Introduction to Management

What is Management

Management is a worldwide phenomenon and is therefore a popular and widely applied term. Management involves all kinds of organizations, whether they are political, business, social or cultural because it aids and provides directions for reaching a specific goal through the efforts of the people working in an organization.

Definition of Management

“Management is an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups. It is an art of creating an environment in which people can perform and individuals and can co-operate towards attainment of group goals”. - Harold Koontz

“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 is an activity with a definite purpose or aim. It is an activity which gives direction to the people’s endeavors for accomplishing specific set aims in an organization. It is a method of working jointly with your own efforts and through others in an organization in order to accomplish its goals by utilizing minimum reserves in this transforming world. There are plenty of chances that these goals may change from one organization to another. For instance, new products may be launched by one enterprise through market analysis whereas the other enterprise may try to maximize their profits by reducing their rates.

Management involves creating an internal environment and hence, it makes use of different aspects of production. Hence, it is the management’s duty to make the environment favorable so that the people can put in their best efforts in order to do their jobs effectively and capably. This involves the easy access of raw materials, resolving the issue of wages and salaries, forming certain rules and regulations and so on.

Hence, good management involves working effectively and efficiently too. To work effectively denotes doing the task properly i.e., matching the square pegs and round pegs in their respective holes. To be efficient signifies ensuring the task is done properly with minimum cost and wasting resources.

Management as a Process

Management refers to a sequence of functions which are related with each other. It is the procedure through which management can operate, direct and also create a goal-oriented organization by carrying on human efforts systematically, in a synchronized manner and through great cooperation with each other. According to George R. Terry, “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”. Management comprises three aspects as a process and they are as follows:

Management is a social process: Management is about developing good relations amidst people as human factor is very important and hence, it is the management’s responsibility to make people interact with each other usefully and productively in order to attain the goals of an organization.

Management is an integrating process: Management assumes the task of combining financial, human and also physical resources together in order to attain certain organizational goals. Hence, it is vital to harmonize various aspects of an enterprise.

Management is a continuous process: It is an endless process and involves the continuous identification of the problems at hand and then resolving each one by undertaking certain decisions or steps.

Management as an Activity

Management is just an activity that is carried out like we do other activities such as cooking, drinking and so on. The manager achieves the goals by giving proper direction to his employees.

“Management is what a manager does”. - Koontz

Management involves the following activities:

Informal activities: To operate a business enterprise, the manager has to continuously give and also receive certain written or oral information. Hence, for an enterprise to function properly, it is important to establish a contact with your subordinates and your superiors too.

Decisional activities: Any kind of decisions taken are based on all kinds of managerial actions. Hence, this involves the managers to take various types of decisions as his decision acts as a foundation for other managers to act upon. For instance, the sales manager has to take a decision regarding the contents of media and advertising.

Inter-personal activities: Management involves utilizing people’s efforts for reaching its goals and hence, managers need to connect on a personal level and maintain cordial relations with their subordinates and superiors too. These inter-personal relations with their employees ensure that they resolve any issues, for instance, giving them bonuses.

Management as a Discipline

Management as a discipline refers to learning about the principles and practices of basic management. This denotes a method of behavior which the manager must follow and also manage all the resources in an efficient manner.

Management as a discipline refers to a certain behavioral codes to be followed by managers and specifies different procedures of operating an organization. It is a course of study which is taught in various universities after you finish a particular course or by getting a degree in this field. After a person has completed his course, he can be employed in an organization as a manager.

Discipline is a branch of study which meets the below given needs:

  • Thinkers and scholars who pass on all their knowledge by doing research and through periodicals or magazines.
  • Formal imparting of knowledge gained must be done through holding training programmes and by education.

Since management fulfills both the above issues, it succeeds as a discipline which is a new one but is still developing rapidly.

