Business & ManagementIB

Key functions of management

Key functions of management..... Planning: managers need to set strategic, tactical and operational objectives that affect different parts of the organisation.....Organising: managers
Key functions of management
There are 5 major functions of management:

The key functions of management—planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling—are foundational concepts in the study of business and management. These functions represent the core activities that managers must undertake to ensure the smooth operation and success of an organization. Through strategic application of these functions, managers can effectively lead their teams and achieve organizational goals. This comprehensive analysis explores each function in detail, offering insights into their significance, application, and challenges, complemented by an industry example relevant to IB Business & Management studies.


Definition: Planning involves setting objectives for the organization and deciding on the strategies to achieve them. This function is crucial for providing direction and preparing for future challenges and opportunities.

  • Strategic Planning: Long-term goals aligning with the organization’s mission and vision.
  • Tactical Planning: Short-term strategies that support strategic goals.
  • Operational Planning: Day-to-day activities that ensure the smooth functioning of the organization.

Industry Example: Apple Inc.’s planning process involves setting innovative product development goals (strategic), launching annual iPhone upgrades (tactical), and daily management of supply chain operations (operational) to maintain market leadership in technology.


Definition: Organizing entails allocating resources, assigning tasks, and establishing structures to accomplish the organization’s objectives efficiently.

  • Involves designing the organization’s structure, defining roles and responsibilities, and distributing resources.
  • Ensures that the organization has the necessary workforce, technology, and financial resources.

Industry Example: Toyota’s organizational structure features a global hierarchy that supports its operations worldwide, combined with a strong focus on lean manufacturing processes to optimize resource use and efficiency.


Definition: Commanding requires directing and leading team members to perform their tasks in line with the organization’s goals.

  • Involves clear communication of objectives, providing instructions, and motivating employees to achieve their best performance.
  • Requires leadership skills to inspire and guide employees effectively.

Industry Example: Satya Nadella at Microsoft emphasizes a growth mindset, commanding through inspiration and setting a vision that encourages employees to innovate and collaborate, leading to a revitalized organizational culture.


Definition: Coordinating involves aligning the efforts of different departments and teams to ensure harmonious operation and achievement of goals.

  • Requires managers to oversee various projects and activities, ensuring they are synchronized and complementary.
  • Involves communication and collaboration across different levels of the organization.

Industry Example: Amazon’s coordination of its vast logistics network is critical to its success, ensuring that inventory management, shipping operations, and customer service work seamlessly together to deliver orders efficiently.


Definition: Controlling involves monitoring performance, comparing it with the set objectives, and implementing necessary adjustments to keep the organization on track.

  • Includes setting performance standards, measuring actual performance, and taking corrective action.
  • Allows managers to adapt strategies based on feedback and market changes.

Industry Example: Coca-Cola uses a sophisticated control system to monitor its global operations, including quality control measures for its products and performance metrics for its marketing and sales strategies, adjusting its operations to meet market demands.


The key functions of management provide a framework for effective organizational leadership, enabling managers to navigate the complexities of modern business environments. Through strategic planning, efficient organizing, effective commanding, diligent coordinating, and rigorous controlling, managers can steer their organizations towards success. The examples of Apple, Toyota, Microsoft, Amazon, and Coca-Cola illustrate the practical application of these management functions across different industries, highlighting their relevance and importance for IB Business & Management students. Understanding and mastering these functions are essential for aspiring managers and business leaders to develop the skills necessary for effective management and leadership in the global business landscape.


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