Everything you need to know about the concept of management. Management means ‘managing activities’. Therefore, wherever there is a group of people working presence of management can be felt. It may be a group of friends working on a project, an NGO working towards women welfare or a business enterprise busy making profits.
Management consists of a series of interrelated functions that are performed by individuals working in the organisation or as a group with an aim to contribute their best towards achievement of a common goal.
Thus, Management is a process of getting things done effectively and efficiently.
The concept of management can be studied as:- 1. A Process 2. A Social Process 3. A Profession 4. A Science 5. An Art 6. Both Science and Art 7. An Economic Resource 8. A Team
Additionally, learn about approaches to the concept of management and functions of management.
Concept of Management: a Process, a Social Process, a Profession, a Science, an Art, Both Science and Art and a Few Others
Concept of Management – as a Process and as a Social Process
Management as a Process:
This describes an activity, which can be better described by the word managing. Under this concept we consider activity by means of which scarce resources are combined to achieve given ends. Manager draws upon the basic resources which are called 6 M’s — men, materials, machines, money, minutes and methods.
These six resources are subjected to the management process which consists of typical elements of management or functions of management such as planning, organising, motivating, leading and controlling of human efforts.
Through these managerial functions or management process we can have accomplishments of:
(1) The right work.
(2) At the right place.
(3) At the right time, and
(4) With the right method.
From such managerial activities we derive the expected results, viz., benefits and satisfactions in individuals, groups, enterprises as well as the society at large. Productivity of all resources in the final analysis depends upon the competency and ability of management of any enterprise to deliver the goods. Thus management will convert dis-organised resources of men, money, machines, etc., into useful enterprise. These resources are mobilised, co-ordinated, directed and controlled in such a manner that the enterprise would work towards the realisation of common objectives.
Management provides a dynamic force in getting any enterprise in useful activities. It makes significant social contributions, e.g., customer’s needs are met, employees gain jobs, citizens enjoy higher standard of living, suppliers find markets and Government would have income through variety of taxes. In short, management is an invigorating force bringing to life what would otherwise be only potentialities.
The term management may refer to those who are carrying on the activity of management, viz., the managers to manage the business, who manage the managers and who manage the workers and the work. In a large organisation, we have different levels of management. The top management, i.e. managerial agencies at the top, is the governing board of directors, which is the supreme policy making and decision making authority, the managing director, the chief executive or the executive directors as the heads of major divisions. These constitute the top management.
Then we have middle management group consisting of middle managers i.e., departmental managers, and subordinate officers who work under the heads of the departments and who enjoy delegated authorities from their bosses. The flow of authority or power is always downward, flowing from the top to the Bottom and this is brought about by proper delegation. Manager himself can do nothing.
He cannot produce goods. He has to multiply his personality particularly in a big organisation and this is done through delegation of authority. Hence, many a time management is defined as that agency which gets things done through and with other people. This definition points out the importance of delegation and motivation in management.
This definition also implies decision making process as an integral part of management. Delegation transfers steadily the decision making power from the higher level to the lower level. Under the middle management group, we have lower level managers such as supervisors, foremen who are directly in charge of the operatives, i.e., rank and file of workers. Lower level managers, middle managers and top managers are many a time called management as distinguished from labour, viz the operatives or workers.
Special Field of Study:
Profession, the third concept of management, points out that it is a body of knowledge about the activity of managing or the process of management and this body of knowledge is usually regarded as a special field of study, i.e., profession. The third concept of management as a profession is due to the managerial revolution which took place since 1940. In a joint stock company, there is complete separation of management from ownership.
Shareholders are owners of the enterprise. They do not have management rights and we have a small body of executives representing professional managers to whom is entrusted the work of management. Under a corporate personality, management has emerged as a separate entity and it reveals the professional character of management, i.e., management by salaried experts.
Management- A Social Process:
J. L. Hayes, a management expert defined management as “an art of getting things done through other people.” Let us critically evaluate this popular concept of management.
