5 Essential Functions of Management Process (Explained)

What are the Functions of Management?

Management has been considered an integral part of achieving organizational desired goals and objectives. The functions of management consist of setting plans about what & how to achieve and concentrating on managing, directing, and controlling all organizational components so as to make the achievement of predetermined organizational goals as effective and efficient as possible.

The functions of management are also called the process of management. These functions are essential to creating a healthy working environment for achieving objectives with great ease and smoothness.

There is a debate on whose management functions are best applicable everywhere since different management scholars have provided different managerial functions. According to them:

  • Henri Fayol – Planning, Organizing, Commanding, Coordinating, and Controlling (POCCC).
  • Luther Gulick – Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting (POSDCORB). Which is also referred to as the 7 functions of management.
  • Kast and Rosenzweig – Goal Setting, Planning, Assembling Resources, Organizing, Implementing, and Controlling (GPAOIC).
  • Koontz and O’Donnel – Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, and Controlling.

From the above functions given by management experts, the functions of Koontz and O’Donnel are mostly accepted and widely used consistently in this modern times.

These functions are well fit and needed in all organizations. A manager should gain deep knowledge of how these functions work. When becoming a manager you should be aware of how to successfully use them in your organization.

The Five Functions of Management

So far we understood what are the important functions of management let’s know how these functions play significant roles in the management process for achieving organizational goals.

All these functions must work in coordination as one function’s effectiveness has a direct effect on the next function’s performance. The effectiveness of all these processes determines whether the desired goal will be achieved or not.


Planning is the first and foremost important function of management. The journey of achieving organizational goals begins with a plan for what to achieve.

Planning is a future-oriented activity and setting goals or objectives to achieve. It states the most appropriate way (s) in advance for the achievement of organizational goals.

It decides what to be done in the future. It predicts the future, assumes control measures, and foresees today’s actions’ effect on the long term. It requires the intellectual ability to set an effective plan.

You should make a plan which is effective. Your effective plan should include an appropriate analysis of the organization’s internal capability (material resources and human resources) and the external environment’s likely threats & opportunities.

Related: Steps in the Process of Planning

The future environment is uncertain and highly dynamic. The plan should be executable in such an environment in a way that prevents future obstacles and exploits future opportunities. The effective plan further gives a clear-cut roadmap, minimizes confusion, and time, and ensures appropriate utilization of organizational resources.


Organizing is establishing a productive relationship between physical, financial, employees, positions, and different units of the organization to achieve organizational goals.

Organizing is a process of creating structure. It defines the working relationship between different organizational units. The organizing management function mainly consists of job design, departmentalization, establishing authority-responsibility relationships, and building coordination mechanisms to give a proper structure to an organization.

As Henri Fayol says “Organizing is a business is to provide it with everything useful or its functioning i.e. raw material, tools, capital and personnel’s”.

Related: Principles of Organizing

By designing jobs, establishing different departments (based on customer, product, process, time, etc.), delegating necessary authority & responsibility to employees, and establishing a cordial relationship in the workplace organizing describes how work should be done. Effective organizing ensures effectiveness and efficiency in the work process.


Staffing is related to the management of employees (human resources) in the organization. It is the act of hiring and keeping quality talents in the organization. The main objective of the staffing function is to keep the right employee in the right position.

It is no doubt that employees are the most valuable assets an organization has. It involves a range of activities such as manpower planning, hiring, providing training, performance appraisal, and promotion or demotion.

Related: The 3 Levels of Management

Every employee differs in terms of education, attitude, personality, intelligence, skills, personal ability, and so forth which complicates the management of employees. Hence, as a manager, you should understand these and recruit the right personnel for the required position understanding their competency and efficiency.

In addition, make sure the assignment of tasks should be done based on employees’ knowledge, skills, and abilities. Assessment of employees in terms of incentives, training, development, and compensation is necessary for the success of this step of the management process. And, the right employees should stay longer in the organization.


Directing is the management function regarding instructing, guiding, inspiring, communicating, and supervising employees for effective and efficient performance towards organizational interest. It is an act of inspiring and influencing subordinates toward the achievement of organizational goals and objectives.

The directing function of management includes elements like leadership, motivation, communication, coordination, and supervision of employees so as to make them efficient in goal achievement.

  • Leadership is the act of guiding and influencing employees in the workplace toward the interest of organizations.
  • Communication means the transmission of information, facts, or ideas between persons. For effective communication in the workplace, there should be two-way communication.
  • Motivation is the act of stimulating subordinates toward organizational goals. The motivation tools may be incentives, higher pay, extra facility as well as punitive measures.
  • The supervision function of management is about observing the activities of employees, units, departments, and the whole organization. It ensures that all organizational members are working as per standards.
  • The coordination function of management is about combining all the units and departments of the organization for the orderly arrangement of group efforts to supply unity of action for the attainment of common goals.

Related: Importance of Directing


Controlling is the last of the five essential functions of management. The controlling function consists of the measurement of implemented plans so as to know whether they are working as planned or not.

The main objective of controlling is to ensure everything goes as per pre-determined plans and if does not go it ensures through corrective actions. Controlling steps include:

  • Setting performance standards.
  • Measuring the actual performance.
  • Comparing actual performance with standards, no deviation is found no corrective action is necessary to take, and if deviations are found.
  • Taking corrective action to ensure implementation in the right direction.

Thus, it can be said that the right planning, organizing, staffing, and directing always do not guarantee the achievement of desired goals. Controlling also plays a significant role. Through controlling, the fact is known whether the plans are working or not to realize set goals and objectives.

Are Management Functions and Process of Management Same?

It often makes us confused that whether the management functions and management process are the same. The answer is Yes.

Management is a continuous process. It is a systematic way of doing things. The process is a series of actions or activities to be done to gain certain results. Management performs various basic functions as mentioned above planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling in a sequence. Thus, it can be said that management functions constitute the essence of the management process.

Read Next: Roles of a Manager

Leave a Comment