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Explain and discuss the four functions of management.
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Lesson 1 – Introduction to Modern Management

Short Answer Questions


Explain and discuss the four functions of management.

Planning –

Organizing –

Influencing –

Controlling –


How would you describe the significance of Rodney Adkins’s work as a manager? Who benefits from

his abilities and efforts?

Rodney Adkins heads IBM’s Systems and Technology Group that accounts for $18B in revenue and

employs 50,000 people. This makes him an important manager at IBM. His importance to IBM is

underscored by the fact that he was considered for the Chief Executive Officer position at the

company. He is responsible to his superiors for generating positive results for the Group, and, at the

same time, he is responsible to the 50,000 people working under him for guidance, motivation, and

support. IBM benefits from his abilities and efforts when the Group performs well and contributes to

IBM’s overall performance. Likewise, his subordinates benefit from his guidance and direction, as well

as mentorship.


What is the value in having managers at the career exploration stage within an organization? Why?

The decline stage? Why?

4. In terms of the contemporary view of management skill, which activities and skills do you see Adkins

using in his career? How do you think he acquired those skills?

Figure 1.6 clearly identifies the skills that managers need as they move up an organization. Rodney

Adkins’s 30-year IBM career demonstrates that at the supervisory or operational management level

that Adkins got into after college, he had to demonstrate and use his technical skills in the area of

computing. As he advanced to the middle management level, Adkins depended less on the use of

technical skills and more on his human skills in directing and motivating his subordinates. Conceptual

skills became important to Adkins at his current management position. In reading the case, students

should be clear about the fact that Adkins realized, most likely early on, that he needed to go beyond

being a technical person in order to move up the organization. He, thus, complemented his technical

skills by working in non-technical areas. Also, he was helped by mentors who pointed out to him the

skills that he needed to acquire in order to move up.





Discuss the use of organizational resources (human, monetary, raw materials, and capital) in the

restaurant industry. What challenges would a restaurant manager or owner face with each one?

Every restaurant owner (as well as every business owner) requires capital to get started.

Obviously, Lynn required capital to become a Skyline Chili franchisee. She needed raw materials to

run her business – presumably, some bought from the franchisor and others bought locally.

Assuring a constant supply of inputs (as exemplified by her Monday-morning inventory) is a

challenge. Perhaps the biggest challenge, though, is with respect to human resources. Turnover is

typically high in the restaurant industry and Lynn has to keep that in mind in managing her

employees. She has to keep them motivated and productive.

6. Which of Katz’s managerial skills (technical, human, and conceptual) does Lynn seem to use most

often? Why?

It is clear from the case that human skills are what Lynn uses the most often. Managing

employees is a major challenge for a restaurant owner. As a Skyline Chili franchisee, Lynn has

to constantly use her human skills to influence her employees.

Professional Development Questions

You have just been hired to be the new manager of the Blind Pig Bar.

1. Identify five issues related to each management function (Planning, Organizing, Influencing,

Controlling) that you would check upon arriving at the Blind Pig.

2. Assume you decide to change the scheduling systems used at the Bling Pig,


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