This concept of management can be interpreted in two ways:
1. Management is getting things done through other people. The manager thinks that he has a kingdom and many people to work for him. He adopts dictatorial or autocratic managerial style and gives orders and instructions to his subordinates for compliance without questioning. He gives to his subordinates all the nasty jobs, he never wanted himself to do. Such a managerial style ignores human values in management.
2. Management is getting things done through other people. Under this concept of management, performance of work is given top preference. This is possible only when the manager develops a sense of responsibility for accomplishing results in the entire organisation. The manager has to adopt democratic managerial style and he gives greater importance to the people working under him.
Management is now directly concerned with people in the organisation who are to be properly motivated and for whom manager is responsible. This concept of management stresses the importance of management by objectives or management by results. This is the modern trend of management.
The popular concept of management as an art of getting things done through other people reveals the following ideas:
1. Getting things done through other people requires proper and effective delegation of authority. A manager must multiply himself through other people (as he himself has limited time, energy and capacity) through the process of delegation. Management will be effective only to the extent that delegation is practised particularly in a large organisation.
2. Manager gets the performance of the work through and with other people, i.e., both the leader and the led are important and we must have effective leadership to ensure getting things done through other people.
3. Getting things done through other people requires sound decision making at all levels and in all situations. Decision making is the common silken thread running through the entire process of management. Manager must understand how to get people to do what he wants them to do.
He must decide who can best do each part of the job, how he can ensure that each person does a good job, how the results can best be achieved without duplication of work, what results should be achieved, etc. The definition of management as an art of getting things done through others reflects that management is synonymous with decision making. Every manager is a decision maker.
4. Today negative incentives such as fear of punishment, threat of un-employment, fines and penalties etc., cannot be adopted to get things done through other people. On the other hand, management has to adopt positive incentives, motivate people and ensure higher employee morale to get things done through other people.
The importance of morale and motivation must be recognised by a manager for getting things done through other people. He must create and maintain best work environment to get work performance as per plan. He must offer meaningful and interesting work to his subordinates.
5. Sound decision-making, democratic managerial leadership and effective motivation of workers constitute the foundations of the sound management process. Then only we can have optimum use of human resources to achieve the organisational objectives.
6. Getting things done through other people is easier when people do things because they themselves want to do and not because their boss wants them to do. Such an atmosphere can be created only under workers participation with management in the process of decision-making particularly on matters in which workers are vitally interested.
Participation ensures teamwork and team spirit in the enterprise. It increases job satisfaction. It satisfies egoistic wants of the employees. It can capitalise the creative talents of employees.
7. In fact all managerial functions are essential for getting things done through other people, e.g., we must have sound plans, sound organisation, effective leadership, motivation, communication and co-ordination and above all efficient controls in order to get things done through other people.
The concept of management as an art of getting things done through other people can easily reflect almost all aspects of modern, management. We can modify this concept to make it more comprehensive. Revised definition may be- “A manager is a leader, who gets things done by working with people (willingly) and other resources in an organised manner. In order to reach an objective, he co-ordinates the activities of others rather than perform operations himself.” -W. Newman.
Management is the fine art of getting the employee to want to do his prescribed work as per plan willingly and with voluntary co-operation. In short, management must recognise that people are more important than things and management must be employee-oriented and not merely job-oriented. If management practises good human relations, getting things done or productivity can be automatically assured.
Management experts have pointed out that management can get things done (results) through people by adopting the following patterns of management-
1. Management by participation.
2. Management by objectives or results.
3. Management by motivation.
4. Management by two-way communication.
5. Management by systematic investigation, and analysis i-.e., scientific management.
6. Management by delegation.
The best pattern of management to ensure optimum productivity is democratic participative management involving good participation, communication, motivation and co-ordination. People can pour their hearts and souls in the work only under favourable physical and psychological work environment. They must have a sense of belonging to the organisation.
