Managerial Functions

The management functions according to Henry Fayol are planning, decision-making, communication, organizing, leadership, motivation, control and coordination. These functions are important for all types of organization whether it is small, medium or large
Or whether they are private or public organizations. The success or failure of any organization is primarily depends on how effective these functions are carried out in an organization. This particularly true in the current dynamic economic, technological. Social and political climate of the 21st century. In addition it is becoming very vital the success or failure depends on how the above managerial functions are carried out in a global economic environment and challenges of environmental issues and climate change.
The Distribution center of Walmat serves 120 stores and it is a hub, which ensures the stores have the correct products with appropriate quality and as well it ensures the stocks, arrives at stores in time and there is an adequate stock to serve the customers in the respective stores where the distribution center is responsible. Say I am working as a Supervisor for a section, which is responsible to the distribution to Super Centers in a given area. I am directly responsible to the Distribution center chief manager.

The planning function gives an organization direction and sets the objectives as an organization as a whole and also objectives for the sub-units. It also is a tool to use limited resources to use effectively and efficiently and reduce waste so that the organization is competitive and meets the goals consistently in the short and in the long term. In this regard as a Supervisor I have to schedule the day to day work load and have a contingency plan if some staff do not come in a day and how I can reschedule the activities so that I can meet the deadlines and ensure the stocks arrives at the Super center
In time.  In this manner I have to plan activities and implement the plan on a day-to-day basis to meet the objectives of the Distribution center my responsibilities in accordance with procedures and policies of the center and the directions of my manager. Decision-making refers to the question of what to produce, how to produce, when to produce, how to distribute to plan, organize and control activities. As a Supervisor for
Super centers I have to allocate staff for different activities and I have to make decisions regarding the allocation of staff, As well to schedule tasks I have decide the how I can control the workflow with limited interruptions and improve the time taken for each activity as well to make decisions the timing of processing the orders from the Super Center. As well I have to arrange and use transport to deliver the stocks to the Super center and decide the timing and the type of transport needed. That is I have to make decisions in regards to planning, organizing, control and motivate staff to meet deadlines and ensure a smooth workflow with little interruptions.
In any organization the organization uses capital, natural resources and above all human resources or manpower to convert raw materials in to value added products. To accomplish this the organization must recruit the appropriate people in terms of skill, personality and values compatible with the organization, train them if necessary to upgrade skills, motivate them to use their maximum potential by identifying intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors.
As a supervisor I have to ensure adequate staff to perform the activities monitoring the demand for each activity and inform the chief manager on a regular basis to recruit staff for a particular area of work and inform the manager the training needs of staff if identified any inadequacies of their skills observed and in performance evaluations and recommend staff for promotion to the chief manager of the Distribution center.
Managers have to communicate with internal staff above them and below them as well as to external bodies. In my day-to-day work I have to communicate with my staff to motivate and to direct them and allocate the resources they need to perform their tasks as well have to communicate and report the progress of my section to the chief manager in written form in accordance with procedures and policies.
I have to deal orally and writing with the suppliers and with the Super Center to plan and control activities to ensure the schedules are revised and activities are reorganized and the work processes and the logistics in the Distribution Center is reengineered to improve efficiency in consultation with my chief Manager within my work responsibilities.
Organization means the organizational structure such as Authority and responsibility, line of communication, internal control systems, decision-making mechanisms, and logistics
Technological and information system infrastructure, management culture and style, types and number of divisions and departments, levels of management, procedures and policies regarding particular activities which are routine by nature as well as General code of conduct and policies relating to human resource management and other important functions.
As a Supervisor I must know my Distribution center organizational structure and how it fits with Wal Mart so that I can work and know how my work is related with other divisions within the center and know the computer and other internal control systems to work in accordance with such procedures and to enable to use decision-making mechanism tolls computer and other tolls to plan and organize and control activities within my responsibility and to report in accordance with the chain of command and to go beyond my official authority without prior permission.
