Everything you need to know about the definitions of management. Management is what managers do. It also refers to people at the top level, in the organisation, concerned with decision-making.
“Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organised groups.” – Koontz
“Management is simply the process of decision making and control over the action of human being for the express purpose of attaining predetermined goals”. – S. Vance
Learn about the definitions of management as given by Peter F. Drucker, Terry, Ralph C. Davis, Mc Farland, Louis Allan, Henry Fayol, Harold Koontz, William Spriegal, Ross Moore, Stanley Vance, Donald J. Clough, Kimball and Kimball, Sir Charles Reynold, Joseph L. Massie and Others.
Definitions of Management by Eminent Authors, Famous Management Thinkers, Experts and Theorists of Management
Definitions of Management – By Eminent Authors: Peter F. Drucker, Henry Fayol, E.F.L Brech, Mc Farland, S George and a Few Others
Peter F. Drucker defines, “Management is an organ; organs can be described and defined only through their functions.”
According to Terry, “Management is not people; it is an activity like walking, reading, swimming or running. People who perform management can be designated as managers, members of management or executive leaders.”
Ralph C. Davis has defined Management as – “Management is the function of executive leadership anywhere.”
According to Mc Farland, “Management is defined for conceptual, theoretical and analytical purposes as that process by which managers create, direct, maintain and operate purposive organisation through systematic, co-ordinated co-operative human effort.”
Louis Allan, “Management is what a manager does.”
Henry Fayol, “To manage is to forecast and plan, to organise, to compound, to coordinate and to control.”
Harold Koontz says, “Management is the art of getting things done through and with an informally organized group.”
William Spriegal, “Management is that function of an enterprise which concerns itself with direction and control of the various activities to attain business objectives. Management is essentially an executive function; it deals with the active direction of the human effort.”
Ross Moore states, “Management means decision-making.”
Stanley Vance, “In essence, management is simply the process of decision making and control over the action of human beings for the express purpose of attaining pre-determined goals.”
Donald J. Clough, “Management is the art and science of decision making and leadership.”
Kimball and Kimball, “Management embraces all duties and functions that pertain to the initiation of an enterprise, its financing, the establishment of all major policies, the provision of all necessary equipment, the outlining of the general form of organisation under which the enterprise is to operate and the selection of the principal officers.”
Sir Charles Reynold, “Management is the process of getting things done through the agency of a community. The functions of management are the handling of a community with a view to fulfilling the purposes for which it exists.”
Joseph L. Massie, “Management is the process by which a co-operative group directs actions towards common goals.”
Elmore Peterson and E.G. Plowman, “Management is a technique by means of which the purposes and objectives of a particular human group are determined, clarified and effectuated.”
E. F.L. Brech, “Management is concerned with seeing that the job gets done, its tasks all centre on planning and guiding the operations that are going on in the enterprise.”
Mary Cushing Niles, “Good management or scientific management achieves a social objective with the best use of human and material energy and time and with satisfaction for the participants and the public.”
S. George, “Management consists of getting things done through others. Manager is one who accomplishes the objectives by directing the efforts of others.”
James D. Mooney and Alan C. Reiley, “Management is the art of directing and inspiring people.”
F. W. Taylor, “Management is the art of knowing what you want to do and then seeing that it is done in the best and cheapest way.”
Lawrence A. Appley, “Management is the art of getting things done through the efforts of other people. It concerns itself with guiding human and physical resources into a dynamic, hard-hitting organisation unit that attains its objectives to the satisfaction of those served and with a high degree of morale and sense of attainment on the part of those rendering the services”.
R.M. Currie, “The organisation and control of human activity are directed towards specific ends.”
John F. Mee, “Management is the art of securing maximum results with a minimum of efforts so as to secure maximum prosperity for the employer and employee and give the public the best possible service.”
The American Management Association, “The art of getting things done through other people.”
Knootz and O’Donnel, “Management is the creation and maintenance of an internal environment in an enterprise where individuals, working in groups, can perform efficiently and effectively towards the attainment of group goals. It is the art of getting the work done through and with people in formally organised groups.”
Dr. James Lundy, “Management is principally a task of planning, co-ordinating,” motivating and controlling the efforts of others towards a specific objective. It involves the combining of the traditional factors of production (land, labour and capital) in an optimum manner, paying due attention, of course, to the particular goals of the organisation.”
Wheeler, “Management is centred in the administrators or managers of the firm who integrate men, material and money into an effective operating limit.”
J.N. Schulze, “Management is the force which leads guides and directs an organisation in the accomplishment of a pre-determined object.”
Oliver Scheldon, “Management proper is the function in industry concerned in the execution of policy, within the limits set up by the administration and the employment of the organisation for the particular objectives set before it.”
Keith and Gubellini, “Management is the force that integrates men and physical plant into an effective operating unit.”
Newman, Summer and Warren, “The job of Management is to make co-operative endeavour to function properly. A manager is one who gets things done by working with people and other resources in order to reach an objective.”
G.E. Milward, “Management is the process and the agency through which the execution of policy is planned and supervised.”
Ordway Tead, “Management is the process and agency which directs and guides the operations of an organisation in the realising of established aims.”
Management is the group of activities which drafts plans, prepares policies and arranges men, money, machine and materials required to achieve the objectives. The above definitions reveal that management is the activity of man who struggles for better living in the complex and competitive world. Besides, the management gives satisfaction to and rewards those who are engaged in the operation and ensuring an excellent performance. In other words, management is the process consisting of the functions of planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling the operations to achieve specified objectives.
Definitions of Management – By Famous Management Thinkers: Terry and Franklin, Mary Parker Follet, F.W. Taylor, Henry Fayol, Koontz and O’Donnell
Management was present in the society from its existence, but it was not recognized as a separate field of study. In the beginning of society, the need for organizations and institutions was not felt. As a lot of water pass under the bridge, the human needs become unlimited. Business organizations were developed to meet these unlimited needs of people.
