Explore BrainMass

Business Management

The discipline of business management looks at the relationships between managers and employees andhow work is organized. In this sense, business management often overlaps with organizational behaviour.

The field of business management arose largely as the result of the work of Henri Fayol and Frederick W. Taylor in the mid twentieth century. Taylor is the author of the theory of scientific management. In its simplest form, the theory is the belief that there is "one best way" to do a job and scientific methods can be used to determine that "one best way." Taylor suggests that knowledge should replace tradition and intuition when making business decisions. As well, if there is one best way of doing things, it would have to be the responsibility of the manager for enforcing that work was done by this standard. Today, we see Taylor's influence in the prevalence of shared best practices across businesses and industries.

Around the same time, Fayol proposed that there were five primary functions of the business manager. We often see these five functions simplified to planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Since Fayol's seminal work, the study of business management has continued to be focused predominantly on the skills and resources managers need in order to carry out these functions as a manager successfully. Along with Taylor's ideas of shared best practices, business schools have focused significantly on how these skills can be developed and used most effectively. In their originality, the five functions of a business manager are:1

  1. Planning: setting the vision, mission, values, and strategy (or action) of the organization.
  2. Organizing: defining the lines of authority and the division of responsibility
  3. Coordinating: developing the timing and sequence of activities and making sure it all works (project management, for example)
  4. Commanding or directing: putting the plan into action - leadership skills are a must!
  5. Controlling: enforcing the rules, monitoring performance, and adjusting standards and plans as needed.

Forecasting is often added to the list as the first management function. There is also an important seventh function of management: the information function. According to Peter Drucker, "[successful business managers] need to learn to ask two questions: what information do I need to do my job? - and what information do I owe others so that they can do their job?" As a result, we recognize that managers play an important role in facilitating the manipulation, sharing, aggregating and presenting of useful information about the business and its environment across the organization.2

Today, business managers need a number of different skills in order to carry out management's function: decision-making skills, leadership skills, communication skills, the ability to manage diversity, networking skills, the ability to design and implement business policy, change management skills, and project management skills. This is not to limit the manager's toolkit to these skills alone. For example, the field of organizational behaviour also offers significant insight into the role of a business manager.

Important trends have also impacted this discipline. These trends date back to the G.I. Bill following World War II, which granted free education for veterans and set a strong foundation for American’s growth into knowledge-based industries. These trends include globalization, outsourcing, technology, ethics, diversity, and flattening organizational structures and the use of teams. For example, because of globalization, additional skills are also needed by the international business manager, such as understanding international business cultures. The study of business management is continuously evolving as a result of these trends, and significant attention is paid to how these trends are impacting the management field.




1. Fayol, H. (1949), General and Industrial Management, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd., London, (translated by Constance Storrs).
2. Bakewell, K. G. B. (1994). Information: The Seventh Management Function? Library Management. MCB University Press: Vol 15:3. p 28-33.
For a look at a Fayols work and a number of contemporary models of management (Hales, Kotter, Mintzberg), see also: Fells, M. (2000), Fayol stands the test of time: Journal of Management History, January 2000, 6(8), p. 345-360. 


Categories within Business Management

Leadership Skills

Postings: 1,683

The study of leadership includes leadership styles and leadership traits and attempts to identify those that make an effective leader.

Managing Diversity

Postings: 401

The study of managing diversity shows us that businesses today see an inclusive workplace as a cornerstone of sustainable competitive advantage.


Postings: 68

Networking is an important skill for managers for both business development (seeking new clients) and career-development.

Business Policy and Implementation

Postings: 694

Business policy looks at how job design, ethical guidelines and an organization's code of conduct can impact corporate culture and individual behavior within an organization.

Project Management

Postings: 2,105

The science of project management is the methodology behind successfully implementing a project in an organization, originally developed by the U.S. Department of Defence.

Business Communication

Postings: 727

Organizational and interpersonal communications are the foundation of every impression and every interaction within an organization.

