The business world is big and complex. It is so complex that learning about management, the coordination of people and resources to meet a common goal, might appear to be an impossibly large task. Fortunately, we can use ideas from biology to think about the firm and management. We can think about the organization as consisting of different systems (accounting, legal, etc.) and being a part of a larger economy, much like biologists think of organisms as consisting of different systems (digestive system, nervous system, etc.) and being part of a larger ecosystem.
This parallel makes thinking about the role of management, which is much like the brain of an animal, and how it impacts the organization and society as a whole much easier. There are different kinds of organizations such as for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental organizations. Similarly, there are different phyla into which we can classify biological organisms.
A professional organization is a lot like a living organism in that they both have a range of different systems that are all critical for staying alive. For example, your body has a circulatory system, a respiratory system, a nervous system, and a digestive system, and those are just a few of the components necessary to support your life functions. Despite their physiological differences, animals of all types have these systems. Without these systems, pumping blood, breathing, processing food, and excreting waste would not be possible. Every life form needs to conduct a large number of processes in order to stay alive.
Professional organizations also have common functional systems that are just as essential to them as your circulatory and digestive systems are to you. This might initially seem odd since there are so many different kinds of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government organizations. How could so many of them have common systems? Simply put, every kind of entity has very similar needs, much like how all animals have circulatory systems, digestive systems, nervous systems, and respiratory systems. Regardless of where it lives or what it does, there are a lot of universal and near-universal needs.
Professional organizations typically have the following systems:
Marketing—The process of gaining and developing leads into customers by attracting them to you and building relationships with them.
Finance—How money is raised, invested, and used within an organization.
Accounting—Chronicling where money goes, how it is being used, and the basic explanation of this financial movement.
Human Resources—Part of a company that decides how human capital (employees) is used within an organization, as well as explains company policy and manages employee training in their jobs.
Legal—Department that handles legal issues and compliance with various aspects of the law.
Each of these systems touches every aspect of an organization and connects to every other part. Since they are all interconnected, managers often need to plan and coordinate them. Managers plan and organize projects, lead and motivate employees, and can control and monitor progress within an organization. Management is like the brain of an animal that controls its heart beat, breathing, and movement and processes its sensations. Without management the organization would fail, just as an animal without a brain will die.