Management emerged as a discipline of study with the development of the business organizations. In the earlier time economy worked on barter system to satisfy people’s needs. As the things become sophisticated and complex, it was felt the need for organizations.
The dependency on each other was fruitful; therefore the existence of the organizations takes place. With the existence of organizations, there arose the need for effective management.
Most Organizations are going global in the modern era of complex and fast globalization of business. In the fast changing business environment effective management is required. Management can be defined as the attainment of organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner through planning organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
Management is a process that optimizes resources of the organization for effective achievements of its goals. The optimum process refers to getting maximum output of minimum inputs.
Some important definitions by famous management thinker are as follows:
“Management is a distinct process consisting of activities of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish stated objectives with the use of human beings and other resources”. -Terry and Franklin.
“Management is the art of getting things done through people in organisations”. -Mary Parker Follet.
“Management is an art of knowing what is to be done and seeing that it is done in the best possible manner”. -F.W. Taylor
“Management is to forecast, to plan, to organize, to co-ordinate and control activities of others”. -Henry Fayol
“Management is the creation and maintenance of an internal environment in an enterprise where individuals, working in groups, can perform efficiently and effectively towards the attainment of group goods”. -Koontz and O’Donnell
In the light of above definitions, we are able to say that management is the art of optimization of resources to attain organizational goals with the help of managerial functions.
Definitions of Management – By Different Experts: Tom Peters, Henry Fayol, W F Glueck, Peter F Drucker and a Few Others
Management is what managers do. It also refers to people at the top level, in the organisation, concerned with decision-making. Though it also implies trickery or deceit, this connotation should not be considered in the present context. It is often viewed as manoeuvering, that is, doing something cleverly to change a situation and make things happen the way you want them to. However, these statements do not clearly explain the nature or the concept of management.
Different experts have expressed their views on what management is.
The following explain the concept and nature of management:
Peter F Drucker (1955) “Management is concerned with the systematic organisation of economic resources and its task is to make these resources productive.”
E F L Brech (1957) “Management is a social process … the process consists of … planning, control, coordination, and motivation.”
W F Glueck (1977) “Management is effective utilisation of human and material resources to achieve the enterprise objectives.”
Koontz and O’Donnel (1984) “Management is an operational process that can be dissected into five essential managerial functions. They are – planning, organising, staffing, directing and leading, and controlling.”
Koontz and Weihrich (1988) “Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, accomplish efficiently selected aims.”
Peters, T (1988) He feels that management holds a solution to the day-to-day problems in our chaotic world.
According to Tom Peters, management explains:
a. How effectively managers can respond to customers’ requirements.
b. How innovation can be constantly pursued in all areas of the firm.
c. How the people in an organisation can participate as partners in progress.
d. How leaders adopt better to changes than fighting against them, instill, and share an inspiring vision.
e. How activities in an organisation can be controlled through simple support systems.
An analysis of the above views reveals that:
a. The view of Fayol has been comprehensive and outlines all the functions of management.
b. There is only change in the emphasis in the definitions given by Brech and Koontz and O’Donnel. There is no change in the principles of management as such. The word ‘command’ is replaced by motivation (Brech) or directing and leading (Koontz and O’Donnel).
c. Tom Peters does not define management here. On the other hand, he attempts to prescribe what a manager should do to get out of the stress and strain of management. Participation, leadership, and control are the strategies that he suggests to deal with chaos and to get more ‘competitive’.
d. The definitions proposed by Glueck and Koontz and Weihrich focus on achieving the given results.
e. Drucker’s definition highlights that the task of a manager is to use the economic resources productively.
Against this background, management can be considered as a social process of planning, organising coordinating, commanding and controlling for the purpose of achieving organisational goals, by using limited resources effectively and efficiently, and by working with and through people.
This definition covers four important aspects of management.
a. Management is a social process of all functions – planning, organising, commanding, coordinating, and controlling (as defined by Fayol).
b. Its ultimate purpose is to achieve organisational goals.
c. These goals are achieved using limited resources efficiently and effectively.
d. And by working with and through people.
Definitions of Management – By Eminent Personalities: Dalton Mc Farland, G.R.Terry, Kimball, Koontz, F.W.Taylor and a Few Others
After industrial revolution tremendous acceleration and growth took place in business and industrial world. Eventually drastic changes became inevitable in the field of Promoting, Organising, Managing and Administrating business as well as industrial establishments. Although, India, too, after independence, has made a remarkable progress in development of business, commerce and industry, its pace is slower as compared with developed countries.
Natural resources are abundant in India. But they could not be explored to the extent, they should have been. If one goes to the root cause of this, one can find that it is non-else than lack of integrating and coordinating their explosion with proper utilisation aimed at optimum profitability.
The agency which undertakes this job is “Management” and personnel or group of persons are known as Managers. A manager is supposed to bring about effective co-ordination between human and non-human resources with a view to achieve broad objectives of business organisations at a minimum cost.
Thus, management becomes a force that brings together various resources and coordinates them. As such management can be termed to be the level which actually accomplishes organizational goals and objectives. Naturally, it becomes essential to have trained personnel with maximum and up-to-date knowledge of the process i.e. management.
It is continuous, lively, fast developing science known as Perspective management. Any organisation either commercial, industrial, educational, religious or charitable, when comes into existence with a group of people joining hands for the attainment of certain objectives, needs ‘some- one’ to channelise its activities towards achieving the goals.
