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What are Management Skills: Concepts, Applications, Functions, & Importance

Who are the people who sit at the top of an organization conducting every move that the company makes? Who are these people who devise the entire plan on how an organization functions?

This is management.

“The recent change in company principles didn’t sit right with Daniel. Certain parts of the principles seemed too much in favor of superiors and executives rather than colleagues. Considering there must have been some misjudgment, Daniel decided to write an email addressing the issue. He had constructed the entire mail by following proper structure and construct. However, he was unaware of whom to talk to about it.”

Daniel's issue was not related to understanding the concept of management but recognizing who can be considered a part of it.

Your organization has a certain set of goals and objectives that it intends to achieve successfully. Constructing a plan of action to achieve these goals is done by the company management itself.

Here's what this article will cover:

  1. Definition of management
  2. Objectives of management
  3. What makes management integral?
  4. Types of management processes
  5. Is management an art or science?
  6. Trivia
  7. Fundamental operations of a manager
  8. Functions of a management
  9. Some basic management skills that managers require
  10. Three layers of management
  11. Tips for being a good manager
  12. Management skills
  13. Manager level interview preparation tips

The concept itself isn’t a tiny chamber consisting of five people. The collective panel consists of company managers and directors who possess the knowledge and experience to lead organizations towards success and profitability.

“Leadership is about working with goals and vision; management is about working with objectives.” – Russel Honore.

As you read through this blog, you will be able to comprehend exactly what is management and how it functions to create an efficient organization.

Know more about certain management skills that these people possess that make them different from the rest.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Definition of management

While many may mistake it as just a position or a group of people who get together once every month to decide a company’s fate, its true meaning holds more depth. The work of management is to coordinate and delegate tasks that ensure the consistent development of a firm. The management itself guides every activity, task, or job being conducted within the firm. To lead a company towards success, it needs proper strategy and coordination of its activities as per the plan.

Usually, company management members consist of senior employees who have years of experience to back their knowledge and skills. It is through their management skills in distinct subjects that they can participate in the process of planning. Although the management’s plan may be ultimate, however, alterations and ideas for a change are always welcome.

Be very mindful of these, especially while undertaking FAANG interview preparation courses.

Objectives of management

As you have heard before, one of the main objectives of managers is allotting goals for the employees to pursue. They strive to lead an organization on the path of development and growth with their team management skills. To ensure that they must set a certain set of objectives that employees can team up to achieve.

  • Achieving results efficiently

When creating a plan for an organization to accomplish, management must consider how resources such as humans, raw materials, and finance are tangible. They tend to deplete with usage, and there is limited availability of quality resources. So, it is important to ensure that an organization utilizes its management skills and abilities to achieve maximum output and profit without affecting these resources' availability. In this aspect, efficiency is as important as effectiveness.

  • Proper utilization of various factors of production

Suppose you were asked to develop the hardware of a computer from scratch. While you were provided with all the basic components, you fail to use them and somehow construct a similar model. Do you think it will be able to function?

The answer is no! There is no way that whatever you assembled is hardware as it won’t fulfill even its basic purpose.

Similarly, you need to comprehend that the efficient utilization of every factor is important in the process of production. Concentrating on certain aspects such as reduction of wastage or spoilage may assist in the process. This increase in efficiency with effective team management will enable a firm with prosperity and profitability.

  • Increased benefit for employer and employee

The main focus of your organization’s management is to strive to achieve objectives at a fast pace. However, that can only be possible if employees receive enough motivation to assist an organization in growth.

Construction of proper salary and wage plans along with incentives as well as bonuses are effective management skills. Besides monetary motivation, ensuring a healthy work culture also helps employees work with certain devotion towards the organization.

  • Construction of uniform policies to ensure social justice

In the eyes of the management, every employee's views and ideas must be perceived with equality. The management must be more like a tool that ensures the betterment of work culture and ethics. They also assure the betterment of society by offering employment opportunities and assisting employees in increasing productivity.

What makes management integral?

What do you think happens to a school without a teacher? Don’t you think the very point of having a school disappears?

The main focus of any organization is to strive to achieve pre-set goals and objectives of the company. These objectives are allotted and decided upon by the basic management itself. This team of board members also set strategies for the organization to adhere to.

