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Question:

Analyse the Case study “Abraham’s Grocery” .
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Business management is a complex undertaking, which requires self-determination and proper organization of thoughts. It involves several activities, which require coordination and understanding of the all the aspects concerning what is to be done. The case shown indicates that the business has grown remarkably from small to having several branches; therefore, it is wise to also expand the management. Each department will be tasked with specific responsibilities, which, are meant for the success of the business. After noticing some conflicts within the business, the owners seek consultancy advice to break the stalemate where some heads of the department and managers had conflicting responsibilities that created wrangles and unfriendly atmosphere for business to thrive. Therefore, a new management structure has enabled the business to realize some improvements

Management Functions

Any individual who is charged with the responsibility of management in an organization is expected. The fact that the top management has reorganized the management of the business has improved the operations of the business by ensuring it meets its core objectives. We can derive four functions of management from this case study. The four functions can also be considered as the fundamental functions of management that any structured business, firm, or organization would be expected to have ("What Are the Four Basic Functions That Make Up the Management Process?", 2018). They include

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Controlling and
  • Leading

Planning

Planning is the first level of management. It is an important step of management, where the management will come up with a comprehensive action plan focussing on the predetermined goals of the business ("Learn About Management Concepts and its Four Functions Right Here", 2018). For example, we learn in the case study that the store manager draws the action plan to ensure that the meat production is efficient. The proper planning by the respective managers is something that is seen as making the grocery business achieve its goals effectively. Due to the expansion of the business, the owners have made sure that a specific manager heads every store and departments are lead by the respective departmental heads. The grocery department manager also serves as the store manager, but he should not have direct authority over the meat department or production department. Planning as a function of management is exhibited in the case study here through assigning managers in each specific responsibilities and ensuring that they report to specific departmental heads in order to prevent any conflict that may arise in their line of duty.

 


Planning is a very important aspect of management and must be in tandem with the business goals always, for instance in the case study, the main goal of the grocery is to provide its customers with fresh meat ("Management Functions (Windows)", 2018). Therefore, the managers must ensure that they plan according to what they want the business to achieve. 

Organizing

This is the second management role, which involves the determination of how to distribute resources and organizing the employees according to the plan. Abraham and Doris have ensured that a manager to allow decentralization of duties and making every employee to be concerned with specific duties heads each department and sore. The structure of the business is organized to ensure that every employee is assigned responsibility to assist in the achievement of goals of the business ("Case Management Roles and Functions Across Various Settings and Professional Disciplines", 2010). It is noted in the case study that due to the expansion of the business, the top management has to appoint various managers and departmental heads and at the same time align their responsibilities such that every individual knows his or her boss. This is the concern of organization, for instance, the management system is organized to enhance, improve, and create a success the delivery of goods ("Defining the Functions of Management", 2018). In the process, the management needs to delegate authority, assign duties, and issue direction so that the teams responsible for sales can work towards realizing higher sales output to its customers.  

 

Leading

This is the third function of management that deals with giving direction to employees. Every manager has a responsibility to be a leader and must be able to lead others in the correct direction always. However, we sometimes come across instances when a manager does not possess leadership qualities. Being a good leader goes beyond simply managing tasks ("Four Functions of Management", 2018). It is a function of management, which, motivates, inspire, and encourage other employees to carry out their duties diligently without failures to enable the business to realize its goals and objectives. The fact that Abraham and Doris decided to make each store and department to be headed by the manager and departmental heads respectively shows that those managers and the heads of the departments are leading some employees to ensure that they are given direction on whatever they do  ("Five Functions of Management by Henri Fayol | ToolsHero", 2018). Theories of management put leadership to be an important management function that is important to the success of the business. Firstly, leadership is indicated in the way Abraham and Doris have managed to lead their many employees from senior ones to junior ones, hence enabling their business to grow from a small store to having many stores. A manager who lacks qualities of being a leader will have his or her orders followed by the employees because they have to do that ("Four Functions of Management: Planning, Organizing, Leading & Controlling - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com", 2018). However, an employee will voluntarily follow the directions of a leader because of their belief in that particular leader as a person, and in what he or she stands for as well as how he inspires these employees by his leadership qualities.