This ‘some-one’ functionary is “Management”. Management manages the men tactfully getting the things done, achieving the objectives and goals, gaining the profits for its organisation. Management is a ‘live asset’ of any organisation. It is activative, catalytic, creative, and innovative and a dynamic force too, which seeks to secure the best results by using available resources.
Management provides new ideas, inventions and vision to the work group and integrates its efforts in such a manner as to account for best possible results. The success, survival, smooth functioning, stability of the business organisation depends upon the management. Management is the life blood of an organisation. Management is the primary force within an organisation which coordinates the activities of a sub-system related to environment.
Management is primarily a human activity. The role of management in business organisations is to cater to the present and future needs of the community, to create and generate wealth. Generation of wealth is of paramount importance in the sense that without it the enterprise will neither be able to achieve its economic nor social aims. An organisation without good management is a house built on sand. People are individually known as managers and collectively as management.
Management is a body of people who perform the managerial functions of planning, organising, directing, coordinating, motivating and controlling. The management of any organisation tries to satisfy the interest of three identical groups of people i.e. customers, shareholders and employees. The success of any organisation is determined by ability of its top management to fulfill the interest of these three groups without undermining its own.
Management is a thinking organ of the enterprise. All the policy decisions are taken by it.
Management keeps itself in touch with the external environment and takes steps to ensuring the ability of the enterprise, to meet the demands of changing environment. Thus, management of any organisation plays a role of decision making machinery.
According to Dalton Mc. Farland, “Management is the basic integrating process of the organisational activity that surrounds our daily life. The need for management arises out of the scarcity of resources that satisfy human wants out of the diversity and complexity of human activities.”
Following are the concise definitions of “Management” made by eminent personalities:
“Management is the process by which manager creates, directs, maintains and operates purposive organisation through systematic, co-ordinated and co-operative human effort.” Dalton Mc. Farland.
“Management is a distinct process consisting of planning, organizing, staffing and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish stated objectives by use of human beings and other resources.” G. R. Terry.
“Management may be broadly defined as the art of applying the economic principles that underline the control of men and materials in the enterprise under consideration.” – Kimball
“Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organised groups.” – Koontz
“Management is simply the process of decision making and control over the action of human being for the express purpose of attaining predetermined goals”. – S. Vance
“Management is the function of getting things done through people and directing the effect of individuals towards a common objectives”. – Theo Haimann
“Management is the co-ordination of all resources through the process of planning, organising, directing and controlling in order to attain stated objectives.” – Dr. Henry L. Sisk
“Management is a multipurpose organ that manages worker and work.” – P. Drucker
“Management is principally a task of planning, coordinating, motivating and controlling the efforts of others towards specific objectives.” – J. Lundy
“Management is knowing exactly what you want the men to do, and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way.” – F. W. Taylor
“Management is social process entailing responsibility of the effective and economical planning and regulation of the operations of an enterprise in fulfillment of a given purpose or task with responsibility involving – (i) Judgment and decision in determining plans, and the development of procedures to assist control of performance and progress against plans, and (ii) The guidance, integration, motivation and supervision of the personnel comprising the enterprise and carrying out its operations.” – Breach
“Management is defined as the process by which a co-operative group directs action towards common goals.” – Joseph Massie
“Management is the art and Science of preparing organising and directing human efforts to control the forces and utilise the material of nature for the benefit of men.” – American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
“Management is the process of planning, organising, leading and controlling the efforts of organisational members and of using all other organisational resources to achieve the stated organisational goals.” – Michael H. Mescon
“Management may be defined as the art of securing maximum prosperity and happiness for both employer and employee and give the public the best possible service, with minimum effort.” – John F. Mee
“Management is the Art of getting things done through people.” – Mary Parker Follett
“Management means decision-making.” – Ross Moore
“Management is the Art and Science of decision-making and leadership.” – J. Clough
“Management is the development of people and not the direction of things.” – Applex L.
“To manage is to forecast, to plan, to organise, to command, to co-ordinate and to control.” – Henry Fayol
After carefully studying the above definitions one can very clearly conclude that management:
1. Is concerned with getting things done through and with people.
2. Is directing the efforts of people to achieve the goals of the organisation.
3. Is integration of all kinds’ resources like men, material, machine, money to achieve the predetermined goals of organisation.
4. Is development of people as an essential aspect of management.
5. Is an art of creating favourable performance environment enabling the working force attain stated objectives.
Thus, management, in terms of personnel manning the group, is a body of personnel having organised knowledge in the field, which is an outcome of perpetual principles taken together skilfully, As such management is a science underlining the art.
Definitions of Management – Traditional Definitions and Modern Definitions
Management is an essential part of any goal oriented activity. Every organisation requires planning of activities, organisation of resources, establishment of communication system, leading and motivation of people, and control of operations for the realisation of its goals or objectives. This article is a modest attempt to present the meaning, objectives nature and significance of management.
The term ‘management’ has been defined differently by different authors. Traditional authors define it as an art of getting things done whereas modern authors define it as a process of accomplishing certain objectives through the utilisation of human and other resources.
These viewpoints have been discussed below:
Art of Getting Things Done
“Management is the art of getting things done through people.” — Mary Parker Follett
“Management consists of getting things done through others… A manager is one who accomplishes organisational objectives by directing the efforts of others”. — C.S. George
Traditionally, management is defined as an art of getting things done through others. The person who directs the efforts of others is known as ‘Manager’. He accomplishes the goals of the organisation through and with the help of operative employees.
The traditional viewpoint about management is considered inappropriate in the present-day environment where workers are educated and have higher level of aspirations.
It has been criticized on the following grounds:
(i) It does not give the functions which a manager has to perform to get results from others.
(ii) It gives the impression of the manipulative character of the practice of management.
(iii) The employees are merely treated as means for getting results. In other words, their position is like a cog in the wheel.
