Management as a Science!
Science is a systematized body of knowledge, having logically observed principles and findings. It establishes cause and effect relationship between two or more events.
The basic features of science are as follows:
1. Systematised Body of Knowledge:
Science is a systematised body of knowledge. It has its own systematic theory and principles based on cause and effect relationship e.g. genetic principle derived by Darwin.
2. Principles Based on Experimentation:
The scientific principles have been developed through observation and experimentation under controlled conditions. For example, if we boil water at 100°C it will evaporate.
3. Universal Validity:
The principles of science are universally applicable i.e. these principles hold true under each and every situation. For example, The Principle of Gravitation.
Let us examine whether management fulfills the criterion of science:
(i) Systematised Body of Knowledge & Management:
Management is also a systematic body of knowledge having its own theory and principles e.g. Fayol’s principles of general management and Taylor’s principles of scientific management. Like all other organized activity, management has its own vocabulary of terms through which managers communicate with each other.
(ii) Principles Based on Experimentation & Management:
The principles of management have also been developed over a period of time, on the basis of experimentation and observation in different types of organisations. But, since management deals with human beings and human behavior, the results of these experiments are not so exact.
But inspite of this, many management scholars have laid down principles of management like Fayol’s principles of general management and Taylor’s principles of scientific management. Thus, management may be called as an inexact science.
(iii) Universal Validity & Management:
The principles of management are not universally applicable. The principles have to be modified according to the situation.
Hence, in the absence of two main features of science viz. ‘Principles based on experimentation’ and ‘Universal Validity’, management cannot be considered as a perfect science, rather it is a social science. The principle and theories of Management are situational i.e. their results vary depending upon the situation. That is why it is regarded as ‘Soft Science’ and sometime it is also called as ‘inexact science’.
The main reasons for the inexactness of science of management are:
(a) As in perfect science like chemistry, it is difficult to establish cause and effect relationship in management.
(b) Many of the principles of Management are not the outcome of research.
(c) Situational factors affect the application of management principles.
(d) Management deals with human beings, whose behaviour is very difficult to predict accurately.
Management as science can be considered as a systematized body of knowledge which can be acquired through education, training and experience. It has now been established that inborn talent alone is not enough to make competent managers. They need knowledge and training as well to succeed as managers. Hence, it has been rightly observed that managers are not born; they are made.