Concept of the Management – Traditional Approach and Modern Approach
The concept of management can be categorized according to two broad categories:
1. The traditional approach and
2. The modern approach.
1. Traditional Approach:
The word ‘management’ can be scanned as ‘manage-men-t’ (i.e., manage men tactfully). Therefore, management means managing men tactfully to get things done. In other words, management involves the art of getting things done through people. It is used to manage the ‘group of personnel’ in an organization.
2. Modern Approach:
The term ‘management’ may be defined as creating the internal environment of an enterprise where individuals working together in groups towards the attainment of group goals. It is a distinct process consisting of planning, organizing, directing, controlling, etc., performed to accomplish the objectives of the organization by the use of human and non-human resources. It is the force that integrates human and non-human resources into an effective operative unit.
The concept of management has been defined by several eminent management experts from different viewpoints as follows:
i. ‘Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organised groups. It is the art of creating an environment in which people can perform efficiently and effectively towards the attainment of group goals.’ [Harold Koontz & Cyrill O’Donnell]
ii. ‘Management is a distinct process consisting of planning, organising, directing and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish the stated objectives by the use of human beings and other resources.’ [George R. Terry]
iii. ‘Management is the art and science of decision-making and leadership.’ [Donald J. Clough]
iv. ‘Management is a process of releasing and directing human energies towards attaining a definite goal.’ [C. W. Wilson]
v. ‘Management is the art of directing and inspiring people.’ [J. D. Mooney & A. C. Railey]
vi. ‘Management is the function of executive leadership anywhere.’ [Ralph C. Davis]
vii. ‘Management is the art of knowing exactly what you want men to do and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way.’ [F. W. Taylor]
viii. ‘Management is the process of decision-making and control over the actions of human beings for the purpose of attaining predetermined goals.’ [Stanley Vance]
ix. ‘Management is the process by which managers create, direct, maintain and operate organisations through systematic, coordinated and cooperative human efforts.’ [Dalton E. Mc. Farland]
x. ‘Management is the process of getting things done through the agency of a community.’ [Sir Charles Raynold]
xi. ‘Management is a technique by means of which the purposes and objectives of a particular human group are determined, clarified and effectuated.’ [Elmore Peterson & E.G. Plowman]
xii. ‘Management is the art of securing maximum prosperity and happiness for both employer and employee with a minimum of effort.’ [John F. Mee]
xiii. ‘Management is the force that integrates human and non-human resources into an effective operative unit.’ [Keith & Gubellini]
Therefore, management is all-pervasive and is concerned with all the aspects of the working of an enterprise. It is considered as a method, a system, a process, a group, a discipline, etc., which adds effectiveness to human activities. The principles of management are dynamic. These principles change with time and are affected by monetary considerations. Principles of management are also affected by human activities. Management principles which are effective in one situation may not be effective in another situation. Management principles and practices vary with the situation in which the organization operates.
Concept of the Management – Management as a Process
Management means ‘managing activities’. Therefore, wherever there is a group of people working presence of management can be felt. It may be a group of friends working on a project, an NGO working towards women welfare or a business enterprise busy making profits.
Management consists of a series of interrelated functions that are performed by individuals working in the organisation or as a group with an aim to contribute their best towards achievement of a common goal. Thus, Management is a process of getting things done effectively and efficiently.
Management – A ‘PROCESS’:
Management is a Process because it includes the activities or functions performed to get things done. As a process, management takes important decisions like what to do; when to do; how to do; where to do and most importantly who will do. The functions of management can be classified as planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling.
Being Effective means completing the assigned task and achieving the predetermined goals or targets.
Being efficient means not only completing the assigned task or achieving the target in the given time but also in a manner that all the available resources are utilized optimally and the task is completed in minimum cost.
If once again we analyse the farewell party you organised for your seniors you will realize that you performed all the functions of Management:
i. When you discussed about the farewell party as a group – you were Planning
ii. When you collected all the things/funds required – you were Organising
iii. When you created teams to perform specific tasks – you were Staffing
iv. When you assigned duties to each team about what to do and how to do – you were Directing
v. When you organised the rehearsals for the entire show – you were Coordinating
vi. When you were constantly checking that everything was happening as planned or making changes as required – you were Controlling.
