July 3, 2017

Resourcing - A Function of Management

A Manager's Job is to get results through people and other resources. Hence acquiring all resources (including human resources) is a function of management. - Narayana Rao

The article was first published on Knol in 2010.

Koontz and O'Donnell outlined Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling as the five functions of management and explained the process of management of these five functions.

In the place of staffing, using the word resourcing, could be a better description of management function at the current stage.

A plan to achieve something (objective) is to be  converted into an organizational plan that has resources,  facilities and people. The manager has to acquire these resources to set up the organization to implement his plan. Acquisition of human resources is staffing. But normally in modern business, the manager has to acquire money resources or finance. Then, using capital and finance, he has to  acquire land, buildings, machinery, materials and various other services. Then comes directing and resource allocation.

During control phase, replanning takes place, reorganization can take place, resource adjustment (resource acquisition or disposal) may take place, and redirecting may take place to achieve the goals set forth for a period.

Planning involves choosing a direction and an intermediate destination. It has to be a profitable and a useful endeavor. In the process of planning cost benefit analysis is done.  Organizing follows and the means by which one reaches the chosen destination is defined during this activity of management.

Organizing is a process of

  • determining, grouping and structuring activities
  • creating roles for individuals for effective performance at work
  • allocating necessary authority (over resources) and responsibility for results for each role
  • determining detailed procedures and systems for different problem areas such as coordination, communication, decision-making, motivation, conflict resolution and so on.

The resources required to achieve a goal are to be identified during the organizing step of management. How many operators are required and how many supervisors are required is a function of technology employed in the organization and this decision has to be taken during the process of organization. Resourcing follows the organizing phase in the acquiring of the resources planned in the organizing phase. Organizing this way is just the planning stage. Resourcing is the stage during which all resources planned in the organizing stage are acquired by the manager.

Resource Planning 

Resource planning is an economic decision and entrepreneurs have to use it. It is discussed adequately in economics.

Choice of Inputs by the Firm

Every firm or entrepreneur has to decide how much of each input it should employ: how much labor, capital, land, energy, various materials and services.

The fundamental assumption that economists make in this context is that of cost minimization. Firms are expected to choose their combination of inputs so as to minimize the total cost of production.

Least-cost Rule: To produce a given level of output at the least cost, a firm will hire factors until is has equalized the marginal product per dollar spent on each factor of production. This implies that

Marginal product of labor/price of labor  = Marginal Product of Capital Equipment/Price of capital equipment = ...

Thus the firm will choose a factor combination or resource combination that minimizes the total cost of production.  (Source: http://nraomtr.blogspot.com/2011/12/economic-theory-of-production-and.html  )


Recognition of Role of Resources in Management Process by Various Authors of Principles of Management or Management Process Books

Ernest Dale

Goals and Resources

Once objectives have been set,the planners must decide how far they can proceed toward them in view of the resources available, which include the money on hand, the money that sales will bring, and the funds that may be obtained by borrowing or selling equities. The decision to borrow or sell new stock will, of course, be part of the planning process and will depend on the return expected on the investment.

Finally, the planners must decide on the allocation of the funds to the various company activities and the way in which these funds will be used to generate greater income in the form of sales.  The volume of sales is, in fact, the key factor in all corporate planning.

Ernest Dale, Graduale School of Business, University of Virginia, Management: Theory and Practice, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1965, p.352, Chapter 22. Planning and Forecasting.

An interesting entry in Wikipedia - Resource Management

In organizational studies, resource management is the efficient and effective deployment for an organization's resources when they are needed. Such resources may include financial resources, inventory, human skills, production resources, or information technology (IT). In the realm of project management, processes, techniques and philosophies as to the best approach for allocating resources have been developed. These include discussions on functional vs. cross-functional resource allocation as well as processes espoused by organizations like the Project Management Institute (PMI) through their Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) methodology to project management. Resource management is a key element to activity resource estimating and project human resource management. Both are essential components of a comprehensive project management plan to execute and monitor a project successfully
Resourcing and Resouce Planning Departments
Office of Resource Planning, Universit of Regina

A new concept being developed as enterprise architecting clearly brings out the need for organizing material and human organizations and provides a process for developing the both organization. From this organization output, resource requirements will be clearly specified and during the resourcing function, manager has to acquire the resources specified in the organization structure.

Harvard Business Essentials on Resource

In the book, Coaching and Mentoring: How to Develop Top Talent and Achieve Stronger Performance, published by Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, in 2004

Page 2

A Manager's Job is to get results through people and other resources.

