Chester Barnard (1886-1961)
American business executive and expert on management (pictured right).
The Functions of the Executive
(see for more detail The Functions of the
Executive in the Business Books section)
The functions of an executive are:
1. Defining purpose
An organization’s success (or effectiveness) depends on building great relationships with
customers, suppliers, creditors and employees.
- people work well together.
- their activities are effectively co-ordinated to achieve the organization’s
This is a much more important motivator than money.
Barnard defined efficiency as satisfying employees’ motives or needs.
So people must be:
People must communicate well throughout the organization.
Formal communication through the hierarchy is supported by informal contacts.
An executive’s orders must be legitimate and moral, or they won’t be accepted.
5. Moral action
To lead effectively executives (and their people) must believe that what is good for the organization is
personally right for them.
Managers must make sure that people with responsibility have:
- the ability to deal with conflicting moral demands (e.g. to family,
religion and organization)
Key quotes on leadership and
The inculcation of belief in the real existence of a common purpose is an essential executive function.
The endurance of organizations depends upon the quality of leadership and that quality derives from the breadth
of the morality upon which it rests.