Management as a Group

Management as a group refers all people who are involved in managing an enterprise. When we speak of a particular management which is good, we mean a group of persons who manage that enterprise. Hence, management involves all the managers right from the chief executive till the lower-level managers. However, in reality, management involves only the management such as the Chairman, the General Manager, the Chief Executive, and the Board of Directors and so on. In other words, it means the people who are involved in making major decisions get to enjoy their authoritative roles to utilize all their resources in order to achieve the goals of the organization and also utilize it responsibly and efficiently. Management as a group is hence seen in two diverse ways such as all the managers taken collectively and only the involvement of the top management.

This understanding is dependent on the usage of these perspective terms. Generally, there are three kinds of managers and they are as follows:

Patrimonial or Family Manager: Those who have become managers by being owners or through the help of their relations who are owners of the enterprises.

Professional Managers: Those who are chosen as managers because of their acquired knowledge and holding a management degree.

Political Managers or Civil Servants: Those who operate the public sector companies.

Managers are now considered as a privileged part of our society as they enjoy all the benefits that people get with a higher standard of living.

Management as a Science

Science is an organized body of learning which relates to a certain branch of study containing common facts describing a phenomenon. It ascertains a cause and effect relation amid more than two variables and also emphasizes the governing rules in their relationships. The development of these principles is done through observing scientifically and verifying by trials.

Science is differentiated by the main features given below:

Universally acceptance principles: Scientific principles symbolize the essential facts about a specific branch of inquiry These principles are applicable in all kinds of situations and at all times and all places. For instance, the law of gravitation is applicable in all the countries regardless of the time.

Management also comprises a few basic principles that can be useful globally such as the Principle of Unity of Command meaning a single man and boss. This principle is applied to any kind of enterprise, whether they are business or non-business.

Experimentation and Observation: Scientific principles are the result of researching and investigating scientifically, meaning that they are logic-based. For instance, it has been scientifically proved about the earth revolving round the sun.

Management rules are also established on the grounds of scientific observation and inquiry and not just on Henry Fayol’s viewpoints. These principles are made by conducting experiments and learning through practical experiences of several managers. For instance, it is seen that personal helps getting a fair salary aids in making a work force fully satisfied.

Cause and Effect Relationship: Scientific principles are all about the cause and effect relations among different variables. For instance, metals expand on heating them. Hence, heating is the cause and expansion is the end result.

The same rule holds true for management and hence it also determines the relationship between cause and effect. For instance, the absence of balance amid being responsible and authoritative certainly leads to being incompetent. If cause is known, meaning the absence of balance, then it is easy to ascertain the effect too. In the same way, if the employees are offered bonuses or fair salaries, they will certainly put in more efforts but, on the other hand, if they are not given a fair treatment, it will lead to a low production in any organization.

Test of Validity and Predictability: The soundness of scientific principles can be verified at any given time or several times, meaning they are capable of standing the true test of time and every time, they will provide similar results. Furthermore, events in the near future are predictable with a fair accurateness by utilizing the principles of science.

Management principles could also be examined for being valid, for instance, the unity of command principle can be examined easily by matching two people, where one has a single boss and the other has two. Hence, in this case, the first person’s work will surely be better when compared to the second person.

Hence, it is undeniable that management is an established branch of knowledge but still is different from other physical sciences such as physics, chemistry and biology and so on. The major reason for this difference is that it is about the behavior of human beings which is tough to forecast correctly. As this is considered as a social process, it is a branch of social sciences. It is considered as a behavioral science as it is flexible science whose principles and theories may give results which are dissimilar at various times. Hence, Ernest Dale has aptly called this as a Soft Science.

Management as an Art

Management as an art involves the knowledge and skill that is applied to bring about certain desired goals. Hence, an art can be described as personally applying the common theoretical principles in order to get the most excellent results. Art has the following characteristics:

Practical Knowledge: Every art needs realistic knowledge and hence, studying only theory is considered as insufficient. It is more vital to practically apply the theoretical principles of knowledge. For instance, in order to be a good painter, the person may not know much about the use of colors and brushes but he must know how to correctly use the designs, dimensions etc. similarly, just by obtaining a degree in management is not sufficient for a manager, but he must learn how his knowledge of the principles of management can work in real situations.

