Why It Matters: Management

Why describe the primary functions, responsibilities, and skills of effective leadership and management?

You go out for dinner to your favorite restaurant for a special occasion—let’s say graduation. It took a month or more to save up the money, and your date/spouse bought a new outfit just for this outing. Maybe, if you have children, you splurged and got a babysitter for the entire evening. Whatever the circumstances, you have planned an evening to remember. As the night progresses, things are not turning out as you hoped. The hostess has no record of your reservation, so there’s a delay. When your waiter finally appears, he’s grouchy and unhelpful. You place your order and anxiously await what Yelp* describes as a “5-star dining experience.” By the time your food comes, you have devoured the bread on your table, a pack of mints rummaged from your purse, and you’re eying the leftovers on the neighboring table. When your steak finally arrives, it’s overcooked and sits beside a heap of steamed broccoli instead of the baked potato you ordered. You hate broccoli. So, who do you call?

No, not Ghostbusters! You want to speak to the manager, because the manager has the responsibility and authority to resolve the problem (or at least try). But managers do more than just listen to customers complain. As you will discover in this section, whether they interact with customers, employees, suppliers, contractors or the general public, managers and leaders play an important, multidimensional role in all business organizations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the three levels of management and the key skills needed by managers
  • Summarize the development of management theory and the key functions of management today
  • Identify the types of planning and decision making managers engage in, and explain how these help organizations reach their goals
  • Describe the organizing function of management and common types of organizational structure
  • Describe common management and leadership styles, and identify the circumstances under which they are most effective
  • Explain why control is an essential part of effective management, and outline the steps of the control process