Administration is known as the space where a set of common actions or operations take place regardless of the specification of the managed object. The set of operations and the sequence in which they are carried out is what is called the administrative process.
The administrative process is understood as the set of basic managerial operations, common to any organization or activity that includes planning, that is, the determination of objectives and the means and tasks that are necessary to achieve them; the organization, which implies the adequate combination of the means (human and material) and the time to achieve the execution of the planned tasks; regulation, direction or command, which is given by the need to energize the system and; the control, that is, the determination of the level of fulfillment of the planned.
Administration is considered a process where its administrative functions are closely linked. When the control point is reached, the need to plan new actions that are organized, regulated and controlled is evident, hence the process is called the administrative cycle or management cycle.
The administrative functions that make up the management cycle are defined by the classics of administration from early times. Henry Fayol identifies them as: planning (visualizing the future and drawing the action program), organizing (building), directing (guiding and orienting the staff), coordinating (linking, uniting, harmonizing all acts and all collective efforts) and control (verify that everything happens according to the established rules and the orders given).
According to the book “Administration. A global perspective”, a criterion with which it agrees, the administrative functions are: planning, organizing, executing and controlling. They are applicable to activities with defined objectives, which implies the coordination and direction of the use of resources to achieve the fulfillment of said objectives to be achieved and developed.
The number and names of the administrative functions vary according to the authors. Its importance lies in the fact that they include essentially administrative acts and the way in which they are ordered allows their application in an easy and practical way. The aforementioned functions are distinguished in any social sphere, since to manage activities it is necessary to plan, organize the fulfillment of the planned, regulate its progress and control the results. Each of them has a specific character and can exist independently but, by their essence, they are all closely related and interpenetrate with each other.
No new ideas, techniques or research results have emerged that cannot be easily located in planning, organizing, command and control functions.
The success of any activity in achieving its objectives depends largely on how the sequence of the administrative process is followed. Administrative functions are a useful structure for organizing administrative knowledge.
Henri Fayol was one of the first theorists to define the functions of administration in his book “Administration Industrielle et Generale” of 1916. Henri Fayol identified 5 functions of administration, which are: planning, organization, direction, coordination and control. Henri Fayol states in his theory that these functions are universal, and that therefore each administrator must be able to apply them in their daily work.
The Five Functions of Administration are:
Specifically, the administrative functions are distinguished as a correct process of the administration.
That seeks to increase the efficiency of the company through the provision of the company’s departments and their interrelationships. Hence the importance of its structure and operation. Top-down approach, that is, from the managerial component to the executing component, that is, towards the different departments. The company and the administrative process are divided under the centralization of a main boss.
Managers must plan their activities for future conditions, they must develop strategic objectives and ensure the achievement of the objectives. Therefore, future contingencies that affect the organization must be evaluated, and shape the future outlook, whether operational or strategic, of the company.
The administration must visualize the future and outline the actions to be followed, all activities based on future conditions must be planned, strategic objectives are established and their achievement is ensured. A good action plan must be precise and based on unity, continuity and also have some flexibility. It is used to provide a general direction among its tasks is to provide administrators with tools for monitoring and evaluating results, while detecting areas of possible opportunities for improvement.
Planning is important, since its objectives summarize the course to follow and the goals to be achieved, in addition, the economic and general growth of the company is summarized.
One of the ways to draw up planning is: clearly define a problem, study past experiences and foresee the future, determine different ways to act, select the best, allocate resources, prepare for possible adverse situations.
Administrators must organize the workforce in an efficient way and structure so that in this way the activities of the organization can be aligned. Managers must also train and hire the right people for the job, and always ensure a sufficiently skilled and educated workforce.
The administration must create the material and social organizational environment of the company. It must provide the useful things for the proper business operation, mobilizing the material and human resources to carry the plan into action.
One way to approach this administrative function is to organize the workforce efficiently so that the activities of all the departments of the organization can be aligned, an option to increase performance is to hire people trained for the job and increase the training of the same through specialized courses and studies, thus ensuring a qualified and efficient workforce.
Managers must supervise their subordinates in their daily work, and inspire them to achieve company goals. Likewise, it is the responsibility of the administrators to communicate the objectives and policies of the company to their subordinates. The supervisor of subordinates must always be aligned with company policies, and each manager must treat subordinates under company standards.
The administration must guide and orient the staff. It is your responsibility to communicate the company’s policies and objectives to your subordinates. The supervisor and each manager must treat their subordinates under certain standards of respect, leadership and motivation.
One way to execute the direction is to supervise the workers in their daily work and inspire them to achieve the departmental goals, guidelines must be established according to the needs of each worker and each department so that the tasks are efficiently carried out. For new employees, schedule a formal orientation giving directions and teaching in a general way what they need to carry out the position.
Administrators must harmonize the procedures and activities carried out by the company, which means that all the activities of each organizational unit must complement and enrich the work of another.
