All organizations strive to increase their performance and levels of efficiency. In order to achieve this, organizations have to have good management. Good management is achieved through managers who are the people taxed with marshaling the human resource in the organization to ensure its growth and expansion. Mintzberg (2009) asserts that management does not entail one individual role, such as learning or controlling. Rather, it is a set of attributed which are blended together to create an effective manager.
These sets of attributes are defined as the four functions of management, which comprise of: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. In my work experience as a prison guard in a correctional facility in GA, I have come to appreciate the fact that management plays a huge role in the success of the prison. In this paper, I will explain how the four functions of management specifically relate to my organization and how their utilization leads to the success of the institute.
Planning, which is defined as “examining the future and drawing up the plan of action,” is one of the functions of good management (Pugh & Hickson, 2007, p.145). It is through planning that the future success of an organization can be assured and/or disasters averted. This function is crucial for the effective functioning of a prison institute since prisons have a lot of complex issues. In particular, the delivery of services to the prison population is a complex affair due to the many organizational considerations that have to be made. These considerations include the classification and subdivision of the offender population, the population density, disciplinary requirements, and health care, to name but a few. Failure to plan may result in a breakdown of the prison organization with far-reaching consequences for the prison facility and the community as a whole.
Organizing is another key element of ineffective management. To organize means providing the material and human resources that are necessary to carry out organizational activities (Pugh & Hickson, 2007). My organization is very keen on fulfilling this management function, as can be seen from the focus on the provision of proper equipment for guards by the prison management. This ensures that we are able to carry out our job effectively. In addition to this, guards and other personnel in prison are given training and the support needed to ensure that work can be carried out efficiently. Through the organization, both human and material resources are used in an optimal manner leading to the successful operation of the prison.
The leading function is essential for the functioning of the prison institute. Leadership refers to a process through which one person uses the help and support of others towards achieving a particular goal or task. Through leading, the manager brings together the needs of an organization and those of the individuals under their command (Pugh & Hickson, 2007). Strong leadership is not only desirable but also essential to the success of the prison since it is only through leading that the goals and objectives of the prison can be reached.
Mintzberg (2009) warns that it is very dangerous to separate leadership from management when thinking about the organization since both entities play a crucial role in organizational development. The senior officers at the prison fulfill the leadership role by setting goals and giving clear visions of what the organization needs to achieve. This gives us, as the staff, a sense of purpose and meaning even as we work towards achieving the goals.
Controlling in the management context involves verifying that everything goes according to plan and the instructions given (Pugh & Hickson 2007). This attribute of management is of great significance since a lack of control in prison can have dire consequences for both the inmates and the prison staff. In my organization, the senior prison guard issues instructions and ensures that the subordinate staffs work as instructed. Supervision is also performed to ensure that performance is satisfactory. In the event that activities fail to go according to plan, the personnel in managerial positions take up corrective measures, therefore, ensuring that things go according to plan
This paper set out to explain how the four functions of management relate to the prison organization that I work for as a guard. Through this paper, I have discussed how managers come up with plans for the future of the institute. The managers also ensure that material and human resources are properly utilized to carry out organizational activities. The paper has highlighted the importance of the leadership function and how managers fulfill this role. Finally, the paper discussed controlling and the way that this function applies in my work setting. Prison staffs have to deliver services to a huge inmate population in an effective as well as efficient manner. From the discussions advanced in this paper, it is clear that the input of management, which takes into consideration the four functions of management, is invaluable in the effective running of the prison.
Mintzberg, H. (2009). Managing. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Pugh, D.S., & Hickson, J.D. (2007). Great writers on organization. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.