Executive housekeepers today recognize the need for a clear understanding and successful application of management principles. They may, however, feel overwhelmed by the many terms in the field of scientific management, both from the past and in the present. It is important for executive housekeepers to be familiar and comfortable with these terms and principles, since there is no department within the hospitality industry in general, and hotels in particular, that will provide a greater opportunity for applying management skills.
To help you understand the concept of management, we present an ordering of the management process as developed by R. Alec Mackenzie.20 Building on the works of Fayol, he created a three-dimensional illustration relating the elements, continuous and sequential functions, and activities of managers. Refer to Figure 1.1, Mackenzie’s diagram, when reading the following material.
According toMackenzie, the elements with which today’s managers work are ideas, things, and people. These are the main components of an organization and are in the center of the figure. The manager’s task that is related to ideas is to think conceptually about matters that need to be resolved. The task related to things is to administer or manage the details of executive affairs. The task related to people is to exercise leadership and influence people so that they accomplish desired goals.
The functions of a manager can be thought of as continuous functions and sequential functions. Many times a question may be asked: ‘‘But what does the manager do?’’ The manager should be seen to do several continuous functions, as well as several sequential functions.
The continuous functions relating to ideas and conceptual thinking are to analyze problems.
Those related to things and administration are to make decisions, and those related to people and leadership are to communicate successfully. Problems are analyzed, facts gathered, causes learned, alternative solutions developed, decisions made, conclusions drawn, communications generated, and understanding ensured.
The sequential functions of management are more recognizable as a part of the classical definition of management. They involve the planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling of ideas, things, and people. Mackenzie sets forth various activities in each of these sequential functions that should be studied and recalled whenever necessary.
ACTIVITIES OF SEQUENTIAL FUNCTIONS
According to Mackenzie, a manager’s sequential functions are divided into five areas—planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.
The management plan involves seven basic activities:
1. Forecasting : Establishing where present courses will lead
2. Setting objectives: Determining desired results
3. Developing strategies: Deciding how and when to achieve goals
4. Programming: Establishing priorities, sequence, and timing of steps