What is Management? Definitions
According to Harold Koontz,
"Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organised groups."
Harold Koontz gave this definition of management in his book "The Management Theory Jungle".
According to Henri Fayol,
"To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organise, to command, to co-ordinate and to control."
Henri Fayol gave this definition of management in his book "Industrial and General Administration".
Image Credits © Michael Heiss.
According to Peter Drucker,
"Management is a multi-purpose organ that manages business and manages managers and manages workers and work."
This definition of management was given by Peter Drucker in his book "The Principles of Management".
According to Mary Parker Follet,
"Management is the art of getting things done through people."
Meaning of Management
According to Theo Heimann, management has three different meanings, viz.,
- Management as a Noun : refers to a Group of Managers.
- Management as a Process : refers to the Functions of Management i.e. Planning, Organising, Directing, Controlling, etc.
- Management as a Discipline : refers to the Subject of Management.
Management is an individual or a group of individuals that accept responsibilities to run an organisation. They Plan, Organise, Direct and Control all the essential activities of the organisation. Management does not do the work themselves. They motivate others to do the work and co-ordinate (i.e. bring together) all the work for achieving the objectives of the organisation.
Management brings together all Six Ms i.e. Men and Women, Money, Machines, Materials, Methods and Markets. They use these resources for achieving the objectives of the organisation such as high sales, maximum profits, business expansion, etc.
Features of Management
Following image depicts fourteen important features of management.
The nature, main characteristics or features of management:
- Continuous and never ending process.
- Getting things done through people.
- Result oriented science and art.
- Multidisciplinary in nature.
- A group and not an individual activity.
- Follows established principles or rules.
- Aided but not replaced by computers.
- Situational in nature.
- Need not be an ownership.
- Both an art and science.
- Management is all pervasive.
- Management is intangible.
- Uses a professional approach in work.
- Dynamic in nature.
Now let's briefly discuss each feature of management.
1. Continuous and never ending process
Management is a Process. It includes four main functions, viz., Planning, Organising, Directing and Controlling. The manager has to Plan and Organise all the activities. He had to give proper Directions to his subordinates. He also has to Control all the activities. The manager has to perform these functions continuously. Therefore, management is a continuous and never ending process.
2. Getting things done through people
The managers do not do the work themselves. They get the work done through the workers. The workers should not be treated like slaves. They should not be tricked, threatened or forced to do the work. A favourable work environment should be created and maintained.
3. Result oriented science and art
Management is result oriented because it gives a lot of importance to "Results". Examples of Results like, increase in market share, increase in profits, etc. Management always wants to get the best results at all times.
4. Multidisciplinary in nature
Management has to get the work done through people. It has to manage people. This is a very difficult job because different people have different emotions, feelings, aspirations, etc. Similarly, the same person may have different emotions at different times. So, management is a very complex job. Therefore, management uses knowledge from many different subjects such as Economics, Information Technology, Psychology, Sociology, etc. Therefore, it is multidisciplinary in nature.
5. A group and not an individual activity
Management is not an individual activity. It is a group activity. It uses group (employees) efforts to achieve group (owners) objectives. It tries to satisfy the needs and wants of a group (consumers). Nowadays, importance is given to the team (group) and not to individuals.
6. Follows established principles or rules
Management follows established principles, such as division of work, discipline, unity of command, etc. These principles help to prevent and solve the problems in the organisation.
7. Aided but not replaced by computers
Now-a-days, all managers use computers. Computers help the managers to take accurate decisions. However, computers can only help management. Computers cannot replace management. This is because management takes the final responsibility. Thus Management is aided (helped) but not replaced by computers.
8. Situational in nature
Management makes plans, policies and decisions according to the situation. It changes its style according to the situation. It uses different plans, policies, decisions and styles for different situations.
The manager first studies the full present situation. Then he draws conclusions about the situation. Then he makes plans, decisions, etc., which are best for the present situation. This is called Situational Management.
9. Need not be an ownership
In small organisations, management and ownership are one and the same. However, in large organisations, management is separate from ownership. The managers are highly qualified professionals who are hired from outside. The owners are the shareholders of the company.
10. Both an art and science
Management is result-oriented. Therefore, it is an Art. Management conducts continuous research. Thus, it is also a Science.
11. Management is all pervasive
Management is necessary for running a business. It is also essential for running business, educational, charitable and religious institutions. Management is a must for all activities, and therefore, it is all pervasive.
12. Management is intangible
Management is intangible, i.e. it cannot be seen and touched, but it can be felt and realised by its results. The success or failure of management can be judged only by its results. If there is good discipline, good productivity, good profits, etc., then the management is successful and vice-versa.
13. Uses a professional approach in work
Managers use a professional approach for getting the work done from their subordinates. They delegate (i.e. give) authority to their subordinates. They ask their subordinates to give suggestions for improving their work. They also encourage subordinates to take the initiative. Initiative means to do the right thing at the right time without being guided or helped by the superior.
14. Dynamic in nature
Management is dynamic in nature. That is, management is creative and innovative. An organisation will survive and succeed only if it is dynamic. It must continuously bring in new and creative ideas, new products, new product features, new ads, new marketing techniques, etc.