Topic 4: Managerial Function of Leadership

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When we began the semester the initial discussion focused upon the history of management and how the environment plays a critical role in affecting business decisions and performance. Next, we investigated two of the basic managerial functions – planning and organizing. Managers develop plans that build upon the organization’s strengths, minimize its weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities in the environment, and avoid external threats. Managers then shift their attention toward the task of organizing the financial, physical, technological, and human resources necessary for implementing the strategic, tactical, and operational plans.

In this next topic we look at the third managerial function – leading. Planning and organizing are critical aspects of managing organizations. However, as with any recipe that contains multiple ingredients, leadership is an additional ingredient that is essential for implementing the plans and coordinating the actions of the organization departments and members. Consider a sailing ship that is leaving a port on a journey to the Antarctic. As the ship leaves the port it is clear that goals are set; strategies for achieving the goals are in place; physical resources have been purchased and stored on board; crew members have been organized into groups; and responsibilities and authority have been assigned. Responsibility for success now shifts to the ship’s captain and his or her ability lead the crew during the days ahead. The issues for this imaginary captain to consider are the same as those that any organization manager should consider, and they include: understanding the basic foundations of individual and group behavior (Module 4.1); developing and managing teams (Module 4.2); motivating individuals to accomplish the goals and plans (Module 4.3); understanding how to lead, rather than coerce compliance from the crew )Module 4.1); and facilitating communication with in and between groups or teams.


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University of Idaho
Instructional Designer - Shveta Miglani
College of Business and Economics
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