The administration must unify and harmonize all efforts and activities so that they are aimed at the common achievement of the general objectives of the company and are translated into its profitability and efficiency.
One way to carry out this function is to ensure that each and every one of the activities of the different departments complements and enriches the work of the others. Achieving in this way to link the particular work in search of general achievements for the benefit of the company.
Administrators must control that the activities of the company are in line with the policies and objectives of the company in general. It is also the administrator’s responsibility to observe and report deviations from plans and objectives, and coordinate tasks to correct possible deviations.
The administration must review and verify that everything is done in accordance with the established approaches and rules and according to the orders and guidelines issued. One way to carry out the control is to review and control that the activities carried out are aligned with the policies and objectives of the organization, review the results and report any deviation that occurs, distorts the plans and keeps the department from meeting the objectives.
Henri Fayol’s Five Function Theory of Management is a very normative and functional view in management, and this theory may not fully reflect the administrative complexities managers face in their day-to-day work. As such, Henry Fayol’s five roles focus very little on informal relationships between managers and subordinates, and do not consider how to develop and maintain a motivated workforce.
The 5 managerial functions outlined by Henri Fayol, therefore, do not fully represent the complexity managers face, and the regulatory approach may be too rigid to illustrate what functions managers need to carry out their functions in companies and companies. modern organizations. On the other hand, the 5 administrative functions presented by Henri Fayol give a structured summary of the necessary tasks that all administrators must carry out and offers an initial insight into their daily work.
Planning as an administrative function:
A common denominator of all individuals is that they set identifiable, realistic but challenging goals and then formulate tasks to achieve them. If no end purpose or result is sought, there is no justification for business planning. The Roman philosopher Seneca expressed in his time: “If a man does not know which port he is going to, no wind is favorable to him.” Etymologically, the word planning indicates setting plans to guide action. Therefore, it is understood as the administrative function aimed at establishing objectives, specifying tasks, defining the course of actions in a given time and assigning resources (human, material and financial)
The planning function from the point of view of different management pioneers is understood in a similar way. For George Terry “planning involves selecting information and making assumptions about the future to formulate the necessary activities and achieve the objectives.”
Build the future model of operation of the address object.
- Orient current work in the most appropriate way for the conduct of future work.
- It integrates all the subsystems and groups of tasks towards the fulfillment of the objectives.
- It serves as the basis for the measurement and evaluation of the results achieved.
- Minimize risks.
- Maximize the use of resources and time.
- Seeks rationality in decision-making when establishing schemes for the future.
- It serves as a means of guiding the decision-making process to reduce the uncertainty inherent in any decision-making.
- It is a continuous activity, a permanent readjustment between means, activities and ends.
- It is a resource allocation technique. Its purpose is the definition, dimensioning and allocation of human and non-human resources.
- It allows evaluation conditions to establish a new planning.
- It is linked to the functions of organization, command and control on which it influences and from which it receives influence at all times.
The above shows that planning is one of the means available to obtain good results. The above function proposes concrete, bold but possible realizations within the established frameworks. In essence, it refers to the ability to foresee and visualize ahead, establish the conditions and assumptions under which the activity is carried out and emphasize creativity to find new and better means to carry it out.
The organization as an administrative function.
The human being is aware that the fulfillment of the objectives is only possible through the rational ordering and coordination of the resources available to them. People who work in groups, to achieve some goal, need to have roles to play. The concept of “role” implies that what people do has well-defined purposes and objectives and they have the authority, tools and information necessary to accomplish the task.
The organizational function goes through a large number of references and reaches a level of conceptualization at the beginning of the 20th century with the works of Taylor and Fayol, which mark the application of the function in organizations.
By following the previous criteria and for the purposes of the research, the author considers that the organizational function refers to the act of organizing, integrating and structuring the resources involved; establish relationships between them and assign the attributions of each one. The organization is the part of the administration that implies establishing an intentional structure of the roles that people play and is directed to order and harmonize the human, material and financial resources that are available for the fulfillment of the proposed objectives. As a basic function of the administrative century, it arises with the integration of the human being into social groups, in order to achieve certain objectives.
The purpose of the organization is to help create an environment conducive to human activity. Although the organization defines the tasks to be carried out, the assigned roles have to be designed in the light of the capacities and motivations of the available people. It refers to the way in which activities are divided, organized and coordinated, so that to achieve the successful performance of any activity, its treatment cannot be ignored.
Administrative function of command.
The command function arises since the first human collectives are formed to achieve goals that cannot be achieved individually. In its first moments it is an activity in a certain empirical and spontaneous way where the experience of the oldest and best prepared people prevails.
The command as an administrative function is considered a central and important point of the administration, but perhaps in which there is a greater number of discrepancies, since in the doctrine the command is also known by the words: direction and execution.
