Edited by Myron D. Fottler, Donna Malvey and Donna J. Slovensky
Planning is one of the five basic managerial functions that organizational leaders must perform. Healthcare organizations must plan activities and acquire the resources necessary to achieve their goals for providing services and products. In addition to planning, managers must organize, staff, direct, and control resources within the organization (Figure 4.1). These last four managerial functions can only be undertaken once the organization plans what it wants to accomplish (Haimann and Hilgert, 1972). An organization’s leaders must decide how many people will be required, what those people will do and how their activities will be monitored, how all of the organizational resources will be utilized, what the resources will be expected to accomplish, and whether those resources are effectively employed. The organization’s plans allow for all of those activities to occur (Barnard, 1938). Planning is often compared to the process of planning a trip. One’s current location is known and there is a need to get to another location. Using a map, automobile or other form of transportation, fuel, time, and funds, an individual can develop a plan to get from the first point to the ending point. The plan may include multiple drivers or it may be just a short jaunt down the street.
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