Management Concepts and Applications/Management
- 1 Definition and Meaning
- 2 Nature of Management
- 3 Levels of Management
- 4 Skills and Functions of a manager
- 5 Evolution of management thoughts
Definition and Meaning
As there is no universally accepted definition for management, it is difficult to define it.
But a simple traditional definition, defines it as the "art of getting things done by others". This definition brings in two elements namely accomplishment of objectives, and direction of group activities towards the goal. The weaknesses of this definition is that firstly it uses the word "art", whereas management is not merely an art, but it is both art and science. Secondly, the definition does not state the various functions of a manager clearly.
A more elaborate definition given by George R. Terry, defines management as a process "consisting of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish the objectives by the use of people and resources." Firstly it considers management as a "process" i.e. a systematic way of doing things. Secondly it states four management activities: Planning, organizing, actuating, and controlling. Planning is thinking of an actions in advance. organizing is coordination of the human and material resources of an organization. Actuating is motivation and direction of subordinates. Controlling means the attempt to ensure no deviation from the norm or plan. Thirdly it states that manager uses people and other resources. For example a manager who wants to increase the sales, might try not only to increase the sales force, but also to increase advertising budget. And fourthly, it states that management involves the act of achieving the organization's objectives.
A few noteworthy definitions by experts are:
- "Management is an art of knowing what is to be done and seeing that it is done in the best possible manner." (planning and controlling)
- F.W. Taylor (father of scientific management)
- "Management is to forecast, to plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and control activities of others."
- Henri Fayol (father of modern management)
- "Management is the process by which co-operative group directs actions towards common goals."
- Joseph Massie
- "Management is that process by which managers create, direct, maintain and operate purposive organisation through systematic, coordinated and cooperative human efforts."
- "Management is the coordination of all resources through the process of planning, organising, directing and controlling in order to attain stated goals."
- Henry Sisk
- "Management is a social and technical process that utilises resources, influences human action and facilitates changes in order to accomplish an organization's goals."
- Tho Harmann, William Scott
- "Management is a process of working with and through others to achieve organizational objectives in a changing environment, central to this purpose is the effective and efficient use of limited resources."
- Rovert Kreitner
Nature of Management
Management: Art or science?
Management involves characteristics of both art and science. While certain aspects of management make it a science, certain others which involve application of skills make it an art. Every discipline of art is always backed by science which is basic knowledge of that art. Similarly, every discipline of science is complete only when it is used in practice for solving various kind of problems. Whereas under "science" one normally learns the "why" of a phenomenon, under "art" one learns the "how" of it. In the words of Robert H. Hilkert: "In the area of management, science and art are two sides of the same coin".
In the beginning of development of management knowledge, it was considered as an art. There was a jungle of management knowledge. Any one used it to get things done in his own way. But later by codifying and systemizing the management, it became a science as well as being an art.
nandan choudhary===Management as an Art=== Management as an art has the following characteristics:
- Just like other arts it has practical application. The knowledge of management should be learned and practiced by managers, just as medical or legal practitioners practice their respective sciences. In this sense, management is an art.
- The manager gains experience by continuous application of management knowledge. This experience helps them to develop more skills and abilities for translating management knowledge into practice.
- Application of management knowledge calls for innovativeness and creativity.
- The fourth reason to consider management as an art is that in many situations, theoretical knowledge of management may not be adequate or relevant for solving the problem. It may be because of complexity or unique nature of the problem.
Management as a Science
Management as a science has the following characteristics:
- Its principles, generalizations and concepts are systematically . In this case the manager can manage the situation or organization in a systematic and scientific manner.
- Its principles, generalizations and concepts are formulated on the basis of observation, research, analysis and experimentation, as is the case with the principles of other sciences.
- Like other sciences, management principles are also based on relationship of cause and effect. It states that same cause under similar circumstance will produce same effect. Suppose if workers are paid more (cause), the produce more (effect).
- Management principles are codified and systematic, and can be transferred from one to another and can be taught.
- Management principles are universally applicable to all types of organizations.
there is no tailor - made answer to a question- Is management a science or art? To acertain the nature of management with respect of science or art, ther is a need to know the exact meaning of the words 'science' or 'art' and subsequently, their application to management.
Management: A profession?
The following criteria identifies the statues of a profession to management:
- Profession is a body of specialized knowledge.
- Professional knowledge in systemized and codified form can be learned through formal education system.
- A profession emphasizes on having a central body to formulate a code of behavior for its members.
- A profession calls for rendering competent and specialized services to clients.
- A profession maintains the scientific attitude and commitment for discovering new ideas and upgrading in order to improve quality of service and level of efficiency provided to clients.
- A profession requires members to exercise restraint and self-discipline.
Management knowledge meets the first two criteria because it has grown into a systematic body of knowledge and also it can be acquired and learned through the formal education.
There is no minimum qualification prescribed either for getting entry in the management profession or for becoming members of it. In practice, whosoever manages in known as manager, irrespective of qualifications. Peter Drucker in support of this view says that "no greater damage could be done to our economy or to our society than to attempt to professionalize management by licensing managers, for instance, or by limiting access to management to people with a special academic degree."
