Essay on Management as a Discipline
Management as a separate discipline came into being with the problems of Industrial Revolution. To solve the problems of workers, the capitalistic private sector needed a positive approach through a science of new knowledge. The outcome was the invention of a new discipline.
Management as a new and separate academic discipline has drawn sources from sister disciplines like economics, psychology, sociology and other behavioural sciences. It is of recent origin and the developers of this discipline are Henry Fayol, Chester Barnard, Peter Drucker etc.
It is true the management draws heavily from other knowledge’s. This does not mean that management can be treated not as a separate discipline with its own entity as a field of learning. The managers practice management and not the disciplines from which management has got some of its concepts and tools.
A discipline in the true sense of the term must have the core of principles and generalizations and it must have a basic theory though the enunciation of theory may be complex.
According to Brech, ‘Theory means basic doctrines in which are enshrined the essential features underlying effective accomplishment; it is a thought process underlying action and deduced from a systematic study of previous actions.
Judged from this criterion, management has its own theories, its own problems and its own specific approaches and area of study. To be a successful manager one must understand the discipline of management.
Management is practice as well as performance. The practice of management is based on knowledge and, responsibility.
The confusion with regard to the theory of management arises because practicing managers, by and large, treat theories as the antithesis of practical success. The typical manager feels elevated when he has been called a practical man, meaning thereby that he does not depend on vague ideas and theories. The practicing managers generally do not believe in the soundness of theories.
Management has its own skills which are based on the knowledge of management and practices of management. Such managerial skills belong only to management and not to any other discipline.
Elton Mayo has suggested that there are two types of sciences, “the successful sciences”- for example, chemistry, physics, and physiology and “the unsuccessful sciences”, for example, psychology and political science, etc. In successful sciences both theory and practice are there. Knowledge is used for applying in solving real problems.
The practitioner of successful sciences is given direct experience in using his technical skills in the laboratory. But the unsuccessful sciences, in the opinion of Mayo, “do not seem to equip students with a single social skill that is usable in original human situations.
No continuous and direct contact with the social facts is contrived for the students. He learns from books, spending endless hours in libraries; he reconsiders ancient formulas of the clinic or indeed of the laboratory”. Management, perhaps, falls between these two types of sciences and may be closer to unsuccessful sciences.
Management is a complex discipline, though it has more or less cohesive field of management. At worst, it is an emerging discipline. The theoretical knowledge and researches in management are quite extensive.
Management can be partly taught and partly learned through experience. Management is a combination of science and art in which formal training has its own importance. Indeed, it has distinct areas of study, its own problems and specific approaches; its own skills, techniques and tools; and its own theory and generalizations which make it a formal and scholarly discipline.