The principles of management contain the following characteristics:
1. Universality of principles:
Management principles are fundamental truths of general validity. They can be applied in different types of organizations, e.g., business, government, educational, military, etc. The principles embody organized knowledge that has been distilled through experience and analysis.
Management principles are flexible guides rather than hard and fast rules. These are dynamic rather than static, diagnostic rather than determinative.
Two management situations are seldom alike in all respects and, therefore, management principles have to be modified with changes in the environment of the organisation. “Nothing is permanent in the landslide of management”. Management is a social science wherein exact laws are not possible.
Management principles are relative rather than absolute. Therefore, these should be applied according to the need of the organisation and demands of the situation.
According to Fayol, “principles of management are flexible, not absolute but must be utilized in the light of changing and special conditions.
There is nothing rigid or absolute in management affairs, it is all a question of proportion therefore, principles are flexible and capable of adaption to every need.
It is a matter of knowing how to make use of them, which is a difficult art requiring intelligence, experience and proportion”. Seldom does one have to apply the same principles twice in identical situations; allowance must be made for different changing conditions. Management principles should not be applied blindly in the same way to all problems.
4. Human limitations:
Management is an inexact social science because it deals with human behavior. Human behavior is very complex and unpredictable and in order to understand and influence it various principles developed in other disciplines are being increasingly applied in the field of management. These other disciplines like psycho-logy, sociology, anthropology, etc. deal with human nature.