Organizational Behaviour

Postings: 2,426

Organizational behavior is an interdisciplinary field of study that looks at the collection and analysis of primary research and the development of theories about how individuals behave within organizations. Organizational behavior models recognize that the behaviour of individuals within organizations is often different than the behaviour of the same individuals outside of a work environment.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Postings: 112

Industrial and organizational psychology concerns itself with research on the problems of morale and motivation, productivity and effectiveness, power and control, and leadership and change processes in large organizations.

International Business Management

Postings: 662

The study of international business management from a human-relations perspective looks to understand the challenges that international business managers face when working with diverse people from around the world. The most prominent problems in international business management include expatriate failure and international negotiation failure.

Job Analysis and Job Description

Search for an episode of "UnderCover Boss". Imagine you are the CEO of the company in the selected episode. Compare two (2) job positions from the episode and perform a job analysis of each position. Describe your method of collecting the information for the job analysis (i.e., one-on-one, interview, survey, etc.). Create a j

Motivating staff in a nonprofit

Can someone please provide some assistance with a question. Its for an MBA course. It needs to be between 350 and 450 words. Is your staff motivated? Working in a nonprofit organization is difficult because the mission often exceeds the resources, both fiscal and human, to accomplish the amount of work needed. Also, nonprofits

Internal Recruitment Advantages and Disadvantages

Describe the advantages and disadvantages of internal recruitment. please have at least 3 references and a personal experience. I would like to use this information to better understand the process. I am currently at a internship where this information could be useful.

Non profit financing

Can someone please provide me some assistance with a question. Its for an MBA course. It needs to be between 350 and 450 words or so. How is your nonprofit financed? From a recent annual report or other source of financial information (e.g., financial statements, IRS 990 forms, or nonprofit's web site) create a pie chart to sho

Organizational conflict resolution

In any team, problems will arise and team members will have questions about the conflict and how to resolve it. Members across departments must collaborate and contribute to the resolution of any unhealthy form of team conflict. 1. Why is it important for an organization to have a mission? 2. Why is it important for team mem

General Mills strategic choices

STRATEGIC CHOICES 1) What is your opinion on ANTONIO'S ANSWER to the QUESTIONS below? ANTONIO'S ANSWER General Mills target scope is industry wide (broad), while the company's main advantage is product uniqueness. Therefore, General Mills utilizes the differentiation strategy in regards to the Porter's Generic Strate

General Mills Corporate Strategy

Strategic Choices 1) What is your opionion on the Question below? Be sure to provide a reference to the QUESTION below also. Using the framework discussed in the background readings, critically analyze General Mills' strategic choices at the Corporate level (remember that "corporate" level is the very highest level of the

Finding strategic plan for Nonprofit

Can someone please provide some assistance with this question. Its for an MBA course. It needs to be between 500 and 600 words or so. Describe, how a nonprofit executive can determine what functions are necessary to pursue the organization's board-established mission? How does one determine what staff positions are necessary to

Functional areas of non-profit

Can someone please provide some assistance with a question. Its for an MBA course and needs to be between 350 and 450 words or so. Which functional areas of your nonprofit are strongest? We divide the labor of the nonprofit into different categories and attempt to place staff with appropriate apptitudes and skills responsible

Threaded Discussion: Strategy Planning and Formulation

This is for discussion purposes. Will require a few paragraphs with references on the below topic: Strategy Planning and Formulation Companies can pursue a lot of different strategies for dealing with a particular problem. During strategy formulation and planning, competing strategies are often considered and an attempt

Four Frame model of Leadership

Using the Four Frame model of Leadership, assess an organization and give examples of how you see the organization using each frame.

Mediation Techniques in Conflict Resolution

1) Select one of the team mediation techniques (negotiation, role clarification, or start-stop-continue) and describe how you would use this technique to diffuse a team conflict situation. 2) Identify some of the sources of conflict often experienced in teams. Select one of the sources and describe an exercise the team could

Scientific American Technological Advances

Search Scientific American for technological advances that address one of the current issues facing biodiversity as our population and economies grow: •Limitation of resources: water, food production, energy production •Endangered species: habitat loss/land use; facilitating reproduction and/or population monitoring for en