Industrial Engineering

Resourcing and resource allocation is Manager's job. Resource efficiency (using resources efficiently) is the concern of Industrial engineers

PPT of Salah R. Agha, Professor Industrial Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza on Facilities Planning and Materials Handling

Indicates role of IEs.

Facilities Planning

James A. Tompkins, John A. White, Yavuz A. Bozer, J. M .A. Tanchoco
John Wiley & Sons, 19-Jan-2010 - Technology & Engineering - 864 pages

When it comes to facilities planning, engineers turn to this book to explore the most current practices. The new edition continues to guide them through each step in the planning process. The updated material includes more discussions on economics, the supply chain, and ports of entry. It takes a more global perspective while incorporating new case studies to show how the information is applied in the field. Many of the chapters have been streamlined as well to focus on the most relevant topics. All of this will help engineers approach facilities planning with creativity and precision.


Related topics

The Nature and Purpose of Planning
The Nature of Organizing
Resourcing - A Function of Management
Leading - Introduction
Planning and Execution - Theory and Practice
The System and Process of Controlling

Updated  3 July 2017,   26 July 2016,  1 Feb 2016, 17 Sep 2015, 25 Feb 2014
Updated 17.3.2012
Original knol - http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/resourcing-a-function-of-management/ 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 2345

Details of the Knol

Resourcing - A Function of Management

Narayana Rao

All Rights Reserved

Version 14

Last edited: 02 Mar 2010

Exported: 26 Nov 2011

Original URL: http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/2utb2lsm2k7a/2345


  1. This blog is very nice and informative!
    Keep update...
    Thanks for sharing.
    Project Resource Management

  2. Comments on Knol


    Short urls


    Narayana Rao - 15 Apr 2011
    short term vs. long term resourcing practice

    Seems to be a good analysis or operational resourcing,
    but I think there is also strategical resourcing,
    which supposes to allow that in long term there be
    no shortage or glut of any resource, and that take
    into account expected evolutions in risk and prospects.

    There might be a conflict between the two aspects.
    A compromise would be to have some flexibility,
    to starve some resources that are presently needed
    for some activities but that might become a weight
    in the future if those activities that are going
    to shrink (or can be sensitive to an economic
    downturn, or to a marketing or technology change)
    and to have more resources than presently needed
    for activities that have a bright future, just to
    be prepared.

    In other word, resourcing should be risk oriented
    and prospect oriented, and take into account the
    "product life cycle"
    There is an article that might help in my site:

    Peter Greenfinch - 04 Mar 2010
    Yes, let us accumulate some material and try to develop a knol.

    I am also thinking of the trust capital. Resources will not come to an aspiring manager or an entrepreneur unless he has that trust capital. The providers of resources have to trust his ability to take care of their interests. Management books have to emphasize this point in principles of management books. Customers also will not come and suppliers on credit also will not come. Even employees will not join.

    We know many of us joined knol because we had trust in google management.

    Narayana Rao - 04 Mar 2010
    OK, although I don't think I would be the best one to write such a knol. Maybe we try something collaborative instead. At the moment I would add a couple of ideas.
    * The resource to optimize in priority is the scarciest and costliest one, now or in the future. For example energy is becoming costlier and scarcer.
    * A resource which is getting more and more important in many activities is immaterial, it is the "knowledge + innovation + trust capital". This is often the main element of a business "goodwill" even if it does not show in its accounts. That immaterial part just skyrocketted for Apple an went to the dogs for Toyota.
    * To find resources involves several Departments in a firm : finance, procurement, human resources, but they should not work alone, about every manager in the firm should contribute to combine and optimize those resources.
    * Oh, I was going to forget, the main resource of a business is its customers.

    Peter Greenfinch - 03 Mar 2010
    Very interesting. I suggest that you write a detailed knol on how to determine the optimal resource combination. My thrust is presently on the point that in management process description, resourcing comination decision and resourcing activity have to be brought out prominently. How to take resource combination decisions could be a big area and a detailed knol by people with background in management would be a good addition to online article base.

    I am presenly going through books on management process to find out their treatment of this topic. I found a paragraph in Ernest Dale's book on goals and resources in corporate planning chapter. I need to collect such small paragraphs from various books first to present an argument on how it has to be incorporated in more detail in the introduction to management books.

    Narayana Rao - 02 Mar 2010