Q.4. Discuss the nature and characteristics of management. Is management a science, an art or a production?
Nature or Characteristics of Management
Management has a dynamic nature. It means that management is an organizing and unceasing element or concept. Management does not occur by rigid formula or fixed pattern.
It is ever-present reality of organizational life. Management does not carry out the work himself, but the managers get the work done through other people by pioneering, leading, motivating and controlling their activities, efforts and behavior. The following important characteristics of features of management clearly indicate toward its nature.
1. Management is a Complex and Continuous Social Process
Management deals with human phenomenon about which too little is known. The structure and behavior of groups of people are very complex. It is a process because its comprises a series of actions that lead to achievement of objectives. It is a social process because these actions are primarily concerned with relations between people. It is a continuous process because new problems crop up as the old ones are solved.
2. Management is an Independent Skill
Management has emerged as an essential, a distinct and a leading independent institution, which is a central event in the social history. It is a new basic and dominant institution or social group.
3. Management is a Science
Science is a systemized knowledge about a phenomenon ascertained by observation and experiment. It means that under science, general truths are discovered and critically tested, and then underlying principles are established. As science, management has developed and provides a body of principles, theories, laws, techniques and practices, which are capable of universal application. It has developed certain generalizations, which are applicable to any group activity.
Management is growing as science due to the following reasons:
(a) Quantitative Tools under the name and style of Operations Research have been introduced in the field of managerial decision-making.
(b) Researches have been conducted which have provided better insight into the nature and behavior of man.
(c) Certain Principles theories and practices have been identified to the name and style of International Management or Contemporary Management or Global Management.
(d) Different Case Studies undertaken in various countries unfold the correct and the same results. Thus, the degree of predictability is being properly identified and ascertained.
4. Management is an Art
Art is the answer to the query how it tells about the way to accomplish the desired results. It is behavioral knowledge. Art is the applied science i.e. application of knowledge for the solution of organizational problems. The meaning of art is the bringing about of a desired result through the application of skill. Management, in this sense is an art. It provides to the enterprise the ability to compromise with the least of undesired consequences – which is the essence of art. Management leads, motivates and influences the people to be on the right, desired track by effecting various kinds of adjustments and how compromises through artful handling of conflicts and dissentions. It tells as to how to solve various problems in the field of production marketing, finances, personal technology, research and development, human resource development, competition etc.
5. Management is a System of Authority
Management is the system of authority which is represented by vertical and horizontal dispersal of authority positions resulting in what is properly known as management hierarchy or chain of command. Under the authority system well defined lines of command and delegation of suitable positional powers along with specified responsibilities at all levels, are established. System of authority creates discipline and order and avoids chaos.
6. Management is Universal
Managers perform the same functions regardless of their place in the organization, structure of the type of enterprise in which they are engaged. Acting in their managerial capacity, presidents / chairmen, directors, department heads, supervisors/foremen, college principles, bishops and heads of governmental agencies all do the same thing i.e. perform the same functions. They are all engaged in setting things done through and with people. As managers each must at one time or another perform all the duties. Characteristics of managers irrespective of their level in the organization or their place or ratio of working, this is the principle of universality of managerial functions or management.
7. Managerial knowledge and experience are transferable
By implication of the principle of universality of management, managerial knowledge and experience are transferable from department to department, from enterprise to enterprise, and from nation to nation. Executives can employ their skill as well in one occupation as in another, to the extent that their tasks are managerial and not technical, and with the proper motivation and orientation to environment of managing.
8. Management is a Profession
Profession is defined in many ways. Any occupation by which a person earns livelihood is called profession. It is also in restricted sense, and then it includes certain specified occupation only. All occupations are not included in professions. Thus, clear definition of profession is not possible.
9. Management is an Integrating Force
Management is a force that is well recognized the integrating human and physical resources through its proper direction, designing of organization structure, job positions, delegation and decentralization of authority and responsibility, consultative and participative processes and influencing. It establishes congruence (i.e., balance) between organizational interests and goals on one hand and the individual interest and goals on the other hand.
10. Management is Intangible
Management’s intangible in that
- The process of management cannot be seen, and
- The principles, theories, techniques, concepts and practices of management are also invisible. Management is said to be good or bad on the basis of results. However, when management is referred to managerial personnel, it can be seen.
11. Management Utilities Multi-Disciplinary Approach
Management relies for its vast body of knowledge on various other fields, such as economics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, mathematics, engineering etc.