Let’s now study the concept of Management as explained by various authors:
“Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims.” – Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich
“Management is defined as the process of planning, organising, actuating and controlling an organisation’s operations in order to achieve coordination of the human and material resources essential in the effective and efficient attainment of objectives.” – Robert L. Trewelly and M. Gene Newport
“Management is the process of working with and through others to effectively achieve organizational objectives by efficiently using limited resources in the changing environment.” – Kreitner
“Management is the coordination of all resources through the process of planning, organising, directing and controlling in order to attain stated objectives.” – F. W. Taylor
“Management is the process by which a cooperative group directs actions of others towards common goals.” – Massie and Douglas
“Management is the art of knowing exactly what you want your men to do and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way.” – James L. Ludney
Concept of the Management – With the Functions of Management
According to Haimann, the word “management” has three different senses- (i) it is a noun; (ii) it is a process; and (iii) it is a discipline. Management as a noun means the managerial personnel of an enterprise. Secondly, management refers to the process of managing, which includes planning, organising, staffing, guiding, directing, supervising and controlling.
Thirdly, sometimes, the word management is used to connote the body of knowledge. It then becomes a separate discipline. Strictly speaking, management is a functional concept and does not include the persons who practise management. Persons performing management functions are usually designated as “managers”, “executives” or “administrators”.
Management is the sum total of the different steps involved in it, viz., (a) formulation of policy and its transaction into plans; (b) execution and implementation of plans; and (c) exercising administrative control over the plans. These three tasks of management may be titled as “planning”, “implementing”, and “controlling”.
According to James Lundy, “management is principally a task of planning, coordinating, motivating and controlling the efforts of others towards a specific objective. It involves the combining of the traditional factors of production (land, labour and capital) in an optimum manner, paying due attention to the particular goals of the organisation.”
This definition makes management comprehensive enough to embrace three major management activities, viz., (a) planning, (b) implementing, and (c) controlling. Planning is the determination of the course or objectives of a business, division of tasks to achieve maximum effectiveness, the establishment of policies, and a constant search for new and better ways to do things.
Implementing applies to the “doing phases”. After the preparation of plans, individuals must be selected and assigned to their jobs; they must be trained and motivated to perform them properly. Activities are performed in the context of the plans initially developed; subordinates are supervised and directed and the efforts of groups doing different kinds of work are co- originated.
According to Henri Fayol, “To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate and to control. To foresee and provide means examining the future and drawing up the plan of action. To organise means building up the dual structure, material and human, of the undertaking. To command means maintaining activity among the personnel. To co-ordinate means binding together, unifying and harnessing all activity and effort. To control means seeing that everything occurs in conformity with the established rules and expressed command.”
Henry Fayol puts management into six functions:
v. Co-ordinating, and
Mary Parker Follet feels that management is an art of getting things done through people.
Towards the end of the 20th century, management has developed into six branches:
i. Human Resource Management
ii. Operations or Production Management
iii. Strategic Management
iv. Marketing Management
v. Financial Management
vi. Information Technology (IT) and Management Information Systems (MIS).
An organisation can be a one-man show to a big conglomerate employing lakhs of people all across the world. In bigger organisations, the Board of Directors formulates the policy which is put into execution by the CEO or Chief Executive Officer. There are various departmental heads working under the CEO. Each one of them make decisions regarding their respective departments.
It is basically making people work to accomplish the desired objectives. Managers are the decision makers. They make decisions to run an organisation according to a plan. They make decisions in various areas such as marketing, finance, human resources and IT.
Concept of the Management – as a Process, as a Profession, as a Science, as an Art and as both Science and Art
Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives by using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management brings together all Six M’s i.e. Men, Money, Machines, Materials, Methods and Markets.
Management uses these resources for achieving the objectives of the organization such as high sales, maximum profits, business expansion, etc. management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and control ling-an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.
Harold Koontz gave this definition of management in his book “The Management Theory Jungle”.
“Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organized groups” – Harold Koontz
Henry Fayol gave this definition of Management in his book “Industrial and General Administration”.