Personal Skill: Even though an artist may have a theoretical knowledge, but they all work differently using their own style and methods for doing his work. Hence, each person’s quality of functioning and success is different from the other. For instance, even though there are several painters who are famous for their work, but M.F. Hussain is recognized all over the world for his special style of art. Hence, management as an art is also modified for each person according to his style of work and capacity. All managers have their own methods of doing things depending on his experience, his personality and the knowledge that he applies at work. So, some managers are good whereas the others are not as good as others.

Creativity: Each artist is basically creative and he always ensures that he makes that need a blend of his creative intelligence and vision. Management is also a creative art which blends human and non-human resources in a practical manner in order to get the desired goals. It tries its best to make music that is sweet by blending chords efficiently.

Perfection through practice: A man can become perfect only through hard work and practice and hence, all artists have to strive to be better by continuously practicing. In the same way, managers can become better managers by trial and error in the beginning and later they become perfect through years of practice and hard work of managing an enterprise.

Goal-oriented: Every art is directed towards getting results and similarly, management is also meant for achieving pre-planned goals. Managers utilize different resources such as money, human labor, machinery and material goods and some procedures in order to support the organization’s growth.

Thus, we can conclude that management is an art which needs some principles to be applied. To be precise, it is considered as an art of the highest level as it deals with shaping the behavior of persons making efforts in order to achieve the desired results.

Management as a Profession

Since the past, aspects like the business unit’s growth, the ownership’s disconnection from the management, ever-increasing competition etc has led to the demand for managers who are highly qualified. Hence, the manager’s task is a specialized job. Because of these changes, the management has to be professionally managed by mangers that are specialized in their jobs.

A profession can be termed as a job which needs exceptional knowledge and preparing for an academic course to which there is a representative association to regulate your admission in it. The following are the needs of a profession:

Specialized Knowledge: Any profession should have a methodical body of learning which can be utilized later for the growth of professionals. Hence, all professionals must strive hard to acquire this knowledge and expertise to master the methods and principles of study. In the same way, a manager must be devoted and involved in every way possible in order to gain the skills of the science of management.

Formal Education and Training: Today, there are several universities and educational institutes in order to provide education and on-the-job training for a particular profession. Hence, it is not possible to practice any profession without doing a program or course. Several management institutes are there today in order to provide training and education for management students. For instance, a CA needs to obtain a degree or diploma in order to audit the A/C’s. however, the law has not made it mandatory for managers to have some minimum qualifications and a particular course to be done in order to become managers. For instance, it may be better to have an MBA degree although it is not essential.

Social Obligations: Though profession is considered as a means of living but professionals are mainly inspired by the need to attend to the needs of our society. Hence, their activities are dependent on the society’s norms and principles. Hence, a manager’s responsibility is not only to serve his owner but also the society in which he lives and so he has to ensure that he offers them high quality goods at economical rates.

Code of Conduct: All members of any profession have to obey the rules and codes of behavior which has some rules and regulations, principles of sincerity, reliability and exclusive ethics. A representative body implements these codes of conduct in order to have self discipline among all the associates. Violation of the codes of conduct by members ensures that they are punishable and also remove his membership. The managers are laid down a code of conduct by the AIMA but this association cannot undertake any legal action against violation by any manager.

Representative Association: For a representative body to exist, it is important to regulate any kind of profession. For instance, the institution of the Chartered Accountants of India sets up and also manages the auditor’s competency standards but the All India Management Association does not have any statuary authority in order to control the manager’s actions.

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PinoyMom 21 months ago from Philippines

Good Management of a businessman offers more opportunities for people within the community. It opens up the door for more opportunities - creates employment and helps improving the life of the people within the society.

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