Sarasvathi. V

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The family is a basic unit of the society. The society as well as the family has undergone a number of changes over the years. A family today is a lot more different than it was in the olden days. As a family, people begin to work for common purpose, need for formulating a plan of action arises. In nuclear family there is great work and time demand. These demands on time and energy of homemaker are increasing because of her dual role i.e. in family and at the job place. Management plays an important role in everyday life. The meaning of management is working out of a plan in a systematic way and is an art of doing work in an effective and efficient manner.


Every day we are carrying out different types of activities so as to meet our demands. Throughout life, continual interaction takes place between the individual and his environment. Man has developed a complex technological environment. Man, today, may be said to stand in the midst of a three dimensional environment: natural, human and technological. Such changes in the structure of the society, science, technology, computer technology, advancement in communication technology, population explosion, unemployment etc. affects the family life and simultaneously affecting management of resources. Family members need to cope up with such resources. Management helps to adapt these changes. To get maximum satisfaction and achieve family goals effective use of human and non-human resources is vital. Management teaches us how effectively such resources can be used.


Concepts of Home Management and Steps, Implementation, Controlling, Checking and Adjusting; Evaluation of Resource Use and Feed Back


Definition and Meaning: The meaning of management is working out of a plan in mental or written form in a systematic way. It is certainly an act of doing work in an effective and efficient manner. In a family or any organization, we tend to carry different types of work, jobs and activities in order to achieve family or institutional goals. Resources are utilized in a proper manner, in order to achieve these goals. Thus each activity is being carried out in a very organized way i.e. by means of planning, controlling and evaluation.


In a very simple way ‘Management’ is defined as ‘using what you have in order to get what you want’. Here, in this definition, ‘what you have’ means the resources at your disposal and ‘what you want’ means the goals. Management is a process which utilizes resources in order to accomplish individual or family goals. ‘Management is or means a process consisting of three steps – planning, implementing and evaluating use of resources in order to attain desired goals’.


Basic Concept of Management: In general terms the concept ‘Management’ may be said to be a planned activity directed toward accomplishing desired ends. It involves weighing of values and the making of decisions. Everyone learns to manage the resources. Some people learn to manage well, whereas some are unable to do so. The degree of competence varies from person to person. Management plays important role in day-to-day life. Each individual needs to have knowledge of managing activities. It is integral part of human life. Family life is full of various goals and achievements whether it is an individual goal or achievement or a family goal. Most of the time it is essential for a family member to take wise decision regarding the education, career, marriage of member in the family depending on their values and goals. There are specifically two concepts of management. The one is materialistic concept and the second is the Human concept.


(1)Human Concept: Here emphasis has been given to all round development of the family members. Maximum use of available resources is made on each member of the family. Importance is given to human needs. Instead of taking paid help, the homemaker cooks food for the family, with special care. In case of emergency the homemaker use to simplify work by using shortcut methods of cooking or changing the menu. While doing this, many times, standards have been adjusted to suit the changing situation. Effective use of available resources, human as well as non-human, affects the quality of life.


(2)Materialistic Concept: According to the materialistic concept of home management the efficiency in doing work and standardization of work is important. By doing this quality of work is improved and more perfection is maintained. Homemakers or managers try to maintain the standard and for maintaining the standard, they spend more money. For example, if the woman working outside she would prefer to have a paid help for getting the work done as per the family standards.


If the family is having very high standard of cleanliness, i.e. cleaning of the house twice a day, she will take paid help to complete the work. The importance given to the standard of work is mainly highlighted. In other words, it is a process consisting of planning, organizing, implementing (controlling), evaluating and accomplishing stated objectives by the use of resources.




Decision-making, a mental activity has been shown as the core of management. The goal-directed management process as made up of a series of progressive and interdependent managerial activities, each of which requires and is diffused with decision-making. First comes planning to achieve the objectives; then organizing for performance; then controlling the plan as it is carried out; and finally evaluating the results in light of the goals each family seeks. Not all writers give these managerial activities the same names, but there is general agreement on the nature of the activities that must be carried out by all managers regardless of what resources or combinations of resources are being managed.