Nonprofit, Feed the Children, leadership theories

Can someone please provide some assistance with this question. Its for an MBA course. This is a major paper and worth a big portion of my grade! And I need to do really good on it. Thank you so much in advance for your help. I really do appreciate it! Write a research paper that uses a recognized leadership theory to descr

Board of Governors for Nonprofits

Can someone please provide some assistance with a question. Its for an MBA course. It needs to be between 500 and 600 words or so. Please describe how a professional association such as the Association for Research in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) serving its individual members and having a governing boar

Custom Coffee and Chocolate: SWOT, Mission, Tactical Plan

After reading "Custom Coffee and Chocolate" (see below),respond to the following questions. 1.What do you think Custom Coffee & Chocolate's mission is? 2.Create a SWOT analysis for Custom Coffee & Chocolate. 3.Using the owners' ideas for the future of their café, as well as your own ideas, outline a tactical plan for Custo

Multi-period news vendor model with capacity constraint.

A retail store stocks fashion clothing for different seasons. Each selling season lasts for 6 weeks and a single procurement order has to be placed with the manufacturer two months before the selling seasons starts. This designer jacket comes in four different colors. It is priced at Rs. 2100. The retailer buys the jacket from

Porter's Value Chain

1) Discuss the concepts of value, margin, and value chain as defined by Porter. 2) Describe the process by which organizations develop their information systems.

Effective Team Leadership

1) Describe the competencies needed by team members in order for the team to be successful and how they contribute to a team's success. Why is it important for team leaders to understand these competencies? 2) Define the necessary steps leaders should take to ensure effective meeting management for successful teams. Be sure

Identify and explain the BE (break-even point)

This assignment will continue the work you started on your new product. My product I am going to sell: Personal (portable) Mini Rechargeable Fan - use in summary time. Price $10.00/each. Identify and explain the BE (break-even point). Using a spreadsheet software program, create a chart showing the costs of your product, at

Global Market Forces and General Mills

1) What is your opinion on JEANSHAY'S ANSWERS to the Questions below? JEANSHAY'S ANSWERS As I read over Porter's five forces, I determine which force is the highest in regards to General Mills. Threat of substitutes are very high since General Mills depends on their loyal customers to continue purchasing their brand prod

Porter's Competitive Advantage

Please research an organization and determine how their business strategy differentiates them from other organizations in the same industry using Porter's four competitive strategies model. A brief explanation of Porter's four competitive strategies. A brief explanation of how competitive strategy determines value chain structu

Compensation Plan Outline For PepsiCo

I need assistance with the evaluating the existing compensation plan for PepsiCo to determine if it is the most appropriate for your company and the rationale. Determining the most beneficial ratio of internally consistent and market consistent compensations systems for the company you selected. Evaluating the current pay struc

General Mills SWOT

1) What is your opinion on SYLVESTER'S ANSWERS to the Questions below? SYLVESTER'S ANSWERS The rivalry degree between competitors. The struggle for market control in this industry is relentless. All the leading and small companies struggle to retain or expand the market share they control. This clamor causes high rates o

The External Environment, Internal Profile, and SWOT

The External Environment, Internal Profile, and SWOT 1) Using ALEXANDER RIGSBY'S WK #1 ANSWERS. What is your opinion on WK #2 QUESTIONS below? WK #1 ALEXANDER RIGSBY'S ANSWERS In order to complete a SWOT, we are required to identify and analyze the key opportunities and threats in the external environment. Then, we ne

Non-profit status 501 (c) (3)

Can someone please provide some assistance with this question. Its for an MBA course and needs to be between 350 and 450 words or so. Please describe what the 501 (c) (3) designation means and tell why is it so popular? Thank you so much in advance for all your help. I really appreciate it.

IRS codes and Nonprofit Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE)

Can someone please provide some assistance with this question. Its for an MBA course. It needs to be between 550 and 650 words. Describe the difference between the Nonprofit Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) codes and the 29 different categories of Section 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Why do we need the NTEE Cod

Cougars and Biodiversity

With habitat loss, less land and resources means lower carrying capacity. Choose cougars (mountain lions) large predators to investigate: 1. What size of land/water is required to support this animal? 2. What pressures threaten this organism's habitat? 3. What role does international trade and political regulation play in pr