“To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organize, to command, to co-ordinate and to control” – Henri Fayol
This definition of Management was given by Peter Drucker in his book “The Principles of Management”.
“Management is a multi-purpose organ that manages business and manages managers and manages workers and work” – Peter Drucker
“Management is an art of knowing what to do, when to do and see that it is done in the best and cheapest way” – F. W. Taylor
Management can also be defined in detail in following categories:
1. Management as a Process.
2. Management as a Profession.
3. Management as a Science.
4. Management as an Art.
5. Management as Both Science and Art.
1. Management as a Process:
Management is the process by which management creates, operates and directs purposive organization through systematic, coordinated and co-operated human efforts.
“Management is a distinct process consisting of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish stated objective by the use of human beings and other resources” – George R. Terry
As a process, management consists of three aspects:
(a) Management is a Social Process:
Management is concerned with developing relationship among people. It is the duty of management to make interaction between people; who are productive and useful for obtaining organizational goals.
(b) Management is an Integrating Process:
Management undertakes the job of bringing together human physical and financial resources so as to achieve organizational purpose; therefore, it is an important function to bring harmony between various factors.
(c) Management is a Continuous Process:
It is a never ending process. It is concerned with constantly identifying the problem and solving them by taking adequate steps. It is an on-going process.
2. Management as Profession:
Over a large few decades, factors such as growing size of business unit, separation of ownership from management, growing competition etc. have led to an increased demand for professionally qualified managers. As a result of these developments the management has reached a stage where everything is to be managed professionally.
“Profession means an occupation that requires specialized knowledge and intensive academic preparations to which entry is regulated by a representative body”.
The Essentials of a Profession are:
(a) Specialized Knowledge:
A profession must have a systematic body of knowledge that can be used for development of professionals. Every professional must make deliberate efforts to acquire expertise in the principles and techniques. Similarly a manager must have devotion and involvement to acquire expertise in the science of management.
(b) Formal Education and Training:
There are No. of institutes and universities to impart education and training for a profession. No one can practice a profession without going through a prescribed course. Many institutes of management have been set up for imparting education and training. For example- a CA cannot audit the A/c’s unless he has acquired a degree or diploma for the same but no minimum qualifications and a course of study has been prescribed for managers by law. For example- MBA may be preferred but not necessary.
(c) Social Obligations:
Profession is a source of livelihood but professionals are primarily motivated by the desire to serve the society. Their actions are influenced by social norms and values. Similarly a manager is responsible not only to its owners but also to the society.
(d) Code of Conduct:
Members of a profession have to abide by a code of conduct which contains certain rules and regulations, norms of honesty, integrity and special ethics. A code of conduct is enforced by a representative association to ensure self-discipline among its members. The AIMA has prescribed a code of conduct for managers but it has no right to take legal action against any manager who violates it.
(e) Representative Association:
For the regulation of profession, existence of a representative body is a must. For example- an Institute of Charted Accountants of India establishes and administers standards of competence for the auditors but the AIMA however does not have any statuary powers to regulate the activities of managers.
From above discussion, it is quite clear that management fulfills several essentials of a profession; even then it is not a fully-fledged profession because:
i. No minimum qualifications have been prescribed for managers.
ii. No management association has the authority to grant a certificate of practice to various managers.
iii. All managers are supposed to abide by the code formulated by AIMA.
iv. Competent education and training facilities do not exist.
v. Managers are responsible to many groups such as shareholders, employees and society. A regulatory code may curtail their freedom.
vi. Managers are known by their performance and not mere degrees.
vii. The ultimate goal of business is to maximize profit and not social welfare. The slogan for management is becoming; “He who serves best, also profits most”.
Science is a systematic body of knowledge pertaining to a specific field of study that contains general facts which explains a phenomenon. It establishes cause and effect relationship between two or more variables and underlines the principles governing their relationship. These principles are developed through scientific method of observation and verification through testing.