(iv) The needs of the workers have been ignored. The workers are supposed to work like machines.
Modern management writers consider management much more than getting things done through others. Managing involves creating a conducive environment in the organisation whereby individuals are motivated to work efficiently for the achievement of organisational objectives. To quote Harold Koontz and Weirich, “Management is the creation and maintenance of an internal environment in an enterprise where individuals, working in groups, can perform efficiently and effectively towards the attainment of group goals.”
Management is the process of getting things done with the aim of achieving organisational objectives effectively and efficiently.
The basic elements of this definition are discussed below:
(i) Process – The term process in the definition means the primary functions or activities that management performs to get things done. These functions are planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling.
(ii) Effectiveness – Being effective or doing work effectively means finishing the given task. Effectiveness in management is concerned with doing the right things completing activities and achieving goals. In other words, it is concerned with the end result.
(iii) Efficiency – It means optimum utilisation of resources in performing the given task. It signifies the relationship between inputs and outputs. Efficiency would be greater if less inputs are used to produce the required amount of goods or if more goods are produced with the given input.
(iv) Organisational Objectives – The modern concept of management insists that all the activities of managers must be directed towards the achievement of organisational goals these goals should be considered as common goals of all employees.
Definitions of Management – By American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Succeeding generations of managers have passed out, many of them carrying away to their graveyards perhaps a rich experience they acquired in a life-time of significant work. Even today most practicing managers decline to put scattered knowledge into a theoretical framework. They pride to be practical men involved in concrete things rather than abstractions. This has been the cause of belated growth of management as a distinct field.
It is a recognised fact, however, that comprehension of any field of knowledge, accumulated as a separate discipline—founded on discussions that emanate from common understanding—promotes effective self-development and growth in that field, and provides a media for its dissemination.
Management as a specific discipline, as a distinct sort of intellectual process, and as all-pervading function in society and economy, has therefore been developed only in recent decades. It is only in the last half a century that management has been regarded as having a nature. As a subject of study, it finds its place amongst the social sciences, which have not yet become perfect like physics, chemistry, or mathematics.
Though definitions and terminology have been evolved and have found place in its literature, it will be inappropriate to presume their universal acceptance as standard or final pronouncements. In spite of considerable fund of systematised and valid knowledge of management, it is still a developing field and is still young. Much ground has still to be covered.
The historical contributions to thought in the management field have come from a number of outstanding practitioners, seasoned managers, executives, and advisers. The generalisations were distilled from their first-hand experience in the practice of management in a variety of undertakings over prolonged and successful careers.
In the beginning, their work remained shrouded in obscurity and was rediscovered by those educators and researchers who became concerned with the tasks of educating, training, and developing managers wanted in an ever-increasing number of expanding and new enterprises.
The definitions offered by them may look simple and obvious, but their original formulation could not have been possible without the serious process of observation, analysis, classification, and synthesis on the part of those who are known today as the forerunners and pioneers in the field. With the aid of concepts, definitions, and terminology, management developed through the reflective and creative thinking of many contributors.
We are able to distinguish and understand it as a field of important activity and develop it further as a subject of great significance in the current epoch in the history of mankind only due to the contributions they have passed on to us.
One of the authoritative writers on management recently asserted – “In itself the establishment of formal definition of management is not a matter of great importance. A general descriptive notion would serve most purposes just as well and might probably secure a more ready acceptance.”
The definitions of management that will now be examined are purely by way of illustration, aim to provide this general descriptive notion, and are likely to help the manager to obtain an acceptable understanding of the activity in which he is engaged. Only when he has an understanding of his job, will he be able to continue to develop his own abilities to manage and to deal with his colleagues and understudies realistically.
The term management is not amenable to precise definition due to its evolving nature, though management’s total job can be broken down into a number of elements—tasks and duties— which are common and specific to it. The listing of major elements of management work varies with experts. It has been defined in several ways and these definitions are based on the ‘assumptions’ that each one made in his postulation.
Let us now begin by examining the definition of management from one of the earliest authorities, Henry Fayol, who states –
“To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organise, to command, to co-ordinate and to control.
To foresee (purveyance) and provide means examining the future and drawing up the plan of action.
To organise means building up the dual structure, material and human, of the undertaking.
To command means maintaining activity among the personnel.
To co-ordinate means binding together, unifying and harnessing all activity and effort.
To control means seeing that everything occurs in conformity with established rules and expressed command.”
Does this definition not indicate that the management activity is different from technical and commercial activity? Does it not underline that management has its own nature? Does this statement of management work give us with a general descriptive notion about the nature of a manager’s job, and has Fayol been able to describe it with clarity of understanding? Most of us, who have an insight of management work, would broadly affirm this definition.
Some others might question the details or labels which he has used to denote the elements—one may, taking a narrow view, perhaps say that ‘organising’ is not major element in simple and small undertakings and is peculiar only to large-scale enterprises, with questions of hierarchy, channels of delegation, and communication always looming large; notwithstanding the inevitability of a consideration for ‘organisation structure’ through which are established the desired framework of delegated responsibilities (who does what) and a net-work of interrelationships and communication within the managerial ranks, the function of organising should form an aspect of the element of ‘planning’; or one might argue that ‘coordinating’ is not a separate element for it is coordinative principle on which the organisation structure itself is founded and made to work.
On the contrary, a point of view can be put forward that “To organise” is an element of managerial process, and it must occur whenever division of labour and specialisation are involved irrespective of the size and simplicity or complexity of the undertaking. It is the manager’s job to bring orderliness, smoothness, and effectiveness out of interaction and co-operation of individuals forming the group.
