Organizing as a Function of Management

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  • 0:05 Organizing as a…
  • 1:57 What Happens when a…
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sherri Hartzell

Sherri has taught college business and communication courses. She also holds three degrees including communications, business, educational leadership/technology.

Once a plan is in place, a manager must put it into action. This lesson explains the role of organizing as a function of management as well as its relationship with planning.

Organizing as a Function of Management

The major functions that a manager completes can be categorized into four different functions, known as planning, organizing, leading, and controlling; a fifth function of staffing also appears in some management literature. This lesson will focus on the second managerial function, known as organizing. The organizing function is carried out once a plan, or an outline for how to achieve some organizational goal, is in place. Many believe organizing is the most critical of managerial functions because of its ability to help or hinder an organizational plan and thus profoundly affect organizational success.

Think about any team sport and how important organizing is to the success of the team. A coach will spend countless hours planning various plays and formulating strategies to beat the opponent. However, those plays and strategies are only as effective as how well the coach organizes various players on the team, each with his or her own set of talents and abilities. The coach must identify which players are best-suited for each position on the team and how the assembly of the larger unit will allow for the plays or strategies to be successfully executed. Misplacing just one player into a position in which he or she is not best-suited, or does not understand the responsibility attached, may have devastating effects on the entire team's ability to complete the play or strategy. Each player must understand his or her role and responsibilities in the assigned position for the plan to be successfully achieved.

What Happens When a Manager Organizes?

Organizing, much like planning, is a process that must be meticulously designed and executed. The end result of the organizing process is the organizational structure, which refers to the type of framework a company uses to distinguish power and authority, roles and responsibilities, and the manner in which information flows through the organization. Having a suitable organizational structure will allow a company to implement proper operating procedures and decision-making processes that will aid the organization in accomplishing its goals.

Organizing requires the manager to determine how he or she will distribute resources and organize employees according to a designated plan aimed at some organizational goal. The manager will need to identify different roles and responsibilities, assign work, and coordinate the right amount and mix of employees across departments to carry out the plan. Each employee must be aware of his or her responsibilities to avoid frustration, confusion, and loss of efficiency. This was seen in the example of the sports team; the coach had to determine which players would assume which positions and subsequent responsibilities. Also, the coach had to be certain to choose the right mix of players to carry out the play or strategy. Each player had to understand his or her role and the responsibilities inherent within that assigned position in order for the plan to be carried out effectively.

In addition to providing structure for work processes and employee roles and responsibilities, organizing also determines how decisions will be made, how information is distributed, and how the organization will respond to problems. The organizational structure should define the formal reporting relationships, chain of command, decision responsibility, span of managerial control, and method of communication. During the organizing process the manager will also need to delegate authority and provide direction so that subordinates can work towards the plan without having barriers in their way.

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