Definition of Management.

Management is the process of setting and achieving the goals of the organisation, through the functions of management; planning, organising, directing (or leading) and controlling. Fayol Henri defined management as to forecast and plan to organise and to command.

Drucker Peter, saw management as the organ of society specifically charged with making resources productive.  Falk saw management as getting things done through people.   Brech defined it as a social process which constitutes planning, controlling, coordinating and motivating. Koontz and O’Donnell saw it as an operational process initially best dissected by analysing the managerial functions.

The above definitions indicate that management is a process involving people and resources and has the following main functions; planning, organising, coordinating and controlling.

Definition of Human Resource Management (HRM)

HRM concerns the human side of the management of enterprises and employees with their firms.  Its purpose is to ensure that the employees of a company  (its Human Resources) are used in such a way that the employer obtain the greatest possible benefit from their abilities and the employees obtain both material and psychological rewards for their work.

According to Armstrong, HRM is a strategic and coherent approach to the Management of an organization’s most valued assets – the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its goals.

Storey in Armstrong defined HRM as a distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to obtain competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and skilled workforce, using an array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques. HRM is concerned with the employment, development and reward of people in organizations and the conduct of relationships between management and the workforce.

HRM is about the managerial and leadership processes which enable people to give of their best in today’s turbulent working scenarios.  The ABE syllabus concentrates less on human and organizations behaviour


The functions of management provide a useful structure for organising management knowledge.   The most board, basic and widely accepted functions of management are; planning, organising, staffing, leading, controlling, co-ordinating.  These are performed by every manager regardless of his/her position, undertaking or official assignment.


This involves forecasting, goal setting and decision making. It entails selecting missions and objectives and the actions to achieve.  It requires decision making that is, choosing future courses of action from among alternatives.  Plans provide a rational approach to achieving pre-selected objectives.

Planning is the process of systematic thought that precedes action, during which resources in hand or likely resources are matched against known or predicted conditions to achieve organisational goals.


An organisation consists of people performing a multiplicity of functions or roles.  These must fit into their job objectives and into group effort, given that they have the necessary authority, tools and information, to accomplish the task.  Organising is that part of managing that involves establishing an intentional structure of roles for people to fill in an organisation.  This creates an environment for human performance.  Organising is a tool of management and not an end in itself.  Organising involves division of work into logical tasks and its allocation to staff, and the structural arrangement of staff into groups and organisational relationships.


This involves filing and keeping filled, the positions in the organisation structure.  This is done by identifying workforce requirements; inventorying the people available; and recruiting, selecting, placing, promoting, appraising, planning the careers of, compensating and training or otherwise developing both candidates and current job holders so that tasks are accomplished effectively and efficiently.


Leading is influencing people so that they will contribute to organisation and group goals – it has to do with the interpersonal aspect of managing.  Leadership entails follower ship.  And people tend to follow those who offer a means of satisfying their own needs, wishes and desires.


This is the monitoring and regulating of performance against set goals and objectives.   This is measuring and correcting individual and organisational performance to ensure that events conform to plans.  It involves measuring the performance against set goals and plans, identifying deviations from the standards and correcting them.  Controlling facilitates accomplishment of plans.  Controlling entails measurement of achievement.  During controlling, one may review and amend plans.


This is the essence of management.  It seeks to achieve harmony among individual efforts towards the accomplishment of group goals.  Managers must reconcile differences in individual approaches, timing, effort or interest and also harmonise individual goals to contribute to organisation goals.


This arises out of organising – ensuring that people are appropriately engaged in working activities to meet goals and plans.  It involves motivating and supervising staff.


This is a newer approach to management theory and was proposed by Mintzberg (1975).  This was developed by observing what actually managers do – giving rise to conclusions as to what managerial activities (or roles) are. Mintzberg studied five CEO’s in the USA and concluded that they do not perform the traditional managerial functions – planning, organising, coordinating and controlling.  Instead they engage in a variety of activities.

To meet the many demands of performing their functions, managers assume multiple roles. A role is an organized set of behaviours. Mintzberg has identified ten roles common to the work of all managers. The ten roles are divided into three groups: interpersonal, informational, and decisional. The informational roles link all managerial work together. The interpersonal roles ensure that information is provided. The decisional roles make significant use of the information.

