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Introduction to Management and Organizations

Introduction to Management and Organizations

Lesson Objectives

At the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define management.
  • Describe the 4 functions of management.
  • Recognize managerial roles and skills.
  • Explain the characteristics of an organization.
  • Discuss the contributions of management theorists such as Frederick Taylor, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, Fayol, and Max Weber.
  • Define organizational behavior (OB).
  • Discuss the systems approach to management.
  • Outline current trends and issues facing managers.


For any business of any size to achieve its objectives, there must be equipment or raw materials to turn into products to sell; employees to make and sell the products or services; and the financial resources to purchase supplies, pay employees, and run the day-to-day business operations.  To accomplish this,  the business also needs to have managers who can plan, organize, direct staff,  and control the work that goes on.

This section will introduce the students to the subject of management and organizations.   It will examine the functions and roles of managers, the definition of an organization, and the issues that face management today.

Define Management

Traditionally, the term management refers to the activities (and often the group of people) involved in the 4 general functions: planning,  organizing, leading, and coordinating of resources. These 4 functions recur throughout the organization, and they are highly integrated. Emerging trends in management include assertions that leading is different than managing and that the nature of how the 4 functions are carried out must change to accommodate a “new paradigm” in management. This course will help the students to develop a broad understanding of management and its history, and the areas of knowledge and skills required to carry out the major functions of management.

In the article Understanding Management’s Progress, author T. L. Stanley (2004)  wrote the following:

A glance back in time will provide a basis for understanding management’s progress. Through an appreciation of where management came from and where it’s headed, leaders can increase their effectiveness. Needless to say, management is evolving and a vigorous new profession is emerging.  Today’s supervisors and managers enjoy the fruits of an advancing management profession. Contemporary management and leadership theories abound. They include variations of traditional approaches of command and control.  Present-day research has introduced the positive attributes of humanistic,  empowering and participatory management. Management has changed and progressed to include several disciplines of study.

So, what exactly is a manager?  It used to be easy to define who the managers were:  they were the ones telling others what to do and how to do it.  Today, the lines between managerial and nonmanagerial employees are a little harder to differentiate.  One definition of a manager, as noted in the required text, might be someone who works with and through other people by coordinating work activities in an effort to accomplish organizational goals.  Most organizations recognize 4 tiers of employees: nonmanagerial employees; first-line managers, often called supervisors; middle managers; and top, or upper level, managers.

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