  • They assist in accomplishing group objectives.

You require proper management skills to lead not just one or even five but a huge group of employees towards a singular goal. They construct proper strategies that assist in the process of achieving maximum profitability with minimum effort. Their plans assure that the firm can achieve consistent growth by coordinating, planning, administering, and leading employees.

Professional interview preparation webinars can help you further understand this.

  • Efficient utilization of resources

There is a vast difference that exists between usage and utilization. Although access to quality resources is limited, it is integral to productively use human, physical, and financial resources. To ensure efficient utilization of resources that will enable the firm to achieve productivity, members of the board must develop a proper strategy by using their experience, management skills, and knowledge in the field.

  • Cost reduction

No management likes to waste the company’s financial resources, so they must derive a plan that helps the company reap optimum benefits through minimum input. Proper utilization of their human and other resources will surely lead them to achieve profitability by reducing production costs.

  • Establishing a proper system

Every employee present within an organization strives to achieve a particular objective that will assist in growing the organization. That is why it is necessary that the management ensures a sound organizational system. Delegating who can allot work to whom and the tasks that the employees are required to fulfill to reach a particular goal is integral.

  • Maintaining certain equilibrium

“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.” – Warren Bennis.

Within a developing company, having a dynamic work culture may do more harm than the management can expect. As external factors that impact the development of an organization keep changing, so should the internal coordination. All in all, consumers' demands will keep changing so will the environment the company functions in. It is through management skills that you can alter activities based on these changes.

  • Economic development of society

When a company develops into an organization, it goes through massive economic changes that allow it to create an impact on society. Be it via providing employment opportunities or implementing certain decisions, the work of management influences the environment around it quite a bit.

With proper management skills, introducing certain new products or services may implement changes in the way things usually work in our everyday world.

Types of management processes

Management skills are part of any particular course that you can learn overnight. It takes years of knowledge and expertise to achieve the title of being part of management. The proceedings that are followed by management tend to differ, making it important for you to know about the different types.

  • Goal-oriented process

Certain managements believe in pursuing a certain goal or objective that will assist in developing the organization. They tend to allot targets for employees present within the firm so that every present member of the organization can dedicate themselves to a single goal.

  • All Pervasive

It doesn’t matter if you work in a company based on information technology or data integration; certain functionalities will always remain the same. Activities such as accounting, charity, societal development, etc., do not change with every organization.

Take basketball, for example; the coach of team A holds the responsibility of ensuring that all players are well-prepared to counter the challenges that come with the next game. This task remains the same for team B’s coach, as well.

So, while organizations' purpose, goals, and culture may differ, certain activities will always be similar for every company. Keep reading to learn more about the management skills and abilities required to run a company.

  • Multi-tasking

Management may be a singular term; however, it holds more meaning than what meets the eye. The management isn’t present just to dictate terms for a company to adhere to. They are present to ensure that every employee possesses the motivation to assist the organization in its growth. By utilizing management skills and abilities, they deduct a proper strategy to ensure success and profitability for the company. Their work doesn’t stop after the allocation of targets. They administer every operation to ensure that their strategy can assist in development.

  • Consistent process

The management process consists of 5 basic functions – this includes planning to organize, directing, controlling, and staffing. The members of management must ensure that all tasks are being administered with grace. Their work doesn’t stop at the allocation of the task. It may seem to many employees that they only follow terms dictated by those in higher positions; however, management's work entails more than what you see. They aren’t in charge of a department or team; they must use their management skills and abilities to lead an organization.

  • Team activities

When management allows work or makes any alteration to certain company principles, they aren’t required to consider a single employee. They must possess the proper management skills and abilities to lead a huge team of employees into working together to accomplish the organization’s objective. They must consider the grievances of not only those in managerial positions but also other employees as well.

  • Intangible Force

When someone says they can’t visualize how the management works, it may sound reasonable; however, they couldn’t be more wrong. A company without management is like a school without a principal. Everything would be disoriented, unorganized, and simply chaos. The existence of management in any company is intangible. So although you may not be conversing with them daily, they are still present.

Is management an art or science?

