Stages of the management process: planning, organization, direction, and control

Stages of the management process: planning, organization, direction, and control
Posted on 05-11-2022

Stages of the management process: planning, organization, direction, and control

The stages of the management process, planning, organization, direction, and control, are of the greatest importance for the company. Each of them is interrelated with the others, thus forming a continuous mechanism that enables the establishment of objectives and their achievement through the optimal use of available resources.

Taking into account the concept of administration is understood as the technique in charge of executing the planning, organization, direction, and control of the resources of an organization in order to obtain the maximum possible benefit, whether economic or social. , then, it is worth delving into the mechanism made up of these stages.

Before going deeper, it is important to distinguish between the phases of the management process and its stages. First of all, there are two phases, namely: the mechanical or structural phase and the dynamic or operational phase. For its part, as mentioned, there are four stages: planning, organization, direction, and control. The first two, planning and organization, make up the mechanical phase of the process, and the final two, direction and control, make up the dynamic phase.

Next, you will learn more about the stages of the management process, its elements, and its relationships. Ahead!


Stages of the management process

The management process is a cycle of four interrelated stages that, when executed continuously, allow the achievement of organizational objectives using optimally the resources available.

The succession of stages of the management process begins with the question: what to do? , which is answered through adequate planning. Next, another question arises, how to do it? , which is clarified through an appropriate organization. Next, instead of a question, you have a statement, let it be done! , which is achieved by means of a suitable address. Finally, a new question, how was it done? , which is taken care of by control, thereby starting the loop again as the process repeats.

Planning, the first stage of the management process

Planning is, basically, an effort to anticipate the scenario that is going to be faced. In other words, planning sets the course to follow, since if you don't know where you are going, the route you take hardly matters.

Planning is necessary because every social organism develops in an environment that is constantly undergoing technological, economic, political, social, and cultural changes. In such a way that this stage constitutes the initial step in the search to alleviate the discomfort produced by the uncertainty caused by the aforementioned changes. In addition, it is important because it sets the basis for control. Without previously established goals, measurement, correction, and improvement are impossible.

For Koontz and Weihrich (p. 78), the planning process includes the selection of missions and objectives and the necessary actions to achieve them; it requires making decisions, which consists in choosing between courses of action. In this way, plans provide a rational approach to achieving preselected goals.

Organization, the second stage of the management process

The organization, as a management function and stage of the management process, aims to provide the necessary structure to make it feasible to achieve the objectives set in the planning stage.

In other words, at this stage, the work, the resources to carry it out, and the responsibilities are identified, classified, grouped, and assigned, so that each member knows what is expected of their work and how they are contributing to the achievement of the group objective.

For Bateman and Snell (p. 20), the organization of activities includes attracting people to the organization, specifying job responsibilities, grouping tasks into work units, discerning and allocating resources, and creating the conditions for people and things to work together in order to achieve maximum success.

Address, the third stage of the management process

Management is a management function that seeks to positively influence the people who make up the organization with the aim of increasing their contribution to group goals.

The elements of the concept, according to Stoner, Freeman, and Gilbert Jr., can be defined as:

  1. leadership. The process of directing and influencing the work activities of group members.
  2. Motivation. The factors that cause, channel, and sustain a person's behavior.
  3. Team. Two or more people interact and influence each other for a common purpose.
  4. Communication. A process by which people try to share meanings through the transmission of symbolic messages.

Munch (p. 105), combines these elements indicating that management consists of executing plans in accordance with the organizational structure, by guiding the efforts of the social group through motivation, communication, and the exercise of leadership.

Next, management, its principles, and its importance are presented in a very didactic way.

Control, the fourth stage of the management process

Although a company has magnificent plans, an adequate organizational structure, and efficient management, the executive will not be able to verify what the real situation of the organization is if there is no mechanism to verify and report if the facts are in accordance with the objectives.

management control, according to Stoner, Freeman, and Gilbert Jr. (p. 610), is the procedure that makes it possible to guarantee that the actual activities adjust to the projected activities.

The objective of this stage is to see that everything is done as planned and organized, according to the orders given, to identify errors or deviations in order to correct them and avoid their repetition.

The following table summarizes the main functions of each of the previous stages:

Functions of the stages of the management process
planning Organization Address Control
  • Set goals and mission.
  • Study alternatives.
  • Determine necessary resources.
  • Generate strategies to achieve goals.
  • Design the positions and specific tasks
  • Create the organization structure.
  • Coordinate work activities.
  • Establish policies and procedures.
  • Defines resource allocation.
  • Direct and motivate employees
  • Establish communication.
  • Solve labor conflicts.
  • Design strategies to improve performance.
  • Measure performance.
  • Take correctives.
  • Check the processes and activities.
  • Inspect company resources.
Source: Hurtado (p. 49)


Relationship of the stages

In practice, the four stages of the management process are interconnected. The performance of one function does not stop completely before the next one is started so the execution of one influences the others. In addition, according to Mackenzie, there are specific tasks or functions, such as problem analysis, decision making, and communication, that are being carried out continuously and, therefore, permeate all stages of the process.

Generally, a manager is simultaneously involved in different tasks that belong not only to one but to several of the stages. For example, you may be planning the launch of a new product while leading the selection and hiring of a branch manager, while negotiating with finance the allocation of the necessary budget to ensure that the new product enters the market with force.

To the outside observer, this may give the impression of disorder, while in reality, the manager is acting with all purpose and force. Generally, greater emphasis is placed on certain functions, depending on the individual situation. Just as some functions need support and execution before others can be put into action. The sequence must be appropriate to the specific objective.

Finally, the importance of the management process is verified when the execution of its stages allows those in charge of the company to make better decisions and, in this way, position it toward a better future with greater competitive capacities.

Other stages of the management process

It is worth mentioning that some authors of management theory mention other functions of the management process, among them, are:


Predicting what can be done consists of diagnosing the information and data available, in such a way that it is possible to anticipate or build the context in which the organization will find itself.


Integrating, with what and with whom it is going to be done, consists of selecting and obtaining the financial, material, technical, and human resources considered necessary for the adequate functioning of a social organism. The integration groups the communication and harmonic meeting of the human and material elements, selection, training, and compensation of the personnel.


Coordination is defined as the meeting of efforts aimed at achieving the established objectives. In fact, the efficiency of the various business departments depends on it and it is located in the dynamic phase of the circuit.

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