Regardless of the diversity of existing criteria, and for the purposes of this research, the terms command, direction and execution are considered synonymous. The terminologies used refer to the administrative function that influences people to obtain goals and carry out planned activities. It addresses the interpersonal aspects of administration, where orientation, integration of resources, supervision, communication, creation, contribution, imagination, initiative, discretionary criteria to make decisions, leadership and motivation play a fundamental role.
The time factor is essential in the activity. It is sent by trying to convince others to work towards achieving what is desired and arises from the steps of planning and organization. The command is the element of the administration in which the effective realization of what is planned is achieved and knowledge is applied in decision-making. Unlike the other functions of the administrative process that deal more with relationships of how things are, the command deals directly with human capital.
The antecedents of communication as one of the determining elements of the command function go back to the stage of Socrates and Plato where the characteristic was interpersonal relationships. Parents of communication,
Communication is a manifestation of the system of material and spiritual relationships of men in their vital activity. It is a process of mutual interaction and influence and is complex when related to individual or collective behavior. In current pedagogical conceptions, it is frequent the affirmation that education and communication are inseparable processes and that it influences motivation among other aspects.
The word motivation derives from the Latin motivus, which means “cause of movement”, it is related to will and interest and is, in synthesis, what makes an individual act and behave in a certain way.
Motivation is a generic topic that applies to a wide range of similar urges, wants, needs, wants, and forces. To claim that an individual is motivated is to affirm that he does things with which he hopes to satisfy his aspirations and induce subordinates to act in a certain way.
For the purposes of research, it is considered that motivation is an internal state where external factors that activate, direct and maintain behavior influence the actions of people. It encompasses both conscious and unconscious impulses, is prior to the result and represents the effort to satisfy a desire or goal. No activity can succeed without the commitment and effort of the people in charge of its execution where the motivation of the subject is transcendental, which arises from the reciprocal action between the individual and the factors of the environment, and varies from one person to another.
Administrative control function.
The administrative control function, like the rest of the functions, applies to all activities that have specific objectives. It implies detecting the possible deviations between the obtained result and the desired one in order to be able to adopt corrective actions that allow to achieve the desired goals. The control offers constant information on the real situation of the target to ensure the expected state.
The control function means checking, acting on deviations, checking the norms and standards and restricting their behavior. Control begins at the moment the desired objectives are defined, on which actual performance can be subsequently verified, making it important to communicate to those involved the objectives in whose achievement they are involved.
The function that is discussed ensures that the actual activities conform to the planned activities, so it is said that control starts from the point where planning ends. However, control is a more general concept, as it enables monitoring of the effectiveness of planning, organization and command, allows corrective measures to be taken when needed and although it represents the fourth stage of the administrative process.
The definition of control alluded to above indicates what the control is intended to achieve, not what the control actually is.
To set performance levels with planning objectives, to design information feedback systems, compare what is expected with what is obtained, adopt changes if there are deviations and take measures to guarantee that all resources are used in the most efficient way and efficient as possible in obtaining the objectives.
Although planning has to precede control, what is planned does not come about on its own. In general, monitoring activities are related to measuring achievement and collecting information about the current performance of objectives. It is of special importance that the information is precise, exact and reflects the real behavior in a reliable way, so that once the deviations are detected, the decisions about it are made with the mistake.
Four basic types of controls are traditionally classified, namely: pre-action controls, managerial controls, selection or yes / no controls, and after-action controls, which are briefly explained below:
- Controls prior to action: these are known as pre-controls and guarantee that before starting the activity a balance is made of the human, material and financial resources that are needed to carry it out. Its function is to prevent problems from occurring and not to fix them once they have occurred.
- Management controls: These are known as progress or cyber controls and are intended to discover deviations from some goal and allow corrections to be made before completing activities. Management controls provide results if accurate and timely information is obtained about changes in the environment or progress towards the desired goal.
- Selection or yes / no controls: represent a recognition process to approve specific aspects or satisfy specific conditions before proceeding with activities.
- Post-action controls: as its name implies, post-control measures the results of an action that ends and allows to establish the causes of any deviation that moves away from the target. Your results apply to similar future activities.
The aforementioned controls are not alternatives, that is, none is an option that excludes the others, rather, some complement others. To the extent that accurate information on the progress of the activity is obtained and the sooner deviations are detected, the faster they can be corrected.
Control is necessary since through it, progress is monitored and errors are corrected, it helps to monitor changes in the environment and the repercussions that they may produce in the progress of any activity, it produces faster cycles, and facilitates the delegation, teamwork and the quality of the activity.
From the theoretical analysis carried out in this chapter, it is observed how the administrative phenomenon, its functions and principles are applied to activities of any kind. This is possible as long as there are specific, defined objectives and the material, financial and human resources to achieve them. In addition, objective conditions are needed to carry out the proposed tasks and effective control mechanisms to detect deviations that occur between what is planned and what has been done and adopt the necessary measures to meet the proposed goals. However, for years, several and diverse terms are used to refer to the administrative activity considered synonymous with the word management.