“Management is above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.” – Henry Mintzberg.

While there is a basic distinction between art and science, you might need to refer to both when explaining management skills and abilities. Management itself is a diverse concept, and segregating it into a singular category isn’t possible.

If you ever were to ask this question in public, almost three-fourth is bound to answer that it is more of a science or neither. However, the surprise here is that management can be defined as both.

When you talk about art, you mention creativity, innovation, vision, or inspiration. However, if you take a closer look, you can use the same words to define management. Similarly, science is all about practical application, analytical thinking, and technical knowledge, and the same can be said about management as well.

To comprehend management, you will require detailed knowledge in both aspects as one without the other makes the concept appear unfinished. So, apply your analytical capabilities to deriving innovative results for your organization.


5 things you do that ticks off management-

  • Showing up late on your first week at work.
  • Looking away when they are talking to you.
  • Appearing for work in ripped jeans and sweatshirts.
  • Not showing any sign of respect.
  • Acting unaccountable for your actions.

Fundamental operations of a manager

With a major company application launch event coming forward, all team members prepared for the big day. A week before D-day, Cathy, who was in charge of floor management called in sick. While people associated with the project weren’t concerned about it initially, they later faced the consequence of her absence. The entire event was complete chaos, as no one knew how things were required to proceed. While team members were aware of their responsibilities, unaware of the presentation process, it all fell apart.

This is why any organization requires a manager. There needs to be a particular person in charge of invigilating how events roll out in a particular department of a company regularly.

With the proper management skills, leading an entire group of employees towards the same goals and objectives should be easy.

  • Assigning targets and objectives

One of the key management skills is to ensure that all employees work with efficiency to assist the organization in accomplishing its goals. They motivate employees into utilizing their capabilities and working as a team to achieve a single objective. It is their responsibility to frame strategies that team members or departments can follow to achieve success.

  • Organizing a proper system of work

The task of a manager doesn’t end at allocating targets or objectives for employees to pursue. Ensuring that all work proceeds in a systematic fashion is also the responsibility of the manager. They integrate a proper structure and ensure discipline within the workplace to proceed systematically.  

  • Team motivation

One of the biggest challenges that a manager needs to overcome is to keep employees motivated. Employee motivation can depend on several aspects: monetary benefits, work culture, or additional advantages. A manager needs to ensure that employees possess the enthusiasm to lead an organization towards success.

  • Devising a performance management system

When you are assigned a manager's position, the company doesn’t expect you to sit in your cabin and hover around people’s systems to see what they are doing. The organization wants results, and they want you to enforce your management skills and abilities into ensuring that.

One way of ensuring that employees are on the road to excellence is the performance assessment. Devise a system that will enable you to comprehend how well each member of a particular team is doing and, based on that, analyze and assist them in improving.

  • Enabling employees to develop

Based on the performance assessment, the manager can predict which employee is exceeding expectations. They are also able to figure out who is derailing from their path. However, their job doesn’t end here. A manager is supposed to lead their team along the road to success, so they must assist each member by utilizing effective management skills to comprehend the issues they encounter and overcome them.

“There can be an escape from life but not from hurdles” – Amol Gade.

Functions of a management

You are aware of who your current organization's manager is; however, if you were to explain their requirement, will you be able to offer a proper definition? You may think that management skills only involve creating new company rules and assigning work to employees; however, there is more than what meets the eye.

Do you know what would happen if the management of a company were to disappear? The entire system would come down crashing. Individual employees would try to pursue their own goals before bothering to consider their company. While this aim may be viewed as selfish, any average human being would consider their well-being before others. Not to mention, there wouldn’t be any existent plan on how things are to be done, and it would be no surprise if the company claims bankruptcy at one point due to lack of budgeting.

The list of issues that arise with the lack of management is quite huge, making it the organization's epicenter.

  • Planning

“The essence of management is to make knowledge productive.” – Peter Drucker.

As an organization pursues development, it cannot do so without following a particular plan. The first thing an organization must concentrate on before it begins focusing on strategizing is predicting the future course of action. There are certain goals that every organization pre-determines before establishment. To pursue them, you must predict your future course of action before you start planning toward them.

