The relative importance of planning, organizing, leading and controlling varies somewhat depending on managerial level. Planning tends to be more important for top managers than for middle or first-line managers. This is primarily because top managers are responsible for determining the overall direction of the organization, a charge that requires extensive planning.
At the same time, organizing is somewhat more important for both top and middle managers than for first-line managers. This stems from the fact that it is the top and middle levels of management that are mainly responsible for allocating and arranging resources, even though this function is also performed to some extent by first-line supervisors.
In contrast, leading substantially more important for first-line supervisors than for managers at higher levels. Since first-line supervisors are charged with the ongoing production of goods or services, they must engage in substantially higher amounts of communicating, motivating, directing, and supporting. All of which are associated with leading.
Finally, the management function that is most similar at all three hierarchical levels is controlling. This similarity reflects a common degree of emphasis at all levels on monitoring activities and taking corrective action as needed.