Business organizations create different departments and assign them manageable, functional areas. The main functional areas of business include human resources, finance, marketing, and production. The main objective of this paper is to examine the functional roles of managers in functional areas of business organizations. This paper reviews the work of Robbins and Coulter (2012) to support the stated objective. Robbins and Coulter (2012 link business-management theories with the perspectives and experiences of managers. The paper will also use a journal article by Lindström and Vanhala (2011). These two texts will help in the development of a study that will give readers insight into functional management, coupled with understanding how the functional roles of managers are critical in contemporary business organizations.
According to Robbins and Coulter (2012), management involves an individual who is engaged in coordinating all the employees’ undertakings in a bid to ensure that duties are completed effectively. For efficiency to be attained, managers should execute their jobs meticulously through proper planning and consultation. To understand the functional areas of a business, this article will focus on the functional role of a manager in articulating the four facets of management, which include planning, organizing, coordinating, and supervising. However, in a bid to answer these questions, the thesis will emphasize that proper application of functional roles by a manager is the key propeller to success in all areas of an organization.
The roles of a functional manager in the finance sector
Research in the management of organizations has led to the restructuring of most businesses in a bid to improve how operations are managed. Since management is required in all sizes, types, and levels of organizations, managers have to plan for a highly functional structure. Robbins and Coulter (2012) posit, “A functional manager is an individual who organizes and supervises other employees so that an organization can meet its operational obligations” (p. 5). A functional manager in the finance section is vested with the management of cash, the direction of investment, sourcing of funds, ensuring a regular and sufficient supply of financial resources, and controlling optimum use of funds. Managers’ general role is to ensure that missions and targets are directly linked to daily organizational activities. Functional managers handle fundraising and management. They achieve this goal by tracking employees’ progress in their duties. Also, they give professional suggestions as well as issuing a direction to workers within certain sections of operation. Moreover, they seek financial consultations from their teams in a bid to make informed decisions about their department’s resource priorities and ensure sound capital structure to strike a balance between investment and returns (Lindström & Vanhala, 2011).
The roles of a functional manager in the human resource sector
The main role of the human resource department involves decision-making on issues of staffing, coupled with staff training and development. Functional managers in this area often make reviews of the workers’ outcomes, coupled with seeking additions or solutions to raise performance at an individual and team level. These roles work interchangeably with process improvement. As managers provide the needed tools and training, the workers’ ability to identify flaws and alleviate deficiencies improve. For example, in the human resource department, managers act as change agents as they oversee staffing as well as the firing of workers who may not measure to the standards of the organization. Also, they organize and coordinate human capital as well as ensuring that the organization adheres to the labor laws. They also oversee record keeping and internal policy reforms. This role requires the manager to have vast skills in the decision-making process when weighing the outcomes of each decision. During training and process improvement, decision-making skills are needed to tap opportunities and resolve problems for every worker in a bid to ensure efficiency (Robbins & Coulter, 2012).
The roles of a functional manager in the production sector
The most critical role in this department entails the creation of links between functional managers and other types of management across business organizations such as project managers who double as facilitators. Functional managers in this department coordinate the production of goods. For instance, in the production section, functional managers are given a defined set of tasks to coordinate within their sections of operation, such as supervision and control of the production process. In contrast, project managers are assigned various functional areas tackling different functional duties. In the process, the two management areas complement each other at certain levels of production. This role requires the functional managers to ensure that employees have interpersonal relationship skills, which are necessary for managing individuals with requisite expertise at that particular stage of production. If the manager fails to link operations at this stage, then the business operations can be distorted at all levels of production. As suggested by Lindström and Vanhala (2011), success in different functional areas is team-oriented as opposed to individual responsibility.
The roles of a functional manager in the sales and marketing sector
The main role in this department is the control of markets through appropriate communication. For sales and marketing to peak, managers have to review the marketing strategies and choose the best criteria to win customers. Essentially, managers in this area are held responsible for what happens at all levels of sales within their divisions. They review the progress of the sale and report to senior management. Since dealing with customers is a critical factor, functional managers should possess excellent communication skills, which are needed to transfer information to workers (Robbins & Coulter, 2012). By doing this, workers develop the motivation and responsive character, which are necessary when handling clients. Also, this development improves time management, and workers are in a position to meet targets on time and appropriately. The roles mentioned above give a general overview of the roles of functional managers in different segments. However, it is necessary to note that the roles’ relative application may vary in different departments, but the aggregate purpose is to improve efficiency. This goal is achieved through spirited teamwork. For instance, sales functional managers require skills in reaching customers as opposed to human resource functional managers who need skills in hiring and firing workers; however, their ultimate objective is to attain an organization’s target.
The objective of this study has been accomplished by analyzing the duty of functional managers in various functional areas in an organization. The study has shown how functional management can be effective in operational businesses if managers understand and practice their roles effectively. This goal has been achieved by identifying how managers should engage workers in the process of improving productivity, for instance, via training and involving them in teamwork. Credible resources have been utilized to gather evidence about functional management, coupled with how the model addresses functional tasks, which include planning, coordinating, organizing, and supervising.
Lindström, S., & Vanhala, S. (2011). Divergence in HR functional roles in local government. Public Management Review, 13(7), 895-1095.
Robbins, P., & Coulter, M. (2012). Management (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.