controlling function mangers are able to build trust and increase employee knowledge by sharing areas of strength and weakness.

The Film Industry Example

In the costume design and film, the necessity for planning is vital to the process of management. Planning can take several months or even a few years to accomplish in its entirety. Because filmmaking can be expensive, any mistake can cost tremendous amounts of money. For this reason the planning process will take excessive amounts of time in order to avoid these errors.

In this field it is the job of one person to organize the work process. The director is the ultimate authority in filmmaking. The director will organize the different teams that work on the set and their shifts to work. The director will organize staff and resources in accordance with the scenes of the movie. This organization filters down through the entire staff. Teams will be designated for certain tasks and many of these teams will operate independently of on another often with the director and his or her assistants being the only people who have full knowledge of the overall organization.

Leading is perhaps the second most important function in filmmaking management. With many different projects and teams working in unison, the director will delegate authority to his or her assistants. These assistants will have particular areas of responsibility and will oversee these areas in order to make sure individuals or teams are performing their jobs. This function of leading becomes the function of controlling as the director measures the performance of particular teams or individuals. The director controls the work process by overseeing the work through his or her assistants.

The four functions of management serve the same purpose in the filmmaking industry that they do in any other business. They serve to guide the work processes and to create productive and efficient work environments. By utilizing these functions business can its goals.


James Higgins, The Management Challenge, Second edition, Macmillan, 1994.

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Triola Vincent. Tue, Jan 12, 2021. Four Functions of Management Overview Retrieved from

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