The three interpersonal roles are primarily concerned with interpersonal relationships.  In the figurehead role, the manager represents the organization in all matters of formality.  He performs formal, representational and symbolic duties.  The top level manager represents the company legally and socially to those outside of the organization. The supervisor represents the work group to higher management and higher management to the work group. As a Leader the manager has a relationship with the subordinates, motivates, communicates and coaches.  In the liaison role, the manager interacts with peers and people outside the organization. The top level manager uses the liaison role to gain favors and information, while the supervisor uses it to maintain the routine flow of work. The leader role defines the relationships between the manger and employees.

The direct relationships with people in the interpersonal roles place the manager in a unique position to get information. Thus, the three informational roles are primarily concerned with the information aspects of managerial work. In the monitor role, the manager receives and collects information necessary for work. In the role of disseminator, the manager transmits special information into the organization. The top level manager receives and transmits more information from people outside the organization than the supervisor. In the role of spokesperson, the manager disseminates the organization’s information into its environment.   There is formal provision of information on behalf of the organization.  Thus, the top level manager is seen as an industry expert, while the supervisor is seen as a unit or departmental expert.

The unique access to information places the manager at the center of organizational decision making. There are four decisional roles. In the entrepreneur role, the manager initiates change.   HR initiates, develops and facilitates change and innovation.  In the disturbance handler role, the manager deals with threats to the organization. He troubleshoots problems as and when they arise.  In the resource allocator role, the manager chooses where the organization will expend its efforts.   He distributes and arranges the use of resources (staff, finance, materials, and time).  In the negotiator role, the manager negotiates on behalf of the organization.   He represents the organization in negotiations within his area of responsibility.  The top level manager makes the decisions about the organization as a whole, while the supervisor makes decisions about his or her particular work unit.

In order to perform the functions of management and to assume multiple roles, managers must be skilled.  A manager needs the following managerial skills that are essential to successful management: technical, human, and conceptual.

  • Technical skill involves process or technique knowledge and proficiency. Managers use the processes, techniques and tools of a specific area.
  • Human skill involves the ability to interact effectively with people. Managers interact and cooperate with employees.
  • Conceptual skill involves the formulation of ideas. Managers understand abstract relationships, develop ideas, and solve problems creatively. Thus, technical skill deals with things, human skill concerns people, and conceptual skill has to do with ideas.
  • Diagnostic Skills used to define and understand situations requiring problem solving processes.

A manager’s level in the organization determines the relative importance of possessing technical, human, and conceptual skills. Top level managers need conceptual skills in order to view the organization as a whole. Conceptual skills are used in planning and dealing with ideas and abstractions. Supervisors need technical skills to manage their area of specialty. All levels of management need human skills in order to interact and communicate with other people successfully.


Principles in management are fundamental truths explaining the relationship between two or more sets of variables.  Principles may be descriptive or predicative – describing how one variable relates to another.  Managers who apply theory to managing must usually blend principles with realities.  The best known principles of management are those of Henri Fayol (1841 – 1925).  Principles of management are flexible, not absolute and are usable regardless of changing and special conditions.  Fayol listed 14 principles based on his experience.


  1. Division of work. The specialisation that economists consider necessary for efficiency in the use of labour.
  2. Authority and responsibility. Authority is seen as a combination of official factors derived from the manager’s position, and personal factors – experience, past service etc.  He insisted that authority goes hand in hand with responsibility.
  3. Respect for agreements which are directed at achieving obedience, application, energy and the outward marks of respect.
  4. Unity of command. Employees should receive orders or instructions from one superior only.
  5. Unity of direction. Each group of activities with the same objective must have one head and one plan.
  6. Subordination of individual to group interests. When the two are found to be in conflict, management must reconcile them.
  7. This should be fair and afford the maximum possible satisfaction to employees and employer.
  8. The extent to which authority is concentrated or dispersed.
  9. Scalar chain. Chain of superiors from the highest to the lowest ranks.
  10. A place for everything (everyone) and everything (everyone) in its place. Arrangement of things and people.
  11. Loyalty and devotion should be elicited from personnel by a combination of kindliness and justice on the part of managers when dealing with subordinates.
  12. Stability of tenure. Assuring workers of job security. Unnecessary turnover is both cause and effect of bad management.
  13. Initiative – the thinking out and execution of a plan. Fayol insisted that managers should permit subordinates to exercise it.
  14. Espirit de corps – in union there is strength. Emphasising the need for teamwork and the importance of communication in obtaining it.
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