Another author has tried to re-write Fayol’s elements of management and to reduce them only to four without seeming violation of Fayol’s analysis, and incorporating the essence that latter’s statement contains, namely –
1. To Plan – means ‘to prepare the necessary information and interpret it into programmes; to establish appropriate organisation, lay-out, methods, instructions, etc., etc. Thus to give the decision leading to action.’
2. To Command – means ‘by communicating decision, to keep it in progress, and to supervise performance, while ensuring a high level of co-operative participation as the outcome of good morale.’
3. To Co-Ordinate – means ‘to keep all activities in balance and in suitable combination.’
4. To Control – means ‘to review results, to record as necessary, to judge performance and cost, and to feed back as the guide to planning and/or command (decision).’ Management, as it operates within the undertakings, when observed and studied, would reveal itself as a distinct, deliberative and decisive process as distinguished with the technologies applied; and it becomes apparent from this discussion that it is amenable to a broad general definition which will provide a broad general notion we are looking for.
Another pioneer in the field of codifying and advancing the knowledge of management is Fredrick W. Taylor, known as the father of scientific management. Throughout his life he sought to prove the truth that the use of scientific method in performing the management function is not only possible but desirable to eliminate the waste of resources in industry.
He pointed out to the fact that human variability in performance of work could be used to discover better ways of doing work, and that human endeavour was capable of infinite improvement. He asserted that management consists of 75% analysis and 25% common sense.
If his approach were to be followed by managers, it will bring about marked contribution towards the prosperity and satisfaction of all who are engaged in joint venture and raise the general standard of living all over. We will study more about his contribution when we discuss scientific management.
The mortal lives of Fayol and Taylor terminated years before the results of the recent behavioural science research and experiments, and developments or applications flowing from them, saw the light of the day. These findings greatly influenced all thoughtful and forward-looking business leaders and managers. The earliest and most significant of these were conducted at the Hawthorne factory of the Western Electric Company near Chicago by Harvard University Professors.
Their findings established an ascendant place in management to the complexity of individual and group motivations in an industrial setting. They held out the promise of increased productivity that would be attained if the managers successfully harness these human motivations towards the organisational goals. There is no wonder that the definitions of management propounded by Fayol and Taylor do not seemingly emphasise the ‘human aspect’ in the management process, but they did not ignore it altogether.
A more complete study of their writings, however, would reveal that they were concerned with it. Anderson and Schwening point out – “In a large sense Taylor and the movement which he originated furthered the development of industrial psychology. Taylor set the stage………. He showed a view to increasing the effectiveness of human element……… ”
American Society of Mechanical Engineers postulated this definition of management:
Management is the art and science of preparing, organising and directing human effort applied to control the forces and utilise the materials of nature for the benefit of man.
Taken in a comprehensive sense, or from an overall broad-based approach, the tendency of men to come together for group endeavour for the attainment of some common goals, and the social obligations of these groups or undertakings, the following definition has been postulated by Dean Elmore Peterson and Plowman, et. al.
“Management may be defined as a technique by means of which the purposes and objectives of a particular human group are determined, clarified, and effectuated.”
“Management is accomplished by providing the group with specialised effort to plan and organise its work and its members and to co-ordinate and direct the various activities in order to achieve the group’s goals or objectives.”
A dual concept of ‘process’ and ‘structure’ has been assumed in this statement—management does and management is. It recognises dual relationship between functions and functionaries. In different types of human groups, which must be managed, “the concept itself will vary in details of application but not in fundamental meaning,” stress the authors.
The British author, E.F.L. Brech, defined management as-
A social process entailing responsibility for the effective (or efficient) planning and regulation of the operations of an enterprise, such responsibility involving –
(a) Judgement and decision in determining plan and using data to control performances and progress against plans, and
(b) The guidance, integration, inspiration and supervision of the personnel comprising the enterprise and carrying out its operations.
Management implies the assumption of responsibility related to the work of the group, the people. Brech points out that it is not possible to conceive ‘management’ in relation to things or mechanical operations or machines but only in relation to the people who are employed to operate or use such things.
At another place he writes that “The essence of management has never changed…… the fundamental responsibility of management has been nothing else but guiding and supervising the working team. Perhaps the elaboration of procedures and methods has obscured the simple nucleus.”
Accordingly, he thought that-
‘Management is a human process—you manage men and women, not things’.
This British writer is not alone in regarding the managerial role as getting the job done through other people, and giving it so much importance as to make it a definition of management itself.
David E. Lilienthal says –
……The subject of management is man; the objective of management is the moving of man’s mind and will and imagination.
Lawrence Appley, an outstanding American writer on management, was equally convinced in this approach to management when he asserted that.
Management is Personnel Administration:
This assertion from a leading authority on management may only seem to dramatise the human relations approach in managing people’s performance in dynamic modern conditions. He seems to say so with a definite purpose in mind, for a man like him, who has educated and trained more senior executives in American business than any other person, and who heads the foremost organisation of professional managers in his country, knew very well that managers do quite a lot more than just personnel administration.
What he is trying to impress is that job of personnel administration is the responsibility of each supervisor and each manager in relation to his group; and, the objectives of management must be achieved through people. It is clear that even when the decisions relate exclusively to plant, equipment, raw materials or finance, they must be implemented by the people.
Elsewhere, Appley has made it clear by stating that –
“The job of management is primarily of planning and control, and therefore, the executive function is –
To determine what you want people to accomplish,
To check periodically how well they are accomplishing, and
To develop methods by which they will perform more effectively.”
The climax to which is given by him with yet another brevity, namely –
Management is the development of people and not the direction of things –
Most obviously Appley succeeds in making his point – If managers accept this simple truth more generally, and give adequate consideration and proper attention to the human factor, many management difficulties would solve themselves. This ascendancy of human relations approach found very wide acceptance in the rank and file of management in the American business world and elsewhere too.