Your plans need to be flawless and follow a certain systematic format so that employees perceive with a peaceful mind and not in a state of chaos. The utilization of ideas and knowledge from all board members enables them to construct a strategy that enables a firm to soar high.

  • Organizing

Always stick to technique! While you can use your knowledge and effective management skills to complete any task more swiftly, however without technique, it is too chaotic to implement. The dilemma may seem like a streamlined methodology to you may be perceived as a complete waste of time to someone else. For any organization to reach new heights, they must follow a system.

By possessing proper management skills, board members can construct a proper pattern for completing a particular task.

A better explanation for this would be, imagine if an accountant were to derive total profit before calculating gross income. Suppose an application developer directly jumps into planning launch presentations before design and development. If such scenarios were to occur, it would be an example of disorientation, and by organizing tasks, you can prevent that.

  • Staffing

One of the most reliable resources that lie in possession of a company is manpower. Without proper employees, striving to achieve a particular goal isn’t possible for any organization, so the management must dedicate a section of their company to hiring employees who are competent to help the company achieve impossible targets.

Without proper staffing, assigning of tasks or allocation of targets holds no meaning. This is why, before hiring personnel, hiring managers conduct proper speculation. They check the knowledge, background, experience, effective management skills, and ethics of a candidate to comprehend if they can function in their company.

  • Coordinating

The management's work doesn’t end with a staff meeting on who is supposed to do what. The management must formulate plans, create a budget, manage resources, organize a system, etc. Their list of tasks is endless, and every single one needs to proceed in an orderly fashion.

Chaos needs to be avoided, making coordination of every task extremely important. They construct a proper strategy that is to be followed to complete a particular job. Also, to ensure that there isn’t any clash of ideologies within the workspace during the completion of any project, coordination is an extremely integral part.  

  • Budgeting

While an employee’s zeal to work may not have any restrictions, however, there may be a certain limit to utilizing a company's monetary assets. It is the company’s management's responsibility to ensure maximum profitability through the minimum utilization of resources. That is why a company dedicates its accounting team to formulate a budget for employees and managers.

By conducting its workforce to operate efficiently, it can reduce the total cost of production and deplete certain resources. Deriving a budget also enables the management to predict their expenses and prepare a separate fund to tackle them.

  • Reporting

The management of any company monitors every aspect of the organization to ensure streamlined operations.

Cathy had recently noticed that certain employees were facing an issue with having their presentation reviewed by the manager and department head. Although the procedure may ensure an error-free folder, problems arise when the delivery date approaches and employees cannot deliver.

There is a certain conflict of ideologies between the two that affect the employee’s momentum of work. Being a more senior employee, Cathy wanted to alter this system; however, she wasn’t aware of the course of action that she should adopt.

What Cathy should have done is draft a report regarding the issues that employees were encountering. Sending this report to management may have enabled her team to witness a certain change in proceedings.

The reason for creating any report is to specify certain issues or details about a particular operation of a firm. These details will be later applicable when the organization is drafting a strategy or organizational pattern by utilizing effective management skills for employees to follow.

Some basic management skills that managers require

If you are a person with a low attention span, who lacks patience or knowledge and can be quite indecisive, then sorry to break it to you, but you probably aren’t a suitable member to be a part of the company’s management. The members of this board are senior employees who possess the knowledge, effective management skills, and experience to be apt to make serious decisions that will impact the growth of a company.  

  • Calmness

In order to make decisions that impact the future of an organization, it is important that you possess a calm mentality. A disoriented or lax mental state isn’t apt for making smooth decisions. A cool brain is always able to make better decisions compared to a chaotic one. So, if you wish to be apart, try keeping calm and working with efficiency first.

  • Maturity

If you haven’t already noticed, but most of the members of management happen to be senior-most employees of the firm. The reason for this would be their experience that has enabled them with both theoretical and practical knowledge. While a younger member may possess more ideas and can bring innovation, they may not have the experience or effective management skills to back these ideas, which are only theoretically possible.

  • Friendliness

Amicability with every employee of the organization may not be expected; however, members can maintain certain friendliness with people within the company. For being able to make decisions and be open to innovation, it is important that members possess the top management skills of being approachable by the workforce within the company.

