Fundamentals of Management

The definition of management

Management can be defined as “the attainment of organisational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organising, leading and controlling organisational resources.”

There are two important aspects to this definition:

1. The work towards the attainment of organisational goals
2. The four functions of management including: planning, organising, leading and controlling.

Management is about getting work done through other people. A manager must be familiar with the organisation’s goals and have the structure in place to achieve those goals through work of others.

Who are Australia’s managers?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, managers and administrators make up 7.8% of employed persons (2001-2002 figures). The majority of managers are in the 45-64 years age group (37.9%) and 28% of them are 65 years or more.

In 1995, the National Industry Task Force on Leadership and Management Skills estimated that just under half of Australia’s managers are frontline managers. Some are graduates who are appointed to frontline management roles to gain shop-floor experience before progressing through management roles. Most, however, are promoted from being a member of a work team to managing it. Many will remain at this frontline management level for the rest of their working lives.

How well trained and skilled are our managers?

Our managers are less well trained and qualified for management than those of our major overseas trading partners. The 2001 Census revealed that, although just over 15% of the Australian population hold a qualification of some sort in management and commerce (an undergraduate or graduate certificate, degree or diploma), our managers are less likely to have qualifications beyond secondary level and less likely to have been trained in management skills before their appointment.

For example, Department of Employment, Education and Training figures for 1991 show that, whereas 20% of Australian managers hold a first degree, 63% of German managers and 85% of Japanese and American managers hold a first degree.

It is estimated that nearly half of Australia’s frontline managers have no formal training for their role and – if they do – spend on average seven days a year, or 3% of their time, on training and development activities. This is far behind the world’s best practice. Motorola, for example, has a goal that each employee and manager receives 20 days training a year.

These findings are critical of the skill levels and performance of Australian managers relative to managers in OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and many Asian and emerging countries. By providing training and education for our managers and potential managers at all levels, we secure our economic future and standard of living.

This training is needed in the areas of entrepreneurship, global orientation, interpersonal skills, customer service orientation, commitment to quality, strategic skills and team working, including the ability to cooperate with, and use, the skills of a more diverse workforce.

Do you feel you have all of the skills and knowledge to be the best Frontline Manager you can be? Our online Certificate IV in Frontline Management provides participants with the core competencies to work effectively as a team leader or supervisor in a variety of workplaces. It is a perfect qualification for people who find themselves in a supervisory role without any formal training in management or supervision.

The units focus on the key competencies that supervisors require to lead and support their team. The program has been designed to ensure that graduates develop practical skills and understanding to become an effective and competent leader and supervisor.

Contact the Pivot team today on (08) 9221 1803 for more information