POSDCORB | Functions of Management (Gulick)

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What Managers do: the 7 functions of management. Explanation of POSDCORB of Luther Gulick. (1937)

Contributed by: Meir Peleg


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Luther Gulick 1892-1992, author of the POSDCORB conceptWhat is POSDCORB? Description

In 1937, social scientists Luther Gulick and L. Urwick (Papers on the Science of Administration) describe seven "major activities and duties of any chief executive". Since then, the acronym POSDCORB is used to describe the 7 functions of managers:

  • Planning. Working out in broad outline the things that need to be done and the methods for doing them to accomplish the purpose which is set for the enterprise.
  • Organizing. The establishment of the formal structure of authority through which work subdivisions are arranged, defined and coordinated for the defined objective of the organization. Compare: Organization Chart.
  • Staffing. The whole personnel function of bringing in and training the staff and maintaining favorable conditions of work. Both qualitative and quantitative.
  • Directing. The continuous task of making decisions and embodying them in specific and general orders and instructions and serving as the leader of the enterprise.
  • Coordinating. Interrelating the various entities and processes of the work.
  • Reporting. Keeping those to whom the executive is responsible as well as subordinates informed through records, research and inspections.
  • Budgeting. Fiscal planning, accounting and control.

Origin of POSDCORB. History

Gulick and Urwick built their ideas on the earlier 14 Principles of Management by Fayol. Note that in 1937, the prevalent thinking was the separation of politics and administration. Gulick advocated that it was impossible to separate the two.

Usage of POSDCORB. Applications

  • Good starting point to analyze management functions and activities in a structural way.

Strengths of POSDCORB. Benefits

  • Helps to structure and analyze management activities.

Limitations of POSDCORB. Disadvantages

  • Mark Moore (1995, Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government) believes that POSDCORB is too inward looking. In his view, the single most important job of a manager is Understanding and shaping the environment of the organization, primarily, but not solely, by means of the services it delivers to its customers and clients.
  • According to Dr. Lewis Meriam, the most important thing has been omitted in the fascinating word POSDCORB: Knowledge of a subject matter. After all, you have to plan something, you have to organize something, you have to direct something... Compare: Training Within Industry
  • Does not pay any attention to what managers should Achieve.
POSDCORB | Functions of Management | Functions of Managers Forum
  POSDCORB Assessment on School Management
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  Mintzberg Critique on POSDCORB
Just like Gulick, Mintzberg also studied the description of managerial functions and asked himself what managers really do. In his analysis, he critically reviewed the description of managerial functions according to Gulick and Urwick (1937), the POS...
  Budgeting Function Came at the End in POSDCORB Just for the Sake of Readability
In my opinion and personal understanding, budgeting appears at the end just for the sake of readability and pronunciation. Practically, all management functions except planning and reporting, are overlapping in priority. Logically, planning (the blue...
  About Organizing as a Management Function
Organizing is the framework of dividing, grouping and/or coordinating job tasks.
The primary aim of organizing is to 1. divide jobs into departments, 2. coordinate them, 3. cluster the job into the units, 4. establish relationships, 5. establish...
  Add 8th Function of a Manager to POSDCORB: Communication
Apart from Gulick's 7 managerial activities or functions, another important role is: communication with passion or inner belief.
Planning, directing, reporting all needs communication & percolation to all employees for further action, achievemen...
  POSDCORB: The B of Budgeting is Important
I have to agree about the budgeting being at the end. Without the money you're not doing anything....
  The History of POSDCORB
POSDCORB is an acronym widely used in the field of management and public administration that reflects the classic view of administrative management. Largely drawn from the french industrialist Henry Fayol, it first appeared in a 1973 staff paper by L...
  Does Directing include Leadership?
I am not sure how much weight the word Directing carries as compared to leading in the 7 management functions of Gulick. A good manager has to be a good leader too and can then achieve a lot....
  Planning as Quintessence
I am preparing for the sgt's test and dont understand one question on my pretest. The question or fill in as follows:
PLANING: The ___________ of administration?
Then the fill in is "quintessence". what does this mean and how is it used. I...
  Question on POSDCORB
Why is BUDGETING put at the end? When it is the basis for management......
  10 Managerial Roles by Mintzberg
Another major concept in this area is by Henry Mintzberg. In 'The Nature of Managerial Work' (1973), he identified 10 managerial roles in 3 groups:
- Informational (Monitor, Disseminator, Spokesperson),
- Interpersonal (Figurehead,...

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Management Functions




Management Functions




Management Functions




Management Functions

Compare with POSDCORB: 14 Principles of Management (Fayol)  |  Fourteen Points of Management (Deming)  |  Training Within Industry  |  Eight Attributes of Management Excellence  |  Organization Chart

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