What Is Management? Objective, Skills, and Levels Explained

What Is Management? Objective, Skills, and Levels Explained

Management is a term that we hear often, especially in professional settings. But what does it really mean? At its core, management involves coordinating and overseeing the activities of an organization to achieve defined objectives. It’s the glue that holds an organization together, ensuring that resources are used effectively and goals are met efficiently. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a mid-level manager, or someone aspiring to understand organizational dynamics, grasping the concept of management is essential. Management isn’t just about giving orders or making decisions from the top. It’s a multifaceted discipline that involves planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Each of these functions plays a crucial role in the smooth operation of any business or organization. Furthermore, management exists at different levels within an organization, each with its own set of responsibilities and challenges. Understanding these levels helps in appreciating the complexity and nuances of managing an organization.

Functions of Management

  • Planning

Planning is the first step in the management process. It involves setting objectives and determining the best course of action to achieve them. This function is all about foresight and vision. Managers need to anticipate future conditions, allocate resources, and set timelines. Effective planning requires a deep understanding of the organization’s goals and the external environment in which it operates.

For instance, imagine you’re managing a small tech startup. Planning would involve setting short-term and long-term goals, such as launching a new product within the next six months or expanding into new markets by the end of the year. You’d need to identify the resources required, such as funding, talent, and technology, and outline the steps necessary to reach these goals. Planning also involves risk management – anticipating potential challenges and devising strategies to mitigate them.

  • Organizing

Once the plan is in place, the next step is organizing. This function involves arranging resources and tasks in a structured way to implement the plan. Organizing includes defining roles and responsibilities, establishing relationships, and allocating resources. Organizing would involve creating teams for different functions like development, marketing, and customer support. You’d define the responsibilities of each team member, establish a hierarchy, and ensure that everyone has the tools and resources they need to perform their tasks effectively. Good organization ensures that everyone knows what they’re supposed to do and how their work contributes to the overall objectives.

  • Leading

Leading is the function of management that involves motivating and guiding employees to achieve organizational goals. It’s about inspiring and influencing people to perform their best. Effective leadership requires strong communication skills, empathy, and the ability to motivate a diverse team. As a manager, leading would involve not only giving directions but also encouraging innovation, fostering a positive work culture, and addressing any conflicts that arise. You’d need to communicate clearly, provide constructive feedback, and recognize and reward good performance. Leadership is about creating an environment where employees feel valued and motivated to contribute their best efforts.

  • Controlling

The final function of management is controlling. This involves monitoring and evaluating the progress towards the set objectives and making adjustments as necessary. Controlling ensures that the organization stays on track and meets its goals. Controlling would involve setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress, regularly reviewing these metrics, and making adjustments to the plan if needed. If the development team is falling behind schedule, for example, you might need to allocate more resources or adjust deadlines. Controlling is about ensuring that the organization adapts to any changes and continues to move towards its objectives.

Levels of Management

  • Top-Level Management

Top-level management, often referred to as executive management, includes roles like CEO, CFO, and COO. These individuals are responsible for the overall direction and success of the organization. They set long-term goals, define strategies, and make high-stakes decisions that affect the entire company. The CEO would be responsible for setting the vision and mission, making major business decisions, and representing the company to stakeholders. They would work closely with the board of directors and other executives to ensure that the company is moving in the right direction.

  • Middle-Level Management

Middle-level management serves as a bridge between top-level management and the operational staff. This level includes roles like department heads, division managers, and branch managers. These managers are responsible for implementing the strategies and policies set by top-level management and overseeing the day-to-day operations of their respective departments or units. A middle-level manager might be the head of the development team. They would be responsible for ensuring that their team meets its objectives, managing resources, and reporting progress to top-level management. Middle managers play a crucial role in translating the company’s strategic goals into actionable plans and ensuring that these plans are executed effectively.

  • First-Line Management

First-line management, also known as supervisory or operational management, includes roles like team leaders, supervisors, and foremen. These managers are directly responsible for managing the work of non-managerial employees. They focus on short-term goals, ensuring that day-to-day operations run smoothly. A first-line manager might be a team leader in the customer support department. They would be responsible for overseeing the daily activities of the support team, addressing any immediate issues, and ensuring that customer queries are handled efficiently. First-line managers are crucial for maintaining operational efficiency and addressing any immediate concerns that arise.