Step I. Planning: Planning is the first step in the management process. It covers a wide range of decisions dealing with family activities, resources, and changing family demands. Because of its important role in management, planning is considered the key activity in the management process. Planning is necessary before effective organizing and control activities can take place. It provides the basis for the other managerial activities: organizing, controlling the plan in action, and evaluating the results.


Goals make purposeful and integrated planning easier. They are the basis of sound planning, because they serve as a guide in deciding what work must be done and how it must be accomplished. Planning enables the individual or the group to work out the ways of using resources and reaching goals.


Planning involves problem solving, which includes the steps in decision-making already given—identifying the problem, obtaining information, formulating possible courses of action, considering consequences of each alternative, and selecting the course of action that seems best.


Making plans: A plan is a forecast of some future action. It suggests the course and the method of action that are thought to be best for the solution of the problem. In making plans decisions must be made as to what actions are necessary to achieve the desired objectives; why each of these actions is necessary; who is responsible for each action; and when, where, and how each action will take place. To determine these things, planners must search for available alternatives and then make their selection. When, as in a family, more than one person is involved in making a plan, communication is necessary; good communication aids in coordinating activities and making plans run smoothly.


A plan of action shows the activities that must be performed to reach goals. All plans should be made to fit the needs of the individual or family group; they should be flexible enough to meet necessary changes, as well as realistic in the use of available resources.


Kinds of plans: Various kinds of plans are used by home-makers in arranging their daily activities, but all may be classified as either long-term or short-term, having to do with either long-term goals or short-term goals. Long-term plans, as the phrase suggests, have to do with a sustained planning effort over a longer period of time. They give continuity to daily, weekly, or monthly plans. Many other plans cover shorter activities and take much less time to complete. These short-term plans usually must be coordinated with long-term plans.


Value of planning: The value of planning, whether assumed or based on evidence, probably lies in the fact that it is done ahead of the job. Through dramatic rehearsal one visualizes the outcomes of various procedures and chooses the most satisfactory solution, thus eliminating time-consuming indecision after work has started. Pre-planning permits the job to be seen as a whole, and not only is parts are combined smoothly but they are also seen in proper perspective to each other. Planning consists of a series of individual purposive decisions which bear one upon another. In addition to the steps in decision-making already given— defining the problem, seeing alternatives, following in imagination each alternative to its solution, selecting the most appropriate of the possible choices, and accepting the consequences—making a plan requires two or three further steps. First, an order of importance must be developed in case a part of the plan must be omitted, and so that more emphasis is given its most essential parts; second, the parts of the plan must be coordinated; and third, a time sequence for carrying out most plans must be determined. The common thread in the planning of various resources, particularly those that exist in known quantities such as time, money, and some materials, consists largely of balancing the amount of the resource avail-able with the demands made upon it. Plans are alike, too, in that each must, in order to succeed, 1) be made-to-order for the individual or group who is to use it, 2) be flexible, and 3) be realistic, recognizing the frailties of mankind in general and oneself in particular.


Differences occur not only in the plans for using the various resources but also in frequency of planning. Organizing consists of dividing and grouping activities and assigning them to individuals. Good relationships should also be established between the individuals to be certain that their efforts are coordinated and directed toward family goals. This results in a dynamic and productive organization. Briefly, organizing may be defined as, the process of establishing the proper relationships among work, people, and other resources, and channeling authority and responsibility.


Step 2: Controlling the Plan in Action:


The second step, controlling the carrying out of the plan, is, in homes, almost literally the no-man’s-land of the management process. There has been little attention given to it because the planner today is increasingly apt to be the one who carries out the plans she makes. Some people have thought of this step as merely carrying out the plan without recognition that many new decisions are required which may result in changes in the plan. If the control step has not been clearly understood by specialists in the field, it is not surprising that it has not been widely used consciously by homemakers.


