Introduction to Office Administration and Management

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1.1. Definition of Terms

Definition of Management

The emergence of management as an essential distinct and leading institution is a pivotal event in social history, purely if ever has a new leading   group emerged as fast as has management since the turn of 20 century. Peter W. Drucker.

All kinds of institution –social, political, religious .etc. are formed groups of individual to pursue common goals and objectives. The attainment of these commonly defined objectives shall be fulfillment of these groups.

A business enterprise for example has the objectives of maximizing its profits through increased output and sales and to create an image in the society in general as a good employer and a good producer of quality products. It also contributes to the economic growth.

If the activities of various individuals in the enterprise are not coordinated the results will be chaos. Each man in the enterprise shall be pushing his own activity with no collective objective in the mind, but if there is an agency that directs the activities of various individuals in an organization the results will be synthesis and cohesion. Men will work on machines and materials to achieve the common objectives set forth that agency.

Management can therefore be defined as principally a task of planning, coordinating, and motivating the efforts of others towards the specific objectives. In brief, management is the task of unifying efforts efficiently to achieve well defined objectives. The resources available to an organization remain idle till they are directed the dynamic human effort. Management therefore aims at seeing that the job gets done efficiently.

Definition of an Organization

Organization is an element of management an organization occurs when two or more people work together and coordinate their activities to achieve common goals. It refers to structure of relationships among individuals. It can also be defined as a social unit that is structured and managed to meet a need or to achieve common objectives and collective goals. Organizations have a management structure that determines relationships between the different activities and the members and subdivides and assigns roles responsibilities and authority to carry different tasks.

Principles of an organization

  • Divisions of work
  • Unity of command
  • Unity of direction
  • Chain of command
  • Span of control
  • Adequacy of authority
  • Coordination and balance
  • Discipline

Features of an organization

  • Division of work
  • Common objectives
  • Coordination and communication
  • Plurality of persons.
  • Chain of command.
  • Principles of organization
  • Span of control
  • Unity of direction
  • Authority
  • Scalar chain
  • Specialization
  • Discipline
  • Coordination

Definition of Office Management

Office management can be defined as a task of planning, coordinating, motivating the efforts of others towards specifics objectives of the office. The institute of administrative management England says “Office management is the branch of management which is concerned with the services obtaining, recording and analyzing information of planning and communicating means of which the management of a business safeguards its assets, promotes its affairs and achieve its objectives’. Thus it can be understood from these definitions that office management means planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling the activities of the office.

Definition of Office administration

Office administration is a set of day-to-day activities that are related to financial planning, record keeping & billing, personnel, physical distribution and logistics, within an organization. An employee that undertakes these activities is commonly called an office administrator or office manager, and plays a key role in any organizations infrastructure, regardless of the scale. Many administrative positions require the candidate to have an advanced skill set in the software applications Microsoft Word, Excel and Access.

1.2. Distinction between office administration and management

There has been a lot of controversy in the use of these two words. Different authorities on the subject have expressed conflicting opinions. Others authorities makes no distinction between management and administration while others consider them as separate functions.

Administration is a higher level activity while management is a lower level function Administration is determinative function concerned with the determination of objectives and policies while management is an executive function involving the implementation of policies and direction of efforts for the achievement of objectives.

At every level of management an individual management performs both types of function. Every manager spends a part of his time in administration and remaining time on management.

Managers at a higher level spends more time on administration function i.e. determination of objectives and policies, while managers at lower level devote greater time on management function. As one descends the organization hierarchy the emphasis is on execution of plans increases. For the purpose of this course office management and office administration will be considered synonymous.

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