The Four Functions of Management at Verizon

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Innovation and good customer service are both critical to the telecommunications industry. Thus it is vital that every manager at the Verizon Telephone Company strive to fulfill all four functions of management, including planning, organizing, leading and controlling (coordinating of resources) the organization to maximize the company’s potential and growth.

Planning includes identifying “goals, objectives, methods, resources needed to carry out methods, responsibilities and dates for completion of tasks” (McNamara, 1997). At Verizon, examples of planning include everything from strategic planning, attempting to determine how to better meet customer’s needs than the competitors, for example, business planning to make sure that no financial resources are wasted, project planning when launching a new service, staffing planning on a very basic level (determining when people can take vacations and not cause a backlog), and advertising and promotions planning to make sure the customer is aware of all of Verizon’s services.

Organizing resources means achieving planned goals in an optimal fashion (McNamara, 1997). To take the example of a new promotional strategy, a manager might ask if it would be best to use the Internet to target a new, younger consumer base for a mobile phone promotion, or perhaps use a more general method of reaching all consumers in a more direct and persuasive manner, like a television campaign. Organizing is about working with others, and working together is a crucial aspect of management. It is not simply about one individual being in control (“Four Functions of Management,” 2006, McGraw-Hill).

Leading includes setting direction for the organization, groups and individuals and also influencing people to follow directions. Again, this is a reminder that even visionary leadership is a relational process, and requires working with others to get things done. A leader sets the tone for others. An organization always has an underlying vision, values, mission and goals for which all short- and must serve. For example, Verizon’s CEO stated in a recent address that leadership: “is more than its performance in the financial markets. It is the totality of a company’s identity: the quality of its people, the value of its brand, its standing in the community and its performance in the marketplace. Building reputation, in this broad sense of the term, is what great companies are all about” (“Message from Verizon’s Chairman and CEO,” 2006, About Verizon).

Notice how this rhetoric makes every employee at the company feel involved in a commitment to quality, yet also stresses Verizon’s mission of putting the customer first. It is not just the CEO who leads, however, rather every manager must ensure that the functions and employees he or she oversee fulfill their necessary functions, and also want to do so. Leadership, in other words, is more than telling people what they must do; it is making people feel motivated to do so and to do their best, and to understand how they fit into the ‘big picture’ of the company.

Planning, organizing, and motivational leadership, however, will have little impact unless plans are put into action. The final vital function of leadership is controlling, or coordinating, the organizational “systems, processes and structures to reach effectively and and objectives” (McNamara, 1997). Controlling also means instating quality controls, which at Verizon includes soliciting customer feedback, and “monitoring and adjustment of systems, processes and structures” to correct defects and even to improve things based upon past performance (McNamara, 1997). Measuring system and human performances through metrics that can be compared with past statistics is an effect way of determining which aspects of the system may need tweaking, and where potential problems may lie in the future (“Four Functions of Management,” 2006, McGraw-Hill).

Works Cited

Four Functions of Management.” (2006). Slide 8. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 18 Feb 2007 at

Message from Verizon’s Chairman and CEO.” (2006). About Verizon. Retrieved 18 Feb 2007 at

McNamara, Carter. (1997). “Basics — Definitions (and Misconceptions)

About Management.” Management Help Retrieved 18 Feb 2007 at t