An organized way of viewing management

Management has been defined as the art and science of getting people to achieve common goals.

While often associated with large businesses, it applies to even an enterprise of only one person; the entrepreneur and social volunteer also need to manage their own work. All managers deal the resources of money, tools and machinery, natural resources and -- most important -- human effort.

One way of looking at management breaks it down into four core functions, each having activities within it. We may quibble about whether a particular activity belongs in this function or that, but they are all part of managing.

Credit: About three decades ago, I was privileged to take a management seminar given by the consulting firm of Louis A. Allen Associates, Inc. Though I'd made a study of business management in my university days and followed up with many other courses, this was the most succinct and clearest presentation I've seen before or since.

The central functions

In practice, many of the management functions and activities are performed simultaneously by the same person in the same act and they all interact. We're separating them out in order to examine them more closely. Each central function is addressed on the page linked to it.

None of these functions are more important than any other. All are critical.