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Text 4. Administrative Functions

Public administrators, broadly speaking, engage in a common set of functions to meet the organisation's goals. These "functions" were described by Henry Fayol as "the 5 elements of administration".

Planning - is deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who should do it. It maps the path from where the organisation is to where it wants to be. The planning function involves establishing goals and arranging them in a logical order. Administrators engage in both short-range and long-range planning.

Organising - involves identifying responsibilities to be performed, grouping responsibilities into departments or divisions, and specifying organisational relationships. The purpose is to achieve coordinated effort among all the elements in the organisation. Organising must take into account delegation of authority and responsibility and span of control within supervisory units.

Staffing - means filling job positions with the right people at the right time. It involves determining staffing needs, writing job descriptions, recruiting and screening people to fill the positions.

Directing - is leading people in a manner that achieves the goals of the organisation. This involves proper allocation of resources and providing an effective support system.

Directing requires exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate people. One of the crucial issues in directing is to find the correct balance between emphasis on staff needs and emphasis on economic production.

Controlling - is a function that evaluates quality in all areas and detects potential or actual deviations from the organisation's plan. This ensures high-quality performance and satisfactory results while maintaining an orderly and problem-free environment. Controlling includes information management, measurement of performance, and institution of corrective actions.

Budgeting - incorporates most of the administrative functions, beginning with the implementation of a budget plan through the application of budget controls.

Administrator can serve as the title of the general manager or company secretary who reports to a corporate board of directors. The head of the overall operations in administration is usually referred to as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO may have several vice presidents under him, each in charge of a different area. For example, there could be a vice president of existing operations and a vice president of expansion. While each operates independently of one another, they all receive direction from the CEO and, perhaps, the board of directors.

Answer the Questions:

1. What does the public administrator have to follow to meet the organisation's goals?

2. Who described the main"functions" of administration?

3. How many elements of administration can you name?

4. What is planning ?

5. What types of planning do public administrators engage in?

6. What must administrators take into account organising the work of the company?

7. What does the function of directing mean?

8. What is one of the crucial issues in directing?

9. What is included into the function of controlling?

10. Why is budgeting important for any company?

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