Levels and functions of management

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Levels and functions of management

Management means to manage or organizing things and people. Management as a process helps in achieving goals of the organization along with fulfillment of the task efficiently and effectively. Managing businesses is becoming tough each day because of increase in their sizes. Thus, the work load is divided between different people who belong to different levels of management. This hierarchy has different authorities and responsibilities. This also introduces the superior and subordinate relationship in an organization.

Different levels of management

Levels of management

Top management

Top level management include the masterminds of the organization. These are the people who head the organization and are therefore responsible for proper working of the organization. They are ones who make plans, generate ideas so that organization can work smoothly, effectively and efficiently. They are also responsible for their work and its effect on the society.

Their work is complex and they need to manage things properly because it involves great workload. They need to put in their best efforts, devote longer working hours and work with commitment. Their work is most stressful than other employees of the organization.

They include board of directors, managers, chief executive officer(CEO), chief operating officer(COO), president and vice – president etc.

Their most important functions include:

  • Setting up of objectives for the organization.
  • Formulating strategies.
  • Framing policies and plans.
  • Procuring various resources.
  • Connecting the organization to the outer world.
  • Hiring personnel.
  • Maintaining co-ordination and control.

Middle level management

Middle level management is the executor level. They are subordinates to top level management and superior to lower level management. They form the link between the top and operational level management. They are responsible for executing the plans set up by the top level management.

They are in charge of the operational level managers or the first line work. They assign the task to them and are responsible for their proper functioning. They are called the departmental heads, junior executives, branch managers, plant superintendent, operation managers etc.

Their most important functions include:

  • Interpreting policies set up by the top level management.
  • Making sure that there are adequate personnel present for the work.
  • Issuing instructions for the work.
  • Motivating employees for working to their maximum efficiency.
  • Co-operating with other departments for smooth functioning.
  • Organizing the departmental or divisional activities.

Operational or supervisory management

This includes the lower level management. They oversee the workforce and are directly responsible for their working. They are the link between the firm and the workers. They inform about the problems of the workers to the firm. Their authority and responsibility is limited and are according to the plans. Whenever they wish for any changes or up-gradation they need to inform the managers above them.

They include the line boss, shift boss, the superintendents, the sergeant at arms, foreman etc. due to their efforts the quality of output is maintained. They are responsible for passing on the instructions of the middle level management to the workers and thus ensure the completion of work according to the standards.

Their most important functions include:

  • Presenting the problems and grievances of the workers before middle level management.
  • Maintaining good working conditions.
  • Working for safety of workers.
  • Providing help in recruiting and appointing the workers.
  • Maintaining standard of quality.
  • Minimising wastage.
  • Boosting morale of workers.
  • Providing periodic reports to the middle level management.

Functions of management

Management is a process of managing things and people and includes many activities which are inter – related to each other. For theoretical purpose these activities are separated but practically they cannot be separated and are highly over lapping. Different management experts provide different list of these activities. They do not have a unanimous opinion because they have studies different organizations which differ on the basis of their functions or sizes.

Mainly we will study five activities which include planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.

Functions of management


Planning is the first function of management. It literally means to decide in advance what to do and how to do. This includes setting up goals for the organization which are to be achieved effectively and efficiently. It fulfils the gap between where we are in present and where we want to go in future.

It includes strategies and ways which are to be followed for achieving the pre-determined goals for the organization. It helps in proper utilisation of the resources such as man, money, material and machinery.

Planning is the first function of management but it is a continuous and never ending process. It is required at every stage. It is performed at each level of management in an organization. Planning cannot help in preventing the problems which will arise in future but it definitely helps in predicting them.

There are various plans which are prepared by the organization such as single use plans and standing plans, which are further classified into objectives, procedures, policies, rules, budgets, methods, strategies etc.

For example: Raj has decided to start his own manufacturing business. He has decided to set up his firm in Surat, India. Before going any further he would have to plan the further activities such as the raw material procurement, personnel recruitment, investment arrangement etc. These are the things he will have to plan initially and later on at different stages of business different plans would be required.


Organizing things in business requires a proper structure. There should be proper direction in which the authority should flow. If there are many superiors for a single subordinate then it may lead to chaos and thus organizing things require proper direction of authority and responsibility.

When a plan has been made then the things are to be organized such as proper allocation of resources, appointment of personnel, determining the number of workers required for a particular task and so on. Organizing involves grouping of the tasks into divisions and departments for setting up the organizational hierarchy.

It includes:

  • Identification and work and its division.
  • Dividing the work into departments.
  • Assigning the duties
  • Establishing reporting relationship.

Organization helps in specialisation and brining clarity in working relationship. It also helps in proper utilisation of resources and in future it will also helps in expansion and growth because of proper division of work within departments


Staffing means getting the right quality and quantity of people for the right job. It is very important to find the people with required qualifications and skills for the work in an organization. This is mainly the function of management related to human resource.

With increasing size of businesses and increase in complexity of business it is becoming important to do proper manpower planning.

Staffing includes:

  • Estimating requirement of manpower.
  • Recruitment of manpower.
  • Selection and placement.
  • Providing training and development.
  • Providing them remuneration.
  • Appraisal of performance.
  • Promotion of employees.
  • Deciding about transfers.


Directing is an important function of management because it is here where the things are done. It is the process of getting things done. While the preparations are done while planning, organizing and staffing and the actual work is done while directing.

It includes influencing, guiding, motivating and leading the employees to perform the assigned task. It is a continuous process which takes place at every level of management and helps in initiating action. Directing flows from top to bottom because a superior will direct his or her subordinate by guiding, motivating, influencing and leading.

Directing helps in the following:

  • It helps in initiating the action towards fulfilment of organizational goals.
  • Helps in realising the full potential of employees.
  • It brings stability and balance in organization.
  • Helps in avoiding resistance of change.


Controlling means to monitor the performance for achieving the pre-determined goals. It includes measurement of the actual performance with the set standards. It helps in checking whether proper progress has been made. If there is any deviation in the performance then it can be corrected by improving planning and working of the organization.

Controlling involves following steps:

  • Setting up the standard performance.
  • Measuring the actual performance.
  • Finding out the deviations.
  • Taking corrective actions for the same.

There are various functions of management which are performed by different levels of management. Usually first the plan is made, then it is organised and the staff is put into place and then that staff is directed and finally controlling is done. Many a times, it becomes difficult to find out the start and end point of each function because they are inseparable and highly overlapped.

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