Regarding professional approach, a manager has to continuously strive for discovering new ideas, relationships and concepts and act in a dynamic and innovative manner to cope with the changing environment. Even so, managers are not respected as other professionals like doctors, advocates and chartered accountants.
Professional vs. Family Management
Professionalization of management
The following reasons are in support of the professionalization of management:
- In joint stock company, ownership has been separated from its management and control. This situation has really contributed to the development of management as a profession.
- Rapid expansion and growth of management universities and institutions is an indicative of management professionalization trend.
- In a high-tech industrial society, manifold changes have occurred in the role of managers.
- In the context of globalization of economic operations, many strategic areas have been developed which require professional expertise and specialized knowledge (e.g. strategic planning, etc).
- Increased utilization of specialized management services (e.g. consultancy, human resource development, etc) requires a team of professional managers.
Family management implies management and control of business operations by a group of members belonging to a particular family, regardless of their knowledge about management. Thus the decisions and policies are largely influenced by family interest. Disputes and disagreements relating to family matters also tend to have a direct bearing on the functioning of the business organization. But in a professionally-managed enterprise, ownership is separated from management and control. Authority to manage and control business operations is delegated to professionally-qualified managers.
A study covering 30 nations around the world points out that 75% of all firms in the world are family firms. In some of which, family inheritance has been continuing for centuries. The phenomenal progress of Ford Motors, IBM, etc, bears testimony to their quality of leadership and management. In the words of K.K. Birla, "if people like Sir Jamshedji Tata or Rai Bahadur Gujarmal Modi were to start their business career again, I would any day put my rupee on them than on the best of the professionals."
Management and Administration
There has been a controversy regarding the interpretation of these two terms. There are different views in this regard:
According to first view (William Newman, Peter Drucker, etc), there is no basic difference between the two terms, and they are interchangeable. If there is any difference, it may perhaps be in their usage in practice. The term administration is used for non-business activities, and management is used for business activities.
According to second view (Kimball, Brech, other British writers, etc), management is a more comprehensive term which includes administration. Management involves "thinking" and administration involves "doing". Management is responsible for planning and organizing, and administration is responsible for directing and controlling. Whereas management refers to a high level of managerial activities such as goal-setting, policy formulation and strategy making, administration refers to an operative part concerned with lower level management activities such as execution of policies.
According to third view (Sheldon, Speriegal, Milward, etc), administration is a more comprehensive term which includes management. Administration involves "thinking" and management involves "doing". Administration is a top level function which concentrates on determination of plans, policies and objectives, whereas management is a lower level function which deals with the execution and direction of policies and operations. It doesn't mean that we need two separate sets of personnel, but each manager performs both the managerial as well as administrative functions. At top level more time is spent in administrative activity and as one moves down, more time is spent in management activity.
Levels of Management
Top Level of Management
It consists of board of directors, chief executive or managing director. The top management is the ultimate source of authority and it manages goals and policies for an enterprise. It devotes more time on planning and coordinating functions.
The role of the top management can be summarized as follows -
Top management lays down the objectives and broad policies of the enterprise. It issues necessary instructions for preparation of department budgets, procedures, schedules etc. It prepares strategic plans & policies for the enterprise. It appoints the executive for middle level i.e. departmental managers. It controls & coordinates the activities of all the departments. It is also responsible for maintaining a contact with the outside world. It provides guidance and direction. The top management is also responsible towards the shareholders for the performance of the enterprise
Middle Level of Management
The branch managers and departmental managers constitute middle level. They are responsible to the top management for the functioning of their department. They devote more time to organizational and directional functions. In small organization, there is only one layer of middle level of management but in big enterprises, there may be senior and junior middle level management. Their role can be emphasized as -
They execute the plans of the organization in accordance with the policies and directives of the top management. They make plans for the sub-units of the organization. They participate in employment & training of lower level management. They interpret and explain policies from top level management to lower level. They are responsible for coordinating the activities within the division or department. It also sends important reports and other important data to top level management. They evaluate performance of junior managers. They are also responsible for inspiring lower level managers towards better performance.
Lower Level of Management
Lower level is also known as supervisory / operative level of management. It consists of supervisors, foreman, section officers, superintendent etc. According to R.C. Davis, “Supervisory management refers to those executives whose work has to be largely with personal oversight and direction of operative employees”. In other words, they are concerned with direction and controlling function of management. Their activities include -
Assigning of jobs and tasks to various workers. They guide and instruct workers for day to day activities. They are responsible for the quality as well as quantity of production. They are also entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining good relation in the organization. They communicate workers problems, suggestions, and recommendatory appeals etc to the higher level and higher level goals and objectives to the workers. They help to solve the grievances of the workers. They supervise & guide the sub-ordinates. They are responsible for providing training to the workers. They arrange necessary materials, machines, tools etc for getting the things done. They prepare periodical reports about the performance of the workers. They ensure discipline in the enterprise. They motivate workers. They are the image builders of the enterprise because they are in direct contact with the workers.
Skills and Functions of a manager
Manager should have applied & practiced skills. Skills may or may not be tailor made but as they have to deal with the most precious asset i.e. the human element a due care is necessary for practising the skill so as not to bring adverse result.
The basic skills needed are:
- Neutral towards means & end etc