Nature of Management
Management is the social process of an enterprise’s managers integrating and coordinating resources toward the achievement of common, explicit goals. During the past six decades, it has become a distinct discipline with a body of knowledge. Organizational efforts for common goals can be traced back to the beginning of management as an art form. The profession of management has also evolved in recent decades. Large and medium-sized enterprises in India and elsewhere are typically managed by professionals – managers with little or no ownership of the enterprise and who view management as a career. The nature of management as a science, an art and a profession is discussed below:
1) Management as a Science :
- It is only recently that management has emerged as a science, though it has been practiced for millennia. In the development of management as a science, Frederick W. Taylor was the first manager-theorist. For the management of production, he used scientific methods of observation, experimentation and analysis. Being a perceptive manager, he distilled some fundamental principles and explained the theory and principles of scientific management. Many others followed his work, including Gantt, Emerson, Fayol, and Barnard. It has taken decades for management to become a systematized body of knowledge that can be studied, taught, and researched. Practicing managers have also gained access to powerful tools of analysis, prediction, and control. By developing mathematical models of decision making, management scientists have enhanced the scientific nature of management.
- Observation, experimentation, and laboratory research are also characteristic of science in management. Data analysis and classification based on observed phenomena are firmly rooted in management principles. The purpose of these analyses and studies of observed phenomena is to infer cause-effect relationships between two or more variables. They result in hypotheses when these relationships are generalized. These hypotheses become principles once tested and verified. By applying these principles to practical situations, practitioners can describe and analyze problems, solve problems, and predict results.
- Management is a science in the sense that it has a systematized body of knowledge and uses scientific methods for its research, but it is not an exact science like natural science. This is simply because management is a social science and deals with human behavior in organizations. Unlike inanimate objects such as light or heat, people have more complex and variable behavior. This makes controlled experiments problematic. Therefore, management principles lack the rigour and accuracy found in physics and chemistry. Furthermore, many natural sciences, including botany and medicine, also deal with living phenomena. As a social science, management has the same limitations as economics and psychology. Management as a discipline and knowledge is not diminished by this. The software has helped practicing managers perform their material tasks more efficiently and effectively by providing powerful tools for analysis, prediction, and control.
2) Management as an art :
- Managers use the knowledge of management theory while performing their managerial duties, just as engineers use the science of engineering when building a bridge. The application of engineering to practical problems is an art; engineering is a science.
- Additionally, management as a body of knowledge and a discipline is a science; its application to solving organizational problems is an art. Management is firmly rooted in a body of concepts, theories, and principles, as is medicine. Medical practitioners who don’t rely on the science of medicine for their diagnosis and prescription endanger their patients. Managers without management knowledge create chaos and jeopardize the success of their organization.
- A manager uses the principles of management like a doctor uses the principles of medicine as guides in solving practical problems, not as rules of thumb. Managerial decision making is often described as involving a lot of judgement. This is also true.
- There is no point to the raging debate over whether management is a science or an art. Managing is both a science and an art. Improvements in management knowledge aid in the improvement of management practice; and improvements in management practice spur further research and study, leading to more advancements in management science.
3) Management as a Profession :
- It is quite common to hear about the professionalization of management in our country. We generally define a professional manager as someone who manages as a career and does not desire ownership shares in the enterprise he manages.
- A profession in management is one that meets these requirements. An organization is a profession in the sense that it has a systematized management structure and is an identifiable discipline. Tools and techniques have also been developed. Management degrees are not a prerequisite to becoming a manager, unlike medicine or law. The majority of managers in India, as elsewhere, lack formal management training. The possession of a management degree is unlikely to be a requirement for employment as a career manager in the near future.
- Those who wish to become managers can also obtain formalized training in the field. Several institutes of management and university departments of management offer formal education in this field. Many companies provide training to their employees through their training divisions. Some organizations provide short-term management training programs, such as the Administrative Staff College of India, the Indian Institutes of Management, the Management Development Institute, and the All India Management Association.
- Management partly meets the third characteristic of a profession. Management practitioners are represented by a variety of organizations almost in all countries, such as the American Management Association in the United States and the All India Management Association in India. The goal of none of these organizations is to promote management professionalism.
- The profession of management does not fulfill the last two requirements. There is no professional code of conduct for managers like there is for doctors and lawyers. Although some businesses attempt to develop a code of conduct for their managers, there is no general and uniform code of conduct for all managers. Public officials are routinely bribed to gain favours, trade unions are sabotaged, and prices and markets are manipulated. In addition, managers in general do not seem to adhere to the principle of “service above self”. As evidenced by managers changing jobs, little attention is paid to the elevation of service over monetary compensation. It is true that mobile managers are considered more progressive and modern than others.
- From the above discussion, it is clear that management is a science, an art, and a profession. The study of management is a social science, not a natural science, and it is not as much a profession as medicine and law.
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