Science is characterized by following main features:
(a) Test of Validity and Predictability
(b) Experimentation and Observation
(c) Cause and Effect Relationship
(d) Universally acceptance principles
(a) Test of Validity and Predictability:
Principles of management can also be tested for validity e.g. principle of unity of command can be tested by comparing two persons; one having single boss and one having two bosses. The performance of first person will be better than second.
(b) Experimentation and Observation:
Management principles are also based on scientific enquiry and observation and not only on the opinion of Henry Fayol. These principles have been developed through experiments and practical experiences of large No. of managers e.g. it is observed that fair remuneration to personal helps in creating a satisfied work force.
(c) Cause and Effect Relationship:
The same is true for management; therefore it also establishes cause and effect relationship e.g. lack of parity (balance) between authority and responsibility will lead to ineffectiveness. If you know the cause i.e. lack of balance, the effect can be ascertained easily i.e. in effectiveness. Similarly if workers are given bonuses, fair wages they will work hard but when not treated in fair and just manner, reduces productivity of organization.
(d) Universally Acceptance Principles:
Management also contains some fundamental principles which can be applied universally like the Principle of Unity of Command i.e. one man, one boss. This principle is applicable to all type of organization (business or non-business).
It cannot be denied that management has a systematic body of knowledge but it is not as exact as that of other physical sciences like biology, physics, and chemistry etc. the main reason for the inexactness of science of management is that it deals with. It is a flexible science and that is why its theories and principles may produce different results at different times and therefore it is a behavior science.
Art is concern with the understanding of how particular work can be accomplished. Art implies application of knowledge and skill to trying about desired results. An art may be defined as personalized application of general theoretical principles for achieving best possible results.
Art has the following characteristics:
(a) Practical Knowledge.
(b) Personal Skill.
(d) Perfection through Practice.
(a) Practical Knowledge:
A manager can never be successful just by obtaining degree or diploma in management; he must have also known how to apply various principles in real situations by functioning in capacity of manager.
(b) Personal Skill:
Management as an art is also personalized. Every manager has his own way of managing things based on his knowledge, experience and personality, that is why some managers are known as good managers (like Aditya Birla, Ratan Tata, Bharti Mittal) whereas others as bad.
Management is also creative in nature like any other art. It combines human and non-human resources in useful way so as to achieve desired results. It tries to produce sweet music by combining chords in an efficient manner.
(d) Perfection through Practice:
Managers learn through an art of trial and error initially but application of management principles over the years makes them perfect in the job of managing.
Management is also directed towards accomplishment of pre-determined goals. Managers use various resources like men, money, material, machinery and methods to promote growth of an organization.
Thus, we can say that management is an art therefore it requires application of certain principles rather it is an art of highest order because it deals with moulding the attitude and behavior of people at work towards desired goals.
Management is both an art and a science. The above mentioned point clearly reveals that management combines features of both science as well as art. It is considered as a science because it has an organized body of knowledge which contains certain universal truth. It is called an art because managing requires certain skills which are personal possessions of managers. Science provides the knowledge and art deals with the application of knowledge and skills.
A manager to be successful in his profession must acquire the knowledge of science and the art of applying it. Therefore, management is a judicious blend of science as well as an art because it proves the principles and the way these principles are applied is a matter of art. According to Dr. Terry ” if sciences teach one to know, art teaches one to do” e.g. a person cannot become a good singer unless he has knowledge about various ragas and he also applies his personal skill in the art of singing.
Same way it is not sufficient for manager to first know the principles but he must also apply them in solving various managerial problems that is why, science and art are not mutually exclusive but they are complementary to each other (like tea and biscuit, bread and butter etc.). It has been aptly remarked that management is the oldest of art and youngest of science.
Concept of the Management – 3 Approaches to the Concepts of Management by Different Eminent Authorities
Different eminent authorities have given these three approaches to concepts of management:
1. Management as a Noun (A Group of Managers):
Whenever management is used as a noun it refers to all those persons by names and designations who are concerned with getting things done through others. They are the senior most people and concerned with deciding the vision, mission and overall long term planning and policies. It includes Managing director, Vice-President, General Manager.
