Target Corporation and the Four Management Functions

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Effective management is one of the critical factors that determine the success of an organization. The concept comprises three interrelated functions that work harmoniously to promote the attainment of goals. There are four management functions that leaders apply in creating, implementing, and monitoring organizational objectives: planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Each function plays a crucial role in promoting the attainment of goals, and it involves the application of a distinct organizational role and type of leadership power.

The Relationship between Management Functions

There are four management functions namely planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Each plays a distinct role in the attainment of an organization’s mission and objectives. Planning comprises the creation of strategies to achieve specific objectives (Snell, Bateman, & Konopaske, 2017). Organizing involves the consolidation of the various resources needed in the attainment of company goals. Leading comprises acts of influencing employees to motivate and inspire them to work together toward attaining organizational objectives. Controlling refers to the critical process of monitoring and evaluating employee performance to ensure that all processes contribute toward goal attainment (Snell et al., 2017). Managers must first create plans for their firms, then organize available resources based on key objectives, lead employees to execute them, and lastly, assess the efficacy of their strategies. These functions are interrelated, and the success of one determines the success of the others.

Target Corporation

Target Corporation is an American general merchandise retailer that started operations in 1962 under The Dayton Company, and that offers various services and products in all the states. Recently, it has undergone organizational transformations that aim to facilitate the shift from a discount chain to a mid-range retailer (Target outlines 2020 strategic initiatives, 2020). Its current mission is “To make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation, and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less. Brand promise” (Target outlines 2020 strategic initiatives, 2020). Embracing innovation is one of the goals that will promote the attainment of the company’s mission.

Strategic Goal Based on Company’s Mission Statement

One of the most important strategic goals that Target aims to achieve is the innovation of its retail experience through store redesigns, format change, and omnichannel delivery options. The incorporation of revolutionary strategies into the target’s operations will aid in the attainment of its mission to become the shopping destination of choice (Trainer, 2019). In that regard, the corporation intends to create and implement innovative measures that will influence its various divisions and business processes. This goal will be managed by high-level executives, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operations Officer (COO), and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The expertise of these leaders is necessary for creating a strong strategic goal that will align with Target’s mission. For example, their experience in handling the company’s tactical goals in other areas could be effective in informing current efforts.

Strategic Goal through the Tactical Level of Planning

Tactical planning involves specific steps and actions that an organization must take to achieve the goals outlined in its strategic plan. Target will achieve the objective of innovating the retail experience by working on a goal that includes changing the format of its stores.

The major focus of the remodeling is to modernize the stores and improve engagement with guests, especially in the Beauty and Home departments (Trainer, 2019). This will allow customers to test products and picture how they would look under different settings in their homes. For example, the corporation has updated and optimized its store formats; it has remodeled more than 400 stores, and as a result, reported increased value (Trainer, 2019). This has been the company’s main target for its capital spending in the last three years. Moreover, it has changed its store format from larger stores to smaller ones that are under 50,000 square feet.

Mid-level managers representing Target’s retail division will be responsible for the attainment of this goal. They should develop specific actions and ideas to support the strategic plan (Snell. The charisma of these managers is necessary for creating an effective tactical plan (Soundaian, 2019). For example, they can use their power to persuade and inspire their seniors to embrace their plan and facilitate its implementation.

Strategic Goal through the Operational Level of Planning

Operational planning involves the allocation of tasks and responsibilities to employees, taking into consideration the goals of the organization’s strategic plan. Its scope might include a unit within a specific division and include detailed directions for daily activities that will support the attainment of the strategic goal (Soundaian, 2019). For example, the main goal is the effective navigation of the remodeled stores, which includes access to new features and luxury products. The employees in the Home and Beauty departments should welcome guests warmly, help them navigate the new stores, and assist them in visualizing how different products would look in their homes. Workers will also supply fresh flower displays and provide an organized assortment of products for the guests every day (Trainer, 2019). These actions will create a more inviting shopping destination, provide an alluring showcase of top brands, and facilitate the quick discovery of products by customers.

Supervisors will ensure that employees working in the involved departments follow specific plans for the execution of day-to-day activities to facilitate the attainment of the tactical plan. The reward would be the most useful form of power to facilitate the attainment of the strategic goal (Soundaian, 2019). For example, they could use cash gifts and bonuses to reward employees who implement the plan as instructed without making adjustments or omitting certain aspects.

Formal Control to Measure Progress

Managers can use various controls to facilitate the attainment of goals and measure progress. Feedback control is the most effective type of evaluation tool that Target can use to measure the effectiveness of innovation strategies. The tool refers to a process that is used to assess the degree to which employees meet certain goals by comparing projected output to the actual output attained during appraisal (Soundaian, 2019). Performance measurement about the aforementioned operational goal would involve the evaluation of the effect of innovation on sales and the number of new guests. For example, the earnings of each store will be compared to those reported before and after remodeling is done. In addition, an increase in the daily number of guests will be an indication of the effectiveness of innovative initiatives. Effective strategies should attract more customers and increase sales because of the improved retail experience offered by the new changes such as smaller stores and alluring displays.


The four functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Managers make plans, organize resources to meet the plan’s goals, motivate employees to work toward the goals of the plan, and implement measures to evaluate the plan’s effectiveness. In that regard, the functions are interconnected. One of Target’s strategic goals is to innovate its retail experience by redesigning its stores and changing their formats. The goal is addressed differently from the four levels of planning, and the other functions play key roles in its attainment.


Snell, S., Bateman, T., & Konopaske, R. (2017). M: Management. (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Soundaian, S. (2019). Principles of Management: 70 cases for classroom discussion. New York, NY: MJP Publisher.

Target outlines 2020 strategic initiatives. (2020). Web.

Trainer, D. (2019). Target’s innovation continues to drive value. Forbes. Web.

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