The last part of the case study shows that when Abraham and Doris realized that the structure of management was bringing challenges due to conflicting responsibilities, they looked for the consultant advice. Consequently, following the recommendation by the consultant, the management has changed the structure of management hence making it easy to know whom to report to at any given time. This step shows how the change of leadership can improve management system as well as the outcome of the business.

 

Controlling

This is the last most important management function. It involves ensuring that the business resources are monitored and controlled and to assign them to those responsibilities that would be beneficial to the business. To control does not mean intimidating employees, but it is generally for the good of the business so that even the employees feel comfortable working for the firm ("Functions of Management - Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling", 2018). Abraham’s grocery’s case indicates how controlling as a management function can enable a small business to grow into many stores. An example of how control did this is how the store managers could assign the responsibilities to employees thus improving coordination within the business. It is noted that the dashed-line management structure would later improve the operations such as the sale of excellent grocery, meat, and all the produce that were part of the business.   

A management approach that best suits the business

The most appropriate management approach for this business is the contingency approach. This approach looks at the management structure but provides insights of that particular circumstance when the management structure can influence the outcome of the business. It tries to explain the consequences of an action that may be taken by the management in the course of discharging their responsibilities and making decisions ("Management Functions - organization, levels, style, manager, school, company, business", 2018). The manager needs to know the type of systematic approach that would make the operations be successful, and that would create a comfortable environment for all the stakeholders. Since the business has opened many stores, there is a need for a proper system of management to avoid conflicting roles and responsibilities among the managers and heads of the departments. The contingency approach is an extension of systems approach, where a proper system must be put in place for the business especially with businesses that grown bigger, and those that are complex ("Five Functions of Management & Leading", 2018). Abraham’s grocery experienced challenges because it had grown bigger; therefore, it was important to restructure the management to improve the system.

 

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise

To improve the efficiency of Abraham’s grocery, a number of things need to be done. Firstly, the management should ensure that roles and responsibilities for each manager and head of the department are clearly, defined to prevent conflicts among the managers. In essence, each employee should understand his or her line of duty and to whom he or she reports. This will enable the management know whom to account in case anything happens  ("Planning Function of Management", 2018). Secondly, the efficiency of the business can be improved by appointing a general manager who will oversee all the operations of all the stores and give a report to the overall owners of the business. Lastly, a simple administrative structure will be healthy so that whoever works here knows where the directives and orders are coming from.

Conclusion

It is important to report that Abraham’s grocery started with a single store but it has seen a remarkable improvement making it develop more stores. This improvement has come with expanded management structure. Therefore, Abraham and Doris have to appoint departmental heads and managers to head the various stores. Due to the increase in the number of stores, there must be challenges in management, which have even made some employees resign from the business. We understand that every business must have challenges especially when it expands, but, for Abraham’s grocery case, they have moved swiftly to curb the emerging challenges.

 

References

Five Functions of Management & Leading. (2018). Retrieved

 from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/five-functions-management-leading-56418.html

Functions of Management - Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and

Controlling. (2018). Retrieved from https://managementstudyguide.com/management_functions.htm

Four Functions of Management: Planning, Organizing, Leading & Controlling –

Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com. (2018). Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/four-functions-of-management-planning-organizing-leading-controlling.html

Management Functions - organization, levels, style, manager, school, company,

business. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Log-Mar/Management-Functions.html

What Are the Four Basic Functions That Make Up the Management

Process?. (2018). Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/four-basic-functions-make-up-management-process-23852.html

Five Functions of Management by Henri Fayol | ToolsHero. (2018). Retrieved

 from https://www.toolshero.com/management/five-functions-of-management/

Defining the Functions of Management. (2018). Retrieved

from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rayanne-thorn/functions-of-management_b_1723977.html

 Four Functions of Management. (2018). Retrieved

from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeHuH39M4QQ

Management Functions (Windows). (2018). Retrieved from https://msdn.microsoft.com

/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa364943(v=vs.85).aspx

Learn About Management Concepts and its Four Functions Right Here. (2018).

Retrieved from https://businesszeal.com/four-functions-of-management-concepts

Planning Function of Management. (2018). Retrieved

from https://managementstudyguide.com/planning_function.htm

OR

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