The salient features which highlight the nature of management are as follows:
1. Management is a universal process:
The basic principles of management are universal in character. They apply more or less in every situation. Henry Fayol pointed out that the fundamentals of management are equally applicable in different organizations, business, government, military and others.
The functions of management are performed by all managers. Management is needed in all types of organizations. Every manager performs the same basic functions irrespective of his rank or position.
The managerial job is basically the same at all levels of organization and in all types of institutions. Management is an essential ingredient of all organized endeavor.
“Management is essential in all organized cooperation, as well as at all levels of organization in an enterprise. It is the function not only of the corporation president and the army general but also of the shop foreman and the company commander. Management is pervasive.
2. Management is purposeful:
Management exists for the achievement of specific objectives. It is a means directed towards the accomplishment of predetermined goals which may be economic or non-economic.
All activities of management are goal-oriented. The success of management is measured by the extent to which the desired objectives are attained.
Management has no justification to exist in the absence of objectives. Goals provide justification for the existence of an organization.
3. Management is creative:
Management makes things happen which would not otherwise happen. The managers seek to secure the objectives with highest efficiency or at minimum possible cost.
The job of management is to make a productive enterprise out of human and material resources. It gives life to materials, machinery, money and man power.
The basic purpose of management is the optimum utilization of resources. Effectiveness and efficiency are the yardsticks against which managerial performance is appraised.
4. Management is an integrative force:
The essence of management lies in the coordination of individual efforts into a team. Management reconciles the individual goals with organizational goals.
As a unifying force, management creates a whole that is more than the sum of individual parts. It integrates human and other resources. Management is an integrated process as its elements are intertwined.
5. Management is a group phenomenon:
Management involves the use of group effort in the pursuit of common objectives. It is a distinct activity concerned with getting things done rather than ‘doing’ itself. Management exercises important influence upon human behavior in organized action. People join groups to achieve what they cannot achieve individually.
Group activity is found in all areas of human” activity, e.g. business, military, education, religion, etc. Management is an essential activity whenever and wherever people come together to achieve some common goals.
6. Management is a social process:
Management is done by people, through people and for people. It is a social process because it is concerned with interpersonal relations. Management is a human process— one manages men and women not things. Managers do not build products; they build people who in turn build products.
People are at the centre of the management process. It is not possible to conceive management in relation to things or machines but only in relation to the people who are employed to operate or use such things. Thus, human factor is the most important element in management.
According to Apply, ”management is the development of people not the direction of things”. A good manager is a leader not a boss. It is the pervasiveness of the human element which gives management its special character as a social process.
7. Management is multidisciplinary:
Management has to deal with human behavior under dynamic conditions. Therefore, it depends upon wide knowledge derived from several disciplines like engineering, sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology, etc.
The vast body of knowledge in management draws heavily upon other fields of study. According to Massie, the chief characteristic of management is the integration and application of the knowledge and analytical approaches developed by numerous disciplines.
8. Management is a continuous process: Management is a complex, dynamic and on-going process. The cycle of management continues to operate so long as there is organized action for the achievement of group goals. It is a series of continuing-actions that constitute the process of managing. The cycle of management continues as long as the organization continues to exist.
9. Management is intangible:
Management is an unseen or invisible force. It cannot be seen but Us presence can be felt everywhere in the form of results. However, the managers who perform the functions of manage mint are very much tangible and visible.
10. Management is both a science and an art:
Management is a combination of art and science. It is an art because it involves the application of knowledge and skills for the solution of managerial problems Management is a science as it contains systematized body of knowledge consisting of generally applicable principles. However, the principles of management are not hard and fast rules.
On the basis of these characteristics, management may be defined as a continuous social process involving the coordination of human and material resources in order to accomplish desired objectives.