The success of any given organization depends on various factors. One of the most crucial factors includes the ability and the success of the key people, particularly the manager. A manager has four primary functions, which he must perform effectively to ensure that the organization succeeds in its operation. These functions include planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Planning is the base of all the other functions. It involves the setting of goals and objectives and developing strategies to achieve them. In order to plan successfully, a manager should analyze both the internal and external factors that can affect the organization. Planning can be short term, intermediate or long term. Organizing function is another essential function of a manager. It involves the integration of resources available, roles and responsibilities, as well as delegation of these responsibilities among the members.
Leading, on the other hand, influences and directs people towards the organizational needs (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy, 2008). In this case the manager relates with the workers and strives to motivate them to maintain their work as they improve for better results. Controlling function, involves the setting of standards, measuring performance and evaluating to identify failure and success in the organization.
There are various activities in which a manager should be involved. These activities include planning, analyzing, reporting, staffing, training, supervising and coordinating among others (Certo & Trevis, 2009). To perform these activities effectively, the manager should have the required skills. These skills are referred to as the managerial skills.
There are six main management skills which a manager needs to demonstrate in the management process. These skills include communication, decision making, planning, delegation, problem solving and organizing skills. Communication skills are the ability to pass information to the organization team, as well as the outsiders of the organization. Good decision making skills include the ability to analyze the situation at hand, develop alternative and implementing the best alternative in the best way possible. Motivational skill is the ability to influence worker towards the organization’s needs and objectives. Delegation skill involves the ability to select the best individuals and groups to perform a certain task. Organizational skills are the ability to understand the organization as it is, in order to develop the best structure and relationship in the organization (Certo & Trevis, 2009). Organizations sometimes face problems which must be resolved. Problem solving skills enable the manager to solve problems in an objective manner.
Classical management theory focuses on two areas, which include the work and the organization. The theory is concerned on how the effective work and the organization can be managed to achieve the intended goals. There are three main strengths of this management approach. First, it advocates for high specialization at the work place. This ensures that there is efficiency in that everyone does what best fits him. It also advocates for centralized control, which is exceptionally effective for a new organization and when subordinates and operational managers do not have the required skills. Lastly, it focuses on profit maximization, which ensures that every member in the organization works efficiently to avoid the unwanted cost.
On the other hand, the classical approach of management has four key weaknesses. First, specialization relies on experience and hence, may not be applicable for new employees and situations (Dubrin, 2011). Secondly, workers in an organization are treated like machinery to achieve goals while undermining their social needs. Thirdly, the centralized and bureaucratic approach of management limits the level of creativity among members in the organization; they work in a mechanical way. Fourthly, some assumptions of this theory are not realistic. For example, the approach assumes that workers are motivated only to work because of money and hence they will remain committed as long as they are paid.
A learning organization is a future oriented organization, which focuses on learning about the factors affecting its performance, as it develops its members for a future performance (Rheem, 1995). The concept of a learning organization is essential for a modern organization in various ways. It enhances creativity, innovation, aspiration and satisfaction among its employees. Such an organization remains relevant and dynamic in the market it operates.