Work is of two kinds; first, altering the position of matter at or near
the earth's surface; second, telling other people
to do so. The first kind is
unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid.
Management bear the responsibility for ensuring that
the organization operates to meet its objectives, taking into account the various
participants, regulatory authorities and laws. Management
activities include setting objectives, controlling work, reviewing
results, applying corrective action and providing an environment that stimulates
Are the right
things being done? Often, the time consumed by management activities
inverse proportion to the importance of them, for example, when an inordinate
amount of time is spent approving trifling expenses as compared to the time
given to defining where the organization sees itself in ten years time. Managers
often do the easy things to appear busy, rather than contemplate difficult
issues. Management should evaluate
its activities to see which are really required.
The question should be asked: ‘Is the time and effort we spend on a
particular issue worth more than the results obtained?’
If not - why do it? For example, if people were allowed to spend money on expenses without
prior authorization and only spot checks were made, how much money would the
organization actually lose compared with the saving in management time?
activities are not the same as the activities of a manager. The latter may include many other activities as well as
managing work and people; indeed some 'managers' may not do any actual managing
at all! These other activities could involve professional work, being a media
spokesman or sitting on various external committees. They really come under the category of support or incidental activities.
important management activity is appraisal and benchmarking, that is, comparing
various aspects of the organization with internally imposed objectives, other
similar organizations or government imposed standards.
However, monitoring and appraisal can be overdone - continually asking
someone how well they are coping, producing financial accounts more than
necessary or continually assessing students, may make the manager look busy but
is actually obstructive and counter productive. >>>