A great industrialist is reputed to have said, “I will pay more for the ability to handle people than for any other ability under the sun.” It is also evidenced by a similar echo from another head of an American Corporation, even earlier than President Appley’s dramatising brevities, in defining management in a very memorable way –
We do not build automobiles, airplanes, refrigerators, radios, shoestrings. We build men. The men build products.
Harrison F. Dunning, President of the Scott Paper Company, U.S.A., quotes A. O. Malmburg, who at one time was the Public Relations Director of the Do-Nut Corporation of America and, “who once said it more graphically than I can and in a way which I have never forgotten.”
Malmburg said – Business is not the management of things. It is everlastingly the development of people—it is the selection, the training, the supervision, and the development of people. A group of management educators and business leaders developed another definition of management, which has been very widely disseminated and popularised through the Management Development Programmes for senior executive conducted by President Appley and Professor John B. Jyont in the American Management Association, and in the literature produced by it.
This one specifies management as: guiding human and physical resources into dynamic organisational units which obtain their objectives through the satisfaction of those served and with a high degree of morale and source of attainment on the part of those rendering service.
The most recent definition from Appley was when he defined – “Management as the attainment of pre-established goals by the direction of human performance along pre-established lines. Managers don’t wait for the future, they make the future.”
Stanley Hyman observes –
“We cannot touch, hold, scrutinize or measure ‘management’, nor even ‘managers’, ‘Management’ is what managers do, and they are part of it. The ‘management’ of an organisation is both the people managing it and the things they do which, viewed over a year or more, frequently reveal repetitions and patterns that are often called ‘policies’ and ‘principles’.”
Hyman includes things, activities, and patterns while conceptualising management.
A very interesting and significant contribution on “The Work of a Professional Manager” has been made by a practicing professional manager, Harold Smiddy, Vice President of the General Electric Company of U.S.A. It is a rather comprehensive and long statement.
A gist of Smiddy’s formulation of the definition of management would be adequate here –
Managing is a distinct professional kind of work, namely, Leading, to accomplish desired performance and results, namely, to achieve successfully, economically, profitably and on time, challenging, and difficult-to-attain objectives of the component and of the enterprise as a whole, in the balanced interests of customers, shareowners, employees, suppliers, and the public including the public’s representative, the government.
He goes on to define the work of ‘Leading’ as –
“Persuasion rather than by command; and by blending thoughts and action in decision-making, through the elements of the dynamic work of planning, organising, integrating, and measuring.”
These elements of management lead to balanced and effective use of all human material resources with the understanding and balanced use of the required skills and knowledge with the best pace, synchronised flow, timing, and turnover to ensure balanced results through the specific work of other people who themselves (are motivated towards) acting with initiative, self-development, self-discipline and confidence in their personal work and in their voluntary team-work by seeing the individual job and its relationship to the whole component and the enterprise, imaginatively, and in the true perspective, consistent with the current economic, social, and political climate of the enterprise being managed.
Then he splits and explains the work of professional management into four elements in detail and with ample clarity to give us with a comprehensive concept of professional management- Planning, Organisation, Integration and Measuring.
The forerunners in management, with rare exceptions, may have concerned themselves more with procedures and methods for efficient and effective utilisation of all resources, and in this approach the ‘man’ in organisation was looked upon as an impersonal being; for example, note the definition of management by Oliver Sheldon.
Management proper is the function in industry concerned in the execution of policy within the limits set up by administration and the employment of the organisation for the particular objects set before it.
Or, look at this one from G. E. Milward –
Management is the process and the agency through which the execution of policy is planned and supervised. The recent literature of management, however, considers man to be dynamic living being and puts him in the centre of the manager’s job, calling for the interplay of leadership qualities and practice of social skills on his part. The challenge in the art of managing men is the challenge of bringing the manager’s social skills at par with his technical skills.
Let us now conclude our survey of illustrative definitions in the words of Professor Harold Koontz –
Although the study of management made by many persons, including myself, in various enterprises, in various countries, and at various levels may be neither representative nor adequate, I have come to the conclusion that –
Management is the art of getting things done through and with people informally organised groups.
“It is the art of creating an environment in which people can perform as individuals and yet co-operate towards attainment of group goals. It is the art of removing blocks to such performance, a way of optimising efficiency in reaching goals.”
“If this kind of definition of the field is unsatisfactory, I look forward at least to an agreement that the area should be defined so as to reflect the field of the practitioner and that those actually in management should arrive at such a definition.” The current recognition, therefore, is that people is the subject matter of management, and men are at the centre of managerial functions.
The similarities in all the management jobs, and variations dictated by the needs of time and complexities of new and novel situations, helped to provide the springboard of experience, keen observation, and analytical faculties, in order to build up and refine the concepts that constitute today a valid body knowledge in the field of management.
Definitions of Management – Modern Definitions: According to Harold Knootz and Cyril O’Donnell, Kim Ball, Haimann and Henry L. Sisk
As one author has rightly said “Management is the art of getting things done through others”. And this definition has become popular because it is very brief and concise. It stresses that management is basically an art and that a manager directs the efforts of other people rather than performing the task himself. This definition also highlights the attainment of objective. But this definition suffers from several deficiencies.
First, it is simplistic and not sufficiently broad-based as it excludes scientific elements in management.
Secondly, it does not point out the managerial functions involved in getting work done from others.
Thirdly, it is silent on the behavioral and participative aspects of management.
Fourthly, it gives an impression that a manager obtains results by treating his subordinates as were tools and a manager is not supposed to get people to perform by hook or crook, Lastly, this definition overstresses enterprise objectives and does not point out that a formal organisation structure is required for management.