2. Management as Profession or Discipline (A Separate Specialised Field):
Management is an emerging and popular profession these days like other professions such as – Medical, Engineering, Teaching, Architect and law. Management is also a separate specialised profession which helps in managing business houses, private and public sector companies and Multinational companies. For pursuing this profession one goes for management courses like B.Com. BBA, M.Com, M.B.A., C.A and company secretaries etc. It has got separate professional bodies like AIMA- All India Management Association or CMA- Chandigarh Management Association etc., for its academic growth.
Management, like any other profession is specialised discipline and is considered high paying profession.
3. Management as Process (A Continuous Systematic Process):
Management is a distinct process consisting of Planning, organising, directing staffing, co-ordinating, reporting and budgeting, popularly known as – “PODSCORE”.
Management is a continuous but a systematic, step by step process. As per Louis Allen, “Management is what manger does”. Henry Fayol – To manager is to plan, to organize, to direct, to co-ordinate and to report. Management is like air, which has to be everywhere in any type of business. It is required at all time, and at all levels. It is not like a water tap which can be put on and off.
Concept of the Management – as a Process, as an Economic Resource, as a Team, as an Art, as a Science and as a Profession
Management comprises different meanings depending upon the context in which it is used.
Some of the important concepts of management are given below:
Management refers to a series of inter-related functions or elements to achieve stated objectives through the effective utilisation of human and other resources.
It involves five managerial functions:
i. Planning – To take decisions and to prepare plans, policies, procedures, rules, etc.
iii. Staffing – To employ people to manage various positions in the organisation and to provide them necessary training.
iv. Directing – To give instructions to the subordinates, to motivate them and to provide them leadership.
v. Controlling – To compare actual performance with predetermined standards and to take corrective action.
Management is called a process because it comprises a series of function that leads to the achievement of certain objective. Management process involves planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling. These are the basic functions which every manager performs for the achievement of certain goals.
The manager draws plan to translate these goals into reality. He organises, directs and controls the activities of the people continues as long as the business unit is in operation. In fact, management is a continuous process.
Management also called as social process because it deals with various social groups such as shareholders supplies, workers, customers, in particular and the society in general. And also major task of management is motivating and leading the human resources for the effective use of physical and financial resources.
Resources like land, labours, capital and entrepreneurship, management is a vital factor of production. The inputs of labour, capital and materials do not by themselves ensure growth. They require the catalyst of management to produce results. It is management that coordinates various factors of production. Therefore, management occupies a central place among productive factors.
For the growth of economy the development of these resources is must which is only possible with management. Management plays a vital role in the development of organisation, society and Nation (economy). The collective function of management supports the life cycle of organisation followed by economy. Due to these factors we can say that management is an economic resource.
Management consists of all those individuals who guide and direct the efforts of other individuals to achieve specified objectives. Managers occupy positions at different levels of authority but perform the same basic functions. Top-level managers have great authority than middle-level managers, who, in turn, have great authority than operating managers.
In this way, a system of authority (called chain of command) is created in every organisation. The management group consists of different types of managers, e.g., professional managers (formally trained in management and divorced from ownership), family managers (owner managers having little formal training) and civil servant managers (IAS persons occupying managerial positions in public sector), etc.
Art involves the practical application of personal skills and knowledge to achieve the concern results. It is a practical way of doing specific things. If a science is learnt, an art is practiced. Stated differently, science is to seek knowledge and art is to apply knowledge.
An art has the following features:
(i) Body of Knowledge – Art is based on theoretical knowledge of concepts, Principles and application of knowledge about a particular field such as music, painting, etc.
(ii) Personalised Application of Knowledge – Art implies personalized application of knowledge and skills about a particular field, say, music or painting. Every artist or practitioner develops his personal skills and style of producing concrete results.
(iii) Practice – Art is learned and refined through continuous practice.
(iv) Creativity – Art is creative in nature. An artist uses his skills and style to create better results.