Objectives of Management

Management, as a discipline, is driven by several key objectives. These objectives help organizations align their activities and ensure that they are moving in the right direction. Let’s explore some of the primary objectives of management:

Achieving Organizational Goals

The foremost objective of management is to achieve the goals set by the organization. These goals can be varied, ranging from increasing market share and enhancing customer satisfaction to boosting employee morale and improving operational efficiency. Managers must set clear, measurable, and attainable goals, and then devise strategies to achieve them.

Efficient Use of Resources

Resources, whether human, financial, or physical, are often limited. Management aims to utilize these resources in the most efficient way possible. This involves careful planning and organization to ensure that every resource is used to its full potential without wastage.

Enhancing Productivity

Another critical objective of management is to enhance productivity. This can be achieved by streamlining processes, adopting new technologies, and motivating employees. Higher productivity leads to better performance, increased profitability, and greater competitiveness in the market.

Ensuring Employee Satisfaction

Employees are the backbone of any organization. Management must focus on ensuring that employees are satisfied with their jobs, which includes providing a safe working environment, fair compensation, opportunities for growth, and recognition for their efforts. Satisfied employees are more engaged, productive, and loyal to the organization.

Fostering Innovation

In today’s fast-paced business environment, innovation is crucial for survival and growth. Management should encourage a culture of innovation where employees feel empowered to share new ideas and take risks. This can lead to the development of new products, services, or processes that can give the organization a competitive edge.

Maintaining Stability and Adaptability

While stability in operations is important, adaptability is equally crucial. Management needs to strike a balance between maintaining stable operations and being flexible enough to adapt to changes in the external environment. This involves continuous monitoring of the market, customer needs, and technological advancements.

Skills Required for Effective Management

Effective management requires a diverse set of skills. These skills enable managers to handle the complexities of their roles and drive their teams toward success. Let’s discuss some of the essential skills for effective management:

Leadership Skills

Leadership is about inspiring and motivating others to achieve common goals. Effective leaders are not just taskmasters but also mentors and coaches who guide their teams through challenges. They lead by example, build trust, and create a positive work environment.

Communication Skills

Clear and effective communication is vital for any manager. This includes not only conveying information but also listening to feedback, resolving conflicts, and fostering open dialogue within the team. Good communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives.

Decision-Making Skills

Managers often face situations that require quick and effective decision-making. This involves analyzing information, weighing options, considering the impact of decisions, and choosing the best course of action. Good decision-making skills help in navigating complex scenarios and achieving desired outcomes.

Time Management Skills

Time management is crucial for managers who need to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities. Effective time management involves prioritizing tasks, setting deadlines, delegating responsibilities, and avoiding procrastination. This ensures that work is completed on time and productivity is maximized.

Problem-Solving Skills

Problems and challenges are inevitable in any organization. Managers need strong problem-solving skills to identify issues, analyze their root causes, and develop effective solutions. This involves critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to remain calm under pressure.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are essential for building and maintaining relationships within the organization. These skills help managers to work effectively with their teams, understand their needs and concerns, and create a collaborative work environment. Good interpersonal skills also help in networking and building external relationships.

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking involves looking at the big picture and planning for the future. Managers with strategic thinking skills can anticipate trends, identify opportunities, and develop long-term plans that align with the organization’s goals. This helps in staying ahead of the competition and ensuring sustained growth.

Financial Acumen

Understanding financial concepts and principles is important for managers, especially those in higher-level positions. This includes budgeting, financial planning, cost control, and financial analysis. Financial acumen helps managers make informed decisions that positively impact the organization’s bottom line.


The business environment is constantly changing, and managers need to be adaptable to these changes. This includes being open to new ideas, flexible in their approach, and willing to learn and grow. Adaptability helps managers to navigate uncertainties and lead their teams through transitions effectively.

Technological Proficiency

In today’s digital age, technological proficiency is increasingly important for managers. This includes being comfortable with various software and tools, understanding data analytics, and staying updated with the latest technological trends. Technological proficiency helps in improving efficiency and staying competitive.


In conclusion, management is a multifaceted discipline that involves achieving organizational goals, utilizing resources efficiently, enhancing productivity, ensuring employee satisfaction, fostering innovation, and maintaining stability while being adaptable. Effective management requires a diverse set of skills, including leadership, communication, decision-making, time management, problem-solving, interpersonal skills, strategic thinking, financial acumen, adaptability, and technological proficiency. Medh’s educational courses are designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in management roles. With a focus on practical applications and real-world scenarios, Medh’s courses can help you understand the complexities of management and drive your organization toward success. Investing in your management skills not only benefits you but also contributes to the overall success of your organization.

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