  • Tolerance

Losing your cool over negligible concerns is not the decorum or discipline that management members should possess. They are required to conduct themselves a certain way as they establish an image of the company. So, it is necessary that no matter how much a certain situation may frustrate them, they need to keep their cool.

  • Appreciable

Employees working within an organization may receive the monetary funds as per their designated job titles and responsibilities. However, there may be certain innovation, hard work, and dedication that the employee may be implementing that enables them to exceed expectations. In such cases, members of management should devise a system to reward those who meet or exceed expectations.

  • Frank

While being appreciative of employees is understandable when they perform well, however, for others who derail from the path of success require a more frank opinion. An organization is completely dependent on how employees conduct themselves to pursue a single goal. However, if employees are unable to show dedication towards work, then it is the job of the management, to be frank, and offer an honest opinion. Sugarcoating isn’t a word that falls under the job description of a managing head.

  • Determined

Your company’s goals are your ultimate objective, so you cannot afford to be distracted or fall short of enthusiasm. At all times, to ensure that the company is on a one-way ticket to success, it is important that managing heads remain determined. By following their own constructed strategies and sticking to an organized system, achieving these goals shouldn’t be impossible.

Styles of management

No two people are the same. While you may prefer vacations on the beach, your friends may like hiking trips better. If Lasagna is your favorite, others may prefer a grilled cheese over it. There is always a certain distinction when it comes to how each person functions. Like people, organizations tend to differ as well.

Management for every organization has a certain way they regulate themselves. Be the allocation of duties to the coordination of responsibilities, the way every organization works is different.

  • Persuasive management style

By adopting this particular style of management, you do not dictate terms over your employees. Instead, managers are required to use persuasion and effective team management to convince employees to work towards a target. This system allows the integration of new ideas and innovation by employees as well. It comprises rational decision-making procedures where managers place more trust in employees.

Pro: Management establishes trust in employees working within the organization allowing the workforce to accept decisions made by higher-ups with ease.

Con: Employees may feel that they cannot give meaningful feedback or state-certain solution to issues that arise on a regular basis.

  • Democratic management style

The explanation for this term lies in its name itself. When we talk about democracy, the first thing that comes to mind is people receiving equal treatment and no issue of entitlement. Management that operates in a democratic usually follows a similar concept to this. This style of managing employees hardy has any cons as it is all about including every member of a company into the process of decision making.

While the procedure may be viewed as too crude, however, it has proved itself to be an effective way of introducing innovation into a particular company. When minds gather, there is bound for something fruitful to be derived from it.

  • Laissez-faire management

Compared to the rest, this is a relatively new concept that has been adopted by many organizations to lead a company towards its prime goal. Often, they say that a mind that is free is more creative than those who are caged. This management style follows a similar concept, where they prefer to leave decisions in the hands of their staff.

Managements that are run in this procedure only intervene in case of delivery of any work or other major decisions. However, other than that, all daily discussions and solution derivation is done by employees of the firm itself.

Three layers of management

  • Low-level management

Within this level of management, fall job titles, including supervisor, section officer, superintendent, etc. The primary concern of people in this level of management is the coordination of responsibilities in the way that the task gets done. Their everyday work mostly revolves around execution, completion, and delivery of all responsibilities assigned by higher-ups. Keep reading to learn more about some of the many responsibilities that they need to cover using proper management skills.

  1. Allocation of duties to various workers and employees.
  2. Offering instruction and ensuring quality at the time of production.
  3. Maintain healthy relations with employees under them.
  4. Acting as a mediator between the company and the employees.
  • Middle management

This section of management usually comprises department managers or branch heads. These people are accountable to the top management of the company. The functions of people belonging to this level of management involve foreseeing all activities of their team to ensure that they are sticking to the original strategy constructed by the top management. Here is an elaboration of some of the many duties that they are required to fulfill with proper management skills and abilities.

  1. Formulation of plans for sub-units of organization.
  2. Allocation and coordination of units to ensure that all departments and branches are adhering to the plan formulated by the top management.

Last updated on: 
October 26, 2023

Utkarsh Sahu

Director, Category Management @ Interview Kickstart || IIM Bangalore || NITW.

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