“Management is the art of getting things done through people.” – Mary Parkery Follett
“Management consists of getting things done through others—A manager is one who accomplishes organisational objectives by directing the efforts of others.” – C.S. Gorge
Modern management involves creating a conducive environment in the organisation whereby individuals are motivated to work efficiently for the achievement of organizational goals.
According to Harold Knootz and Cyril O’Donnell:
Management is the creation and maintenance of an internal environment in an enterprise where individuals working in groups, can perform efficiently and effectively towards the attainment of group goals.
The basic elements of this definition are discussed below:
The term process in this definition means the primary functions or activities that management performs to get things done. These functions are planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
2. Organizational Objectives:
The concept of management insists that will be the activities of managers must be directed towards the achievement of organisational goals and these goals should be considered as common goals of all employees.
Being effective or doing works effectively means finishing the given task. Effectiveness in management is concerned with doing the rights things completing activities result.
It means optimum utilization of resources in performing the given task. The achievement of the end result with the least amount of resources. It signifies the relationship between inputs and outputs. Efficiency would be greater if less outputs are used to produce the required amount of goods or if more goods are produced with the given output.
According to Kim Ball:
“Management is defined as the art of applying the economic principles that underlie the control of men and materials in the enterprise under consideration.”
This definition looks after the various resources of organisation i.e., men and materials and their co-ordination and control for the achievement of the organisation goals.
According to Haimann:
“Management is the function of getting things done through people and directing efforts of individuals towards a common objective.”
This definition contains three main elements:
(i) Managers are responsible for creating an environment conducive to good performance,
(ii) Management operates through individuals and groups of persons, and
(iii) The aim of management is to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in the accomplishment of common objectives.
According to Henry L. Sisk:
“Management is the co-ordination of all resources through the process of planning, organising, directing and controlling in order to attain stated goals.”
This definition appears to be closer to reality for three reasons:
i. First, it highlights the essential nature of manager’s job, i.e., coordinating human and physical resources.
ii. Secondly, it points out the functions of a manager.
iii. Thirdly, it reveals the fact that management strives to achieve the specific objectives of the organisation.
Definitions of Management – By Eminent Authors
Management is a field of study and profession which pertains to management principles, techniques, functions, etc. Here, we find a team or class of people (Individual) or may be a group of persons who perform managerial activities. It is a process of managerial activities-planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling.
Management is both art and science. It is the art of making people more effective than they would have been without you. The science is in how you do that.
Example – Four workers can make 6 units in an eight-hour shift without a manager. If I hire Mr. Madan to manage them and they still make 6 units a day, what is the benefit to my business of having hired Mr. Madan? On the other hand, if they now make 8 units per day, Mr. Madan, the manager, has value.
On the basis of the above example, management can be defined as- “the art of getting things done through and with people”.
“Art of knowing what you want to do and then seeing that it is done the best and cheapest way”. – F.W. Taylor.
“To manage is to forecast, to plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate and to control”. – Henry Fayol.
“Management is a function, a discipline, a task to be done, and managers practice this discipline, carry out the functions and discharge these tasks.” – Peter F. Drucker.
“Management is the process by which managers create, direct, maintain and operate purposive organizations through systematic, coordinated and co-operative human effort.” – Dalton McFarland.
Definitions of Management – F.W.Taylor, Harold Koontz, Dalton E. McFarland and a Few Others
“Management is the art of knowing what is to be done, and seeing that it is done in the best possible manner”. – F.W. Taylor
“Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organized groups”. – Harold Koontz
“Management is a social process entailing responsibility for the effective (or efficient) planning and regulation of the operations of an enterprise, in fulfillment of a given purpose or task, such responsibility involves – (a) the installation and maintenance of proper procedures to ensure adherence to plans, and (b) the guidance, integration and supervision of the personnel composing the enterprise and carrying out its operations”. -E.F.L Brech
“Management is the function of executive leadership. Managerial functions involve the work of planning, organizing and controlling the activities of others in accomplishing the organization objectives”. – R.C. Davis
“Management is defined for conceptual, theoretical and analytical purposes as that process by which managers create, direct, maintain and operate purposive organizations through systematic, coordinated, cooperative human effort”. – Dalton E. McFarland
“Management is the process of achieving organizational goals by engaging in the major functions of planning, organizing, leading and controlling”. – K.M. Bartol and D.C Martin
Definitions of Management – Definitions of Modern Management
However there are difference of opinions on the exact meaning and definition of management.
The following are the important definitions of modern management:
John F. Mee, “Management may be defined as the art of securing maximum results with minimum effort so as to secure maximum prosperity and happiness for both employer and employees and give the public the best possible service”.
Stanley Vance, “Management is simply the process of decision making and control over the action of human beings for the express purpose of attaining predetermined goals”.
Appley L, “Management is the development of people and not the direction of things”.
R. C. Davis, “Management is the function of executive leadership anywhere”.
Henry Fayol, “To manage is to fore-cast, to organize to command to co-ordinate and to control”.
Peter Drucker, “Management is multipurpose organ that manages a business and managers and manager worker and work”.
In short “Management” may be defined as the sum of all such activities which relate to:
1. Determination of objectives, plans, policies and programmes.
2. Securing sources-men, money, materials and machinery for the production and distribution.
3. Putting all resources into operation through sound organization.
4. Controlling their performances-achievement of ends.
5. Providing sense of achievement to the workers in operation through financial and non-financial incentive-proper motivation.
Management is a central directing and controlling agency indispensable for any organisation involving organize co-operation and requiring collective efforts to realize some common desired results or objectives. The group of efforts to achieve common goal require proper leadership which is provided by the management. To know the true nature of management we shall analyse “is management a science of an art or a profession?