As well I have to organize activities by allocating tasks to my staff and ensure they work in accordance with procedures and policies applicable to their work and apply my managerial style compatible with my staff profile and compatible with the managerial style of my Chief Manager and with the Wal marts managerial style acceptable to the management culture.
Motivation is an important and complex function of management in all levels including the low level management. Motivation means providing appropriate incentives monetary and non-monetary reward systems to maximize the use of the potential of all staff.
Have a performance evaluation system to enhance performance and provide carrier opportunity to staff, which has the initiative, ambition, skill and appropriate values personality, which is compatible with the organizational culture. As a Supervisor as discussed above I have to understand the complexity of motivation and must identify the motivational factors and provide incentives and give meaningful tasks to staff to motivate them to perform and use their full potential and to retain skilled staff which is a scarce resource and vital for the competitive edge of the organization as a whole.
Managers also must show leadership qualities such as knowledge providers, mentors and facilitators for the staff working for them and to harness their skill and upgrade their skill and shape behavior so that the staff meets the goals of the organization not goals that are not compatible organizational goals as a whole. As mentioned above as a Supervisor I will act as a role model, a mentor a facilitator and a knowledge provider and always tries to upgrade there energy level in a high level and maintain them so that their effort level is high and their morale is high.
Coordination is necessary to work with other divisions and with external clients to meet the goals set for the Distribution Center with the Overall Objectives of Wal mart. As a Supervisor I have to coordinate with suppliers, with other divisions with the Distribution center to plan and control activities to maximize the efficiency of the distribution center not by unit alone in the expense of the distribution center but also add value to the Wal mart as a whole as I acknowledge different divisions may have different objectives and  they are not always compatible and one has to strike a balance between technical objectives, human objectives, sales objectives and cost objectives to plan and control activities.
Control processes are important as it gives feedback on the results of operations to the managers in the form of reports quantitative and qualitative or regular feedback to managers immediately above on a regular basis so that they can adjust the plan or improve the processes and control cost and rectify weaknesses in operational efficiency and innovate new products on a continuous basis to survive and grow in the short and n the long term.
As a Supervisor for Super enter delivery I will give feedback on how to improve efficiency by improving work processes and system and application of technology and better decision making and information system within the organization as well prepare reports in accordance with procedures to measure the performance of the Divisions to control cost and to improve productivity and innovation within the distribution center.
The Chief manager of the Distribution center has to plan for the operation as whole and revise plans based on the feedback from the divisional managers and have to plan for capital expenditure and investment decisions which will improve efficiency within the budget and also plan for man power and budget for expenditures and logistic plans within the distribution center. In staffing the chief manager has to make decisions of the best method to recruit staff, best reward system, promotional policies and assessment systems training of staff.
In relation to decision making he has to make decisions how to plan effectively using technology and other methods, determine best logistic planning and scheduling the activities, cost control methods, make decisions as how to control quality and quality control processes and systems, how to motivate staff, effective methods of coordination of different systems, best feedback mechanism and frequency, appropriate management style.
He has to communicate with finance department, Information technology department, suppliers and stores he is responsible and with other distribution center managers on a regular basis as well as with divisional managers and staff. In controlling activities he must establish feedback mechanism and regular reports to identify problem areas and to identify causes and improve efficiency of the processes and systems and to improve the performance to meet the objectives of the Distribution center.
In motivating staff he must identify the intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors and provide incentives and by enhancing the work of staff and supervisors and providing meaningful work. As the external environment is dynamic and in a global economic environment the Walmart must become more adaptable and there fore the work and duties of all management will become more complex and they must revise their systems and processes on a faster face than ever before and must become a team oriented organization than functional and become more flexible in their work practices in the future.
Carrol.Archie.B. (1993), Three Types of management Planning: Making Organization Work, Management Quarterly, 34, 1, Retrieved February, 15, 2007, from
Divisions (n.d) Retrieved February, 15, 2007, from
Korman.Abraham. K & Kroat.Allen.I. (1999) Evolving practices in Human Resource Management: Responses To a Changing World, London Manel (ed), Retrieved February, 15, 2007 from
Schirmer.F. (2002), Lower-Level and Middle-Level Management as the Recipients and Actors of Human Resource Mnagement & Organization, International Studies of Management, Retrieved 15, 2007 from

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