Management is considered an art because of the following reasons:
(i) The implementation of management process does involve the use of knowledge of management concepts, principles and techniques.
(ii) Management seeks to achieve concrete practical results, e.g. profits, growth, social service, etc. in a given situation.
(iii) Every manager has to apply his personal skills to deal with various problems of the unit he is managing. At times, he may have to use personal judgement to take managerial decision.
(iv) Expertise in management requires a sufficiently long period of experience in managing. The managerial art can be refined through continuous practice.
(v) The art of management can be learnt and mastered through continuous practice.
As an art, management calls for a corpus of abilities and judgement and a continuous practice of management theories and principles. The main purpose of every manager is to mould the attitude and behaviour of people at work towards the achievement of certain goals is an art of the highest order. Art implies the various method of doing work and so as management because it also involves various ways of managing the work with different principles and theories.
Science is a body of systematised knowledge accumulated and accepted with reference to the understanding of general truths concerning a particular phenomenon, subject or object of study. It contains concepts, theories, hypotheses and principles to explain cause and effect relationship between two or more factors.
In order to be organized as a science, a discipline should have following characteristics:
i. Systematized Body of Knowledge
ii. Scientific Observation
iv. Verifiable Principles and Universal Application.
It is a well-known fact that the management has systematised body of knowledge pertaining to its field. The researchers in management use scientific techniques to collect and analyses data about human cause and effect relationship. These principles have been verified by many researchers. More or less these principles have universal application in different type of organisations in different countries. That is only, management is called science.
Nature of Management Science:
Management is a social science like Economics because it involves the study of human behaviour. Its principles are not hard and fast laws like those of physics or chemistry. Rather, they are flexible guidelines to be modified in different situations. This is because living and complex human beings in dynamic situations cannot be studied under controlled laboratory conditions.
Validity of the principles cannot be tested through experiments. Moreover, management is a comparatively young and growing science which developed in the 20th century. Therefore, management is called an in exact science or soft science. Management is also an inter-disciplinary science as it draws on freely the knowledge from several other sciences like Economics, Mathematics, Sociology, Psychology and Anthropology.
However, management is not a perfect Science like other physical sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology, etc.
The main reasons for the inexactness of science of management are as follows:
(i) Many of the principles of management are not supported by research.
(ii) In management, it is difficult to establish cause and effect relationship as in chemistry or biology.
(iii) Application of management principles depends upon situations and factors.
(iv) Management deals with people at work and it is very difficult to predict their behaviour accurately. Since it is a social process, it is also called a Social Science.
‘Profession’ refers to an occupation backed by specialised body of knowledge and training and to which entry is regulated by a representative body.
The essential requirements of a profession are as follows:
i. Specialised field of knowledge
ii. Restricted entry based on education and training
iii. Representative on professional association
iv. Ethical code of conduct for self-regulation
v. Social recognition
vi. Professional fees.
Management can be considered a profession because of the following reason:
(i) The field of management is supported by a well-defined body of knowledge that can taught and learnt.
(ii) Management of modern organizations requires competent application of management principles, techniques and skills. Thus, their is a need for formal education and training in management. Many institutions of management have come up now is India and abroad which offer courses like MBA, PGDBM to create competent managers.
(iv) Several associations of managers (such as All India Management Association (AIMA)) have prescribed code of conduct for their members.
(v) Managers are aware of their social responsibilities towards various groups of the society including customers, labour suppliers, government, etc. They are guided by service motive. The managers enjoy higher status in the society.
Management can’t be fully regarded as a profession it does not fulfill all the requirements of a profession as is the case with medical or accountancy profession.
Arguments against professional status of management are as follows:
(i) Entry to management profession is not restricted. Their is no prescribed standard qualification (e.g., MBA) and training programme to become a manager.
(ii) Management does not have all-India representative association like Medical Council of India or Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to prescribe professional standards and enforce them.
(iii) There is no ethical code of conduct for the managers as is the case with doctors and C.As.
Thus, professionalisation of management is not complete yet. However, it is moving in that direction.