Definitions of Management – By Theorists of Management: Joseph Massie, Lawrence Appley and Robert Kreitner (With Traditional View Point and Modern View Point)
Management is the practice of consciously and continually shaping the organizations. It is very difficult to define management precisely bringing all the features of a good definition. This is because of the lack of agreement among various thinkers over the exact nature and scope of management.
Thus, economists look at management as one of the factors of production; sociologists view management as a group of people; and specialists in management view it as a system of authority.
However, as land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship, management is also a vital factor of production. Naturally, all these groups view the nature and scope of management from their own point of view. The problem becomes more complex when a discipline, which claims to be discipline in its own right, draws even the basic principle from other subjects and calls these as its own.
However, divergent viewpoints may be classified into the following heads:
(i) Management as a field of study,
(ii) Management as a team or a class of people, and
(iii) Management as a process.
(i) Management as a Field of Study:
Management as a field of study includes management principles, techniques, functions and problems as these imply a branch of knowledge. It comprises management’s theory and principles for tackling management problems. It is taught as a specialized discipline in educational institutions.
Management is a multi-disciplinary aspect drawn from other disciplines like Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, etc. This approach, however, fails to give the correct nature of management.
Management as a discipline includes:
(a) Theory and principles;
(ii) Management as a Team or a Class of People:
Management as a group of people includes every individual who are working in the organisation. Every individual contributes to achieve the specified objectives of the organisation. When these individual contribute as a group to achieve the objectives of the organisation, this is called management.
Frequently, the term management is used to denote a group of managerial personnel, who are looking after the affairs of the company.
It means, management denotes only to those people who perform certain managerial functions for the accomplishment of specified objectives. However, who are the managers and what are their activities that should be treated as managerial activities, are hard to identify unless some criteria are prescribed. Usually, today the term management is used to denote the top management of the organisation.
Management as a team includes:
(a) Group of managerial personnel;
(b) Top management;
(d) Personnel who are looking the affairs of the organisation.
(iii) Management as a Process:
Management, as a process, includes a series of functions that lead to the achievement of stated objectives. A manager has to perform various functions to achieve the desired objectives.
Management, as a process, has two features:
(a) Management is a continuous process;
(b) The functions of management are inter-dependent and inter-related.
Management is defined for conceptual, theoretical and analytical purposes as that process by which managers create, direct, maintain and operate purposive organisation through systematic, coordinated, co-operative human effort. As a process, management refers to a series of interrelated elements or functions.
(d) Directing, and
The above functions of management, as a process, highlight the universal nature of management, because the best way to describe management is in terms of what managers do. It consists of planning, organising, directing and controlling human efforts to achieve pre-determined goals. The process of management involves the determination of objectives and putting them into action.
In the words of George R. Terry, “Management is a distinct process consisting of activities of planning, organising, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and achieve stated objectives with the use of human resources”. This definition clearly outlines the functions and process of management.
Basically, managers have the objective to use the human and other resources of the organisation effectively and efficiently and this is possible through process of management.
However, there is no universal definition of management traditionally, in its simplest form; management has been defined as an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organised groups.
A few noteworthy definitions by theorists of management are:
Management is the process by which co-operative group directs actions towards common goals.—Joseph Massie
Management is accomplishment of results through the efforts of other people.—Lawrence Appley
Management is a process of moving with and through others to achieve organisational objectives in a changing environment, central to this purpose is the effective and efficient use of limited resources.—Robert Kreitner.
In other words, Management has been defined through traditional view point and modern view point:
(i) Traditional View Point:
Management can be defined as –
(a) Art of getting things done by others.
(b) Process of planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling the activities of others.
(c) Mobilizing and utilizing human and other resources for achieving organisational goals.
(ii) Modern View Point:
Management can be defined as a –
(a) Prime mover of organisation making it functional and productive.
(b) Process of creating conducive and proper internal environment in the organisation.
(c) Process of coping with changing external environment by relating strengths and weaknesses of the organisation with it.
On the basis of these divergent definitions and conceptual framework of management, we take a global perspective of management definition which includes everything-
“Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish stated aims.”
This basic definition needs to be expanded:
a. The manager carries out the managerial function of planning, organising, staffing, directing, and controlling.
b. Management applies to any kind of organisation.
c. It applies to managers at all organizational levels.
d. The aim of managers is to create surplus.
e. Managing is concerned with productivity.
Simply speaking, management is what managers do. But that simple statement does not tell us so much does it? A more thorough analysis is that management is coordinating work activities so that they are completed efficiently and effectively with and through other people.
Management involves the efficient and effective completion of organizational work. Efficiency refers to getting the most output from the least amount of inputs. This is concerned with the most efficient use of resources.
Effectiveness is defined as “doing the right things”, that is, those work activities that will help the organization to reach its goals. For instances, at the Siemens AG factory in Germany, for the manufacturing of X ray equipment, efficient manufacturing techniques were implementing by doing the things such as cutting inventory levels, decreasing the amount of time to manufacture the products, and lowering product reject rates.
These efficient work practices paid off as the plant was the best amongst the production of X ray by application of least resources. This is efficiency, often described as “doing things right.”
The Siemens plant goals included reducing equipment installation time for customers and cutting costs. Through various work programs, these goals were pursued and achieved. This is effectiveness. Whereas efficiency is concerned with the means of getting things done, effectiveness is concerned with the ends, or attainment of goals.
Management is concerned, then, not only with the getting activities completed and meeting organizational goals, but also with doing so as efficiently as possible.
The Managers’ task is pertaining to design an internal environment of the organization in such a way that it suits according to the requirements of external environment for the stability and survival of the organization. In my opinion, management is what managers want to do or achieve for the stability and survival of the organization.
Management is the process of designing and creating an environment which is required for stability and survival of the organization, because, every organization has to stabilize itself in the current environment and will have to survive for the future.