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Nature and Significance of Management

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Business Studies I

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Define management.

According to Harold Koontz, "Management is the art of getting things done through others andwith formally organised groups."This definition of management reveals that:

(i) Management is an art.

(ii) Management is getting results successfully.

(iii ) Management is getting things done through others,

(iv) Management is getting things done with others.


Do you think management has the characteristics of ar full-fledged profession?

No, the management does not fulfil all the characteristics of a full-fledged profession. It does fulfilsome of the conditions of profession but still lacks some other conditions of a profession. To findthe answer to this query the following analysis is important:

(i) Well Defined Body of Knowledge: The foremost quality of a professional is thepossession of specialised knowledge. Management has its own principles based onexperiments and which requires special competence to bring them into use. On the basis ofthis speciality, management can be accepted as a profession.

(ii) Restricted Entry: The entry to a profession is restricted through acquiring an educationaldegree. For example, a degree in Law is essential for joining the Law profession. But as far asthe management is concerned there is no such condition for being a manager. Hence, onthis basis, management cannot be accepted as a profession.

(iii) Professional Association: The third characteristic of profession is that it must have arepresentative professional association which performs the following important functions:(i) To regulate entry, (ii) To grant certificate of practice, and (iii) To create a code of conductfor guiding the activities of the profession.

In India, Representative Professional Associations with regard to other professions havealready been established. There are representative professional associations like the BarCouncil of India for Lawyers; Medical Council of India for Doctors; Institute ofChartered Accountants for Chartered Accountants, etc. For managers, All India

Management Association (A1MA) has been established. But it is not essential to be amember of the AIMA in order to be a manager. Therefore, on this basis, managementcannot be accepted as a profession.

(iv) Ethical Code of Conduct: Members of a profession are bound to follow a code ofconduct. By Code of Conduct, we mean the rules and regulations framed to guide thebehaviour of professionals. The code of conduct of already recognised professions like Law,Medical and Chartered Accountant, etc. have already been prescribed but no suchcode of conduct has been laid down in connection with management. On this basis it can beasserted that management is not at all a profession.

(v) Service Motive: The main motive of a profession is to serve the society. For example, nodoubt a doctor follows his profession for his living but to ensure that his patients get justicehappens to be his chief motive. Though there is no code of conduct regarding managementbut its social responsibilities are being stressed upon increasingly. From this point of view,there should not be any hesitation to accept management as a profession.


Management is considered to be both an art and science. Explain.

(a) Management as a Social Science:

In order to find out whether management is science or not, it is important to apply thefollowing characteristics of science to management:

(i) Systematised Body of Knowledge: It is necessary for science to be a systematised bodyof knowledge. Management is also a systematised body of knowledge because it has its owntheory and principles which are developed by the management experts after years ofresearch.

(ii) Principles Based on Experimentation: After applying this characteristic of science tomanagement, we find that development of management took years for the collection offacts, their analysis and experiments. In other words, management came into existencebecause of the continuous and encouraging labour of the theorists and various peopleconcerned.

(iii) Universal Validity: Scientific principles are based on truth and they can be applied atevery time and in every situation. Thus, its universal application is possible. In the field of management too, managerial knowledge and principles of management are considered to be based on truth and they, too, can be applied anywhere and in every situation. But the principles of management are not as exact as the principles of science as their application may not yield the desired results always.
The subject matter of management is 'human being' who is an intelligent and sensitive being andwhose behaviour or conduct changes according to the changing situations. Therefore, nopermanent principles like the principles of physics and chemistry can be enunciated in relation tohis conduct or behaviour. That is why, the management is known as a social science and not theperfect science.

(b) Management as an Art: Management is an art as it contains the following features of art:

i) Existence of Theoretical Knowledge: Art is always based on certain theoreticalknowledge. On the basis of this knowledge one can understand how a particular work can beaccomplished. In this context management is an art as a lot of literature isavailable in various areas of management.

(ii) Personalised Application: The use of available theoretical knowledge is found in varyingdegree among different persons. For example, two teachers, two players, or two goldsmithswill always differ in performing their jobs. Management possesses this feature of arttoo. There are various principles of management as developed by management experts.Managers apply these principles differently depending on their level of knowledge.Sometimes they may get exactly opposite results while applying the same principles.

(iii) Based on Practice and Creativity: Just as art can be embellished with the help ofpractice, in the same way managerial skill also improves with practice. Every manager has adesire to become a complete expert in his field. They can fulfil his desire by continuouspractice. A fully developed manager not only moulds the organisation according to thechanging circumstances but also has the capacity to change the outer circumstancesaccording to his will. Thus, management possesses this feature of art too.

The above analysis clearly establishes that management possesses all the characteristics of artand on this very basis it has been accepted as an art.

Conclusion: Therefore, we can say that management is both a social science as well as an art.


Name any two important characteristics of management.

(i) Management is a Goal Oriented Process
(ii) Management is all Pervasive

Discuss the basic features of management as a profession.

Management as a profession has following characteristics:

  1. Well Defined Body of Knowledge: All professions are based on a well-defined body of knowledge that can be acquired through instruction.
  2. Restricted Entry: The entry to a profession is restricted through an examination or through acquiring an educational degree. For example, to become a chartered accountant in India a candidate has to clear a specified examination conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
  3. Professional Association: All professions are affiliated to a professional association which regulates entry, grants certificate of practice and formulates and enforces a code of conduct. To be able to practice in India lawyers have to become members of the Bar Council which regulates and controls their activities.
  4. Ethical Code of Conduct: All professions are bound by a code of conduct which guides the behaviour of its members. All doctors, for example, take the oath of ethical practice at the time they enter the profession.   
  5. Service Motive: The basic motive of a profession is to serve their client’s interests by rendering dedicated and committed service. The task of a lawyer is to ensure that his client gets justice.