Although we tend to think of management in terms of the organization of a company, and some may regard management as equivalent to business administration and therefore exclude management in places outside the commercial sector, in reality management structures are evident throughout society, from government bodies through military forces, right down to personal home environments.
This is because management may be defined as all the activities carried out by one or more people with the aim of planning and controlling the activities of other people so that an objective can be achieved that would not have been possible through individuals acting independently.
Most accepted authorities on management believe that there are several parts to the concept of management:
This means that anyone in a managerial role will carry out the above functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling to varying degrees, depending on the specific needs, practices and methods of the organization, and according to the level at which the managing is taking place. For example, lower level managers may not have too much input on staffing, as this might be handled by an authority above them. However, a seam that does run through all levels of management is that managers are engaged in getting things done through other people. Management – Getting the Best Out of Others Page 5
This concept, in which all managers perform the same functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling at each of their particular levels, is sometimes called the universality of management. It is the practices, methods, activities, and tasks within each of these functions that will alter according to the type and purpose of the organization or enterprise.
In the commercial sector, the primary function of management is to satisfy the stakeholders of the company or enterprise. This usually involves making a profit, creating quality products at a reasonable cost, and providing good employment opportunities. In most management models, shareholders vote for the board of directors, the board then hires the senior management team, which then has the responsibility of putting in place lower levels of management.