Controlling in the management process is the activity that aids in putting and keeping the plan in action—that keeps the organization moving. It acts as a device to channel activity in the direction of the desired results. “Controlling is concerned with making events conform to plans. This is the most challenging function in management, which draws heavily on the art as well as the science of management. The art of management is especially involved in the area of personal leadership: the effective understanding and motivation of the individual.


Controlling involves a careful observation of performance. Literally, it is checking work and performances to be sure that the procedure—whether it involves tangible work or subtle relation-ships—is moving in the planned direction. Controlling includes making changes when things seem to be getting off course. Such checking may concern the quality of the work, or costs in terms of either money or time, or again it may have to do with the-feelings or the satisfactions of people. These last two concerns are so important in family living that a plan may be completely changed when one or more of the family members appear to have negative feelings or seem likely to be harmed in some way.


There is an element of comparison involved in controlling a plan—comparison of the standards accepted by the group, of steps in progress toward results, and of the effect of an activity on members of the group. Control calls for both leadership and joint action in the family if goals are to be attained; it does not simply happen. Skillfully handled, it means that no one person or small group will dominate the lives of the others, but that one member will plan with others to make certain that resources are effectively used and that plans are Changed as the need arises, as in emergencies, the arrival of unexpected guests, or in an illness. It also means that some wishes and satisfactions may be sacrificed or put aside temporarily for the sake of a more important need or want.


Controlling thus calls for flexibility in thinking and planning rather than a rigid and set pattern of action. It also requires that group welfare be emphasized, not personal desires. Coordinating is another means of control. It unifies activities and parts of an enterprise or plan into a harmonious and workable whole. It helps to give individuals working together a feeling of security, an understanding of the total situation, and of the necessity for cooperation if the best results are to be achieved.


Skillful direction and guidance are needed to help control the plan in operation. Effective direction is required to get action from one’s self as well as from others and to keep channeling resources into useful accomplishments. Knowledge of what is to be done must be transmitted, methods and instructions for doing the task must be understood by all, and individuals must be energized into purposive activity in order to get desired results. Clear-cut instructions may often be the best guidance in order to give confidence to the learner. Where safety is involved, accuracy of instructions and directions is essential.


A thorough check of available resources and decisions, and the best way to use each one is the essence of control in the management process. Controls enter- in whenever a resource is limited and alternative uses of other resources must be planned.


Phases: As a plan is put into action, unless it is a very simple one, it is usually necessary to elaborate the decisions made in the planning step. This is especially true when the carrying out is delegated to others. It offers an opportunity to those carrying out plans to share in management. This elaboration comes in connection with the phases of the control step. They are energizing, checking, and adjusting.


The phase of energizing, or initiating and sustaining the action, is acknowledged, though definitely not stressed. Energizing may be the relative strength or weakness of the goal toward which a person is working. Setting intermediate goals may be helpful in energizing action since they provide an opportunity for rapid accomplishment with its accompanying satisfaction. A second phase of controlling the plan in action is checking the progress of the plan, which is done automatically in many respects. The third phase of this control step is, if necessary, adjusting the plan, thus making fresh decisions. Conditions may change. During the time that delegated work is being performed, the supervisor may or may not be physically present. At times it is important that he should be or that at least he be easily available. One of the activities of the second step in management is making adjustment if and when necessary. If the supervisor is not available; he must delegate this phase of his responsibility and abide by the consequences.


The success of the control step depends, among other factors, on the  following:

1)   suitable checking devices selected with regard to the vagaries of the individual manager,

2)   promptness in checking so that adjustment may be effective if necessary, 3) new decisions made in the light of established goals and the amounts of the resources now available, especially in light of new information, and 4) flexibility in the make-up of the manager.


Step 3- Evaluation


The generally accepted principle that everyone should strive to secure increasingly satisfying results with the resources at hand is the core of management. The third step in the managerial process, namely evaluation, is a specific device toward that end. It is a more widely used step in management than controlling, a less commonly used one than planning.


About half of the women in a food shopping study evaluated the quality of the products they bought. Their criteria of evaluation were, however, vague.


