Management Functions

If one takes the broad generalization of the mega-environment (general environment); one finds the conditions and trends that make up the organizational culture or even the society in which one operates. This term actually encompasses a number of similar and disparate factors. The technological part of the environment tends to focus on knowledge; the economic element the means of production, distribution and consumption of wealth; the on the governmental or rule-based systems to organize the society; the international element the external relationships, and the socio-cultural environment the attitudes, values, norms, believes and behaviors of a particular group or organization (Organizational Environment and Culture, 2008). All these forces are a sum total of how organizations act and react — whether regionally or internationally.

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The legal-political element of the environment is the systems that organize that environment, the rules that are enforced, and the overall manner in which the organization operates. Organizations are subject to laws that allow for behaviors to be mitigated over time and for individuals within those organizations to operate more freely and effectively by having structure. The political portion of the environment functions as the system of government and judiciary and impacts almost every aspect of the environment. The stability and presumptions of the government set the tone for the rest of the organization and economy development. The socio-cultural elements are more qualitative — they are attitudes like values, life styles, ethnic groups, languages, and all the aspects that make a culture unique. Many times, the socio-cultural system allows for to prosper based on the actualization of the population, or their willingness to accept authority. This is particularly true because the what kinds of products or services will be accepted in the market, then the political legal aspect organizes those services or products by regulation (Griffin, 2008).

Part 2 — It has been said that organizations do not have the expertise to assess and make decisions about worthy social programs, and therefore should not be involved. This is a flawed argument because it not only does not take into consideration the type of organization involved, it does not allow for the individual expertise and knowledge of certain people to flourish. Essentially, the argument surrounds the issue of the evolution of public policy. As societies evolved from the Ancient city-state to the more complex urban environment, governments had to improve the structure and function of the micro and macro environments. Public policy is a guide for the administrative function of the state to implement laws, regulatory measures and funding priorities that will benefit the citizenry. Generally, it is embodied within macro constitutional or legislative documents and acts, and/or judicial decisions (Cohen,, 2001).

Organizations are made up of individuals; government is made up of individuals, therefore individuals can, and do, attain the expertise necessary to look beyond a profit and loss mentality and focus more on corporate social responsibility and ethics, as well as becoming involved in policies of utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number). For instance, the gist of corporate social responsibility is a more self-regulated approach to integrate tactics and strategies of the organization into the spirit, ethics and standards of both the legal environment and the public policy template of encouraging community growth and discouraging practices that have the potential to harm society. In this, not only do organizations have the expertise to become involved in public policy, they have the duty to do so (Jonker and De Witte, eds., 2010).

Part 3 — Twenty-First century business environments are rapidly evolving. Globalization has taken over the organization environment, and with this business is forced to undergo continuous and rapid change driven by increasing stakeholder expectations, new technological advances, and competition that is not only global, but viral (Bendell, 2005). This has resulted in a dramatically different business environment in which the modern business, in order to survive and prosper, is forced to evolve and regularly revise their internal and external business processes — in other words, to change with the needs of stakeholders and the marketplace. Decisions are an important part of everyday life, organizations, and particular of leadership goals and behaviors. We know that managers and leaders are not the same, and true leadership roles are often expressed by the mastery of being able to overcome some of the basic issues of poor decision making. Organizations give managers limited authority — sometimes for managing people, sometimes for tasks. Typically, however, managers have subordinates to manage. Even though, then, the manager is technically in charge, they are not necessarily leaders. Organizations direct managers, managers then direct subordinates. Managers are tactical, task oriented, and focused on implementing more than planning (Brown, 2001). Roles really define management — one can be providing leadership to an organization, it can be task management, it can be project management, or it can be an organizational role within any type of organization — from the home to complex businesses.

Part 4 — Breaking the paradigm of management down even further, everyone must “manage” something. This can be individual tasks, not just people, projects, time, or even something as simple as one’s work schedule. It is the degree of management that changes, and with that evolution the character of management moves from task orientation (the tactical) to the strategic, where true leadership skills do more for the organization. In one sense, everyone has to be a manager- but in another, there needs to be a hierarchy so that tasks/projects are completed. The old adage, “too many chiefs and not enough Indians,” is indicative of everyone wanting to manage rather than view tasks as team efforts, etc. One of the best ways to think of everyone being a manager is really in style and focus. Everyone is a manager because everyone must set expectations — whether simple or complex. Second, everyone manages because everyone has something that must be done at a certain time (appointments, shopping, dinner, etc.). Even managing a dinner party, for instance, can be quite complex. Everyone is a manager, too, because everyone must prepare for X by doing Y. This may be learning, collecting, assimilating, or even producing, but it is about the evolution of an idea into something tangible (Schaffer, 2010).

Perhaps the question should be “Is everyone a good manager,” rather than “Is everyone a manager?” Since everyone must manage something, then there is definitive agreement that everyone is a manager. The effectiveness of that managerial style or skill, however, separates a good manager from a poor manager; and even moves into the morphing of management and leadership.


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Bendell, T. (2005). Structuring Business Process Improvement Methodologies. Total Quality Management, 16(8-9): 969-78.

Brown, L.M. And B.Z. Posner. (2001). “Exploring the Relationship Between Learning and Leadership,” Leadership and Organizational Development. May, 2001: 274-80.

Cohen, D., (2001). Advocacy for Social Justice. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.

Griffin, R. (2008). Fundamentals of Management, 8th ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Jonker, J, De Witte, M., eds.(2010). Management Models for Corporate Social

Responsibility, London: Springer.

Schaffer, R. (October 14, 2010). Four Mistakes Leaders Keep Making. The Harvard

Business Review. Retrieved from: http://responsibility-project.libertymutual.keep making?src=keyword_s=ggl_K=manager_C= Responsibility_G=4Mistakes_TeamMembers_M=b&K_CLICKID=5250b4e3-3636-2828-0a8e-00001c670f09#fbid=4hiwRwfYXYb&src=keyword_s