This step consists of looking back over the steps of planning and controlling the carrying out of the plan to recognize that a good or a poor job has been done, either absolutely or in relation to given conditions, and to determine as accurately as possible how good a job has been done. Evaluation is similar to checking in the control step but checking is a quick step-by-step appraisal of a plan in action, while evaluation, as a separate step in management, involves a complete review of what has already taken place with a view toward better management in the future.


Lewin sees four purposes in evaluation: 1) to see what has been achieved; 2) to serve as a basis for the next plan; 3) to serve as a basis for modifying the overall plan; and 4) to gain new general insight. Evaluating constantly looks toward both the process of management and the result. It thus takes place through time and at any moment of time. A considerable amount of evaluating is always associated with controlling. Checking and testing, which tell whether things are turning out as planned and whether changes are needed are in a sense evaluating. And it is through this process of evaluating that control is effected. If such evaluation goes along with action many mistakes can be avoided and better Ways devised for carrying out the plan.


Evaluation as a distinct phase of the management process goes beyond merely checking as such; it takes a look at the final results and judges them to be good or otherwise. It is a broader, longer view and looks beyond the activity to its impact on the total pattern of living. Evaluation sees beyond the momentary mistakes, confusions, or changes needed, to the excellence of the accomplishment. Checking on the effectiveness or the efficiency of management requires analysis, honesty, and objectivity. It requires a sound basis for judgment. In home management the measure by which success or failure of a plan can be evaluated is the extent to which it has advanced the family’s goals or specific objectives. The more definite and clear-cut the purposes and goals, the more accurate the evaluation can be. The ability to view events objectively makes it possible to arrive at evaluations that will stimulate improvement in future planning or in carrying out plans. Learning to make intelligent self-evaluations aids materially in this accomplishment.


Fundamental to all evaluation are the values, goals, and standards which an individual consciously or unconsciously possesses. It is impossible to check how far one has gone without employing a definite end point or objective. Goals, however, must be specific to serve in evaluation. Appraisal in terms of long term goals and, if possible, in terms of values has another important function, namely, creating an atmosphere favorable to evaluation of more immediate goals. Evaluation is the last stage of the management process and the one in which we look backward to see what actually has been accomplished. Few of us like to view our achievements critically because in many cases they fall short of what we had planned, or at least hoped.


Evaluation rightly takes its place as a necessary preliminary to the next similar plan rather than as finale to the one that is already completed. Thus it becomes easier to be objective about evaluation because by so doing the next plan may be improved.




There are two types of informal evaluation, the “over-all” variety and a more detailed kind. The first, recognizing the general quality of the job done, may be quite casual. The more detailed type of evaluation, that is, determining the degree of excellence of the managerial job, is a further step which is more revealing than the first. It is an attempt toward accuracy of judgment and consists of the separate evaluation of different parts of management. A homemaker, or anyone else, can evaluate 1) management in relation to standards and goals to be reached, 2) the process of management, 3) her own characteristics related to managerial ability, or 4) management in relation to a specific resource. In any of these approaches, motivation for change is essential. Otherwise the evaluation is mechanical and bears no fruit. Only the evaluation of the process of management will be touched upon here.


Evaluating the process of management is a mean of looking critically at each of its three steps, including the third one, evaluation itself, primarily by setting up questions for the individual or group to answer.


For the control step, suitable questions differ somewhat according to the resource used and to whether the manager performs the task herself or supervises the work of others.


Conclusion: The process is spiral, Step 3 of one plan leading into Step 1 of a repeated or a related plan. Of the three steps in management, planning is the best recognized and perhaps the oldest. Least attention has been paid to the control step, which includes energizing or putting the plan into action, checking to see how the plan is working, and adjusting the plan when necessary, all involving fresh decisions. In home management the process may be analyzed as occurring in three steps—planning, controlling the plan as it is being carried out, and evaluating. All the steps involve decision-making.


Web links


  • https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/delegate www.businessdictionary.com/definition/forecast.html https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/frailty
  • https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/materialism
  • https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purposive https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subtle