Everything you need to know about the characteristics of management. An efficient management can make the employees to work efficiently and an inefficient management can break the employees and can bring industrial unrest in the business organization.

This management has got immense importance now-a-days because of increased trend towards standardization, automation, specialization and computerization of the activities.

The important characteristics of management are:-

1. Management is Intangible 2. Management is Goal Oriented 3. Management is Pervasive 4. Management is Universal 5. Management is a Social Process 6. Management is a Group Activity 7. Management is a System of Authority


8. Management is Dynamic 9. Management is Transferable 10. Management is Contingent in Nature 11. Synthesis 12. Ever-Evolving Phenomenon 13. Multidisciplinary 14. Ephemeral

15. Management as a Career 16. Management as an Applied Science 17. Divorced from Proprietorship 18. Management is a Profession 19. Management is Decision-Making 20. Coordination is the Soul of Management 21. Management is a Science as well as an Art 22. Managing Results through Others.

21+ Characteristics of Management – Intangible, Goal Oriented, Pervasive, Universal, Social Process, Transferable and a Few Others

haracteristics of Management – Most Important Characteristics: Management is Intangible, Goal-Oriented, Universal, Social Process, Group Activity and a Few Others

Every human being has several wants and needs which cannot be satisfied by himself. Therefore, he joins hands with his fellow-beings and works together in order to satisfy his needs and wants in form groups and organizations. Wherever there is an organized group of people working towards a common goal, some type of management becomes essential. It is the management which makes the people realize the objectives of the group and direct their efforts towards the achievement of these objectives.

It is the management which plans, organizes, co-ordinates and controls the affairs of the organization. It brings the human and material resources together and motivates the people for the achievements of the objectives of the organization. Without management, resources of production remain resources merely and never become production. The prosperity failure of a business organization depends upon the optimum use of various factors of production.


An efficient management can make the employees to work efficiently and an inefficient management can break the employees and can bring industrial unrest in the business organization. This management has got immense importance now-a-days because of increased trend towards standardization, automation, specialization and computerization of the activities.

Today, the study of management has become an important facet of human life. Since, five to six decades, management has attracted the attention of the academicians and practitioners to a greater extent. It has become as a separate professional discipline.

The most important characteristics may be listed as follows:

Characteristic # 1. Management is Intangible:

As has been pointed out by Terry, management is intangible. It cannot be seen. It is an unseen force. However, its presence can be felt by the results of its efforts in the form of production, sales and profits.

Characteristic # 2. Managements Goal-Oriented:


Management seeks to achieve goals. These goals may be economic or non-economic. In a business organization, the primary goal is to produce and distribute goods and services in order to earn profit. In a service organization, the goal might be customer service (hospitals, educational institutions, etc.).

Characteristic # 3. Management is Universal:

Management is an all-pervasive activity. The basic principles of management are applicable in business as well as in other organizations. These principles, however, need careful application depending on situational demands.

Characteristic # 4. Management is a Social Process:

According to Newman, management is a social process because it deals with people first. To make the best use of human efforts, managers have to create close cooperation among employees in an organization. They have to use resources for the benefit of society as a whole. They have to look after the interests of employees, shareholders, customers, investors, and community.

Characteristic # 5. Management is a Group Activity:

Management is concerned with getting things done through people. People join groups in order to achieve results collectively Management helps people in realizing their individual as well as group goals in a coordinated manner.

Characteristic # 6. Management is a System of Authority:


A manager is supposed to get things done, rather than doing things himself, by using authority. Authority is the right to give orders and the power to obtain obedience from subordinates.

Characteristic # 7. Management is an Activity:

Management is a distinct activity (like playing, teaching, studying). It can be studied, knowledge about it obtained, and skill in its applications acquired.

Characteristic # 8. Management is Dynamic:

Management is a dynamic and growth-oriented function. It tries to visualize problems before they turn into emergencies and takes suitable steps. It tries to adapt itself to the environmental changes quickly It proposes to take actions to make the desired results to come to pass. According to Drucker, ‘Managers do not wait for the future; they make the future’.

Characteristic # 9. Management is a Science as well as an Art:

Management is a systematized body of knowledge based on certain principles capable of general application. The principles underlying time and motion studies, morale, motivation, leadership can be applied by persons working in various capacities. Art is the application of knowledge and skills in order to achieve results. Management is an art because it involves the use of know-how and skills, just like any other art such as – music, painting, etc. In recent years, management has developed into a separate, distinct discipline, receiving vital inputs from subjects such as – psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, etc.

Characteristics of Management – Some Distinct Characteristics: Goal Orientation, Pervasiveness, Universality, Transferability and a Few Others

A farmer should know the characteristics of the soil and a fisherman must understand the nature of the sea to get the best results from these resources. Similarly, managers should know the nature/characteristics of management if they have to get best results from it.


If we study management across vari­ous ages and areas such as business, government, or non-profit organisa­tions, there are some distinct characteristics.

These are:

1. Goal Orientation:

The purpose of an organisation is to achieve defined goals, and the aim of management is to achieve them efficiently and effec­tively. Without a goal, we will not know the resources to employ, the use of resources, or the need to use them. In such a state, nothing can be opti­mised. Hence, goal orientation is a basic characteristic of management.

2. Pervasiveness:


Prehistoric man used management in a rudimentary form. Today, we talk of management at every level—a family, a team, a group, a school, a small business organisation such as a ‘kirana’ shop, or a big business entity. Management principles, concepts, and prac­tices are used across a wide canvas, and this makes it pervasive.

3. Universality:

Most management concepts are universal. For example, qual­ity management concepts emanated in the US and grew in Japan. Theory Z, a Japanese management concept, is widely used in the US. This suggests that management concepts, principles, processes, systems, best practices, and other features are applicable across time, nations, context, and nature of organisation, although adaptations may be required. This makes it universal.

4. Transferability:

Management practices in one area can be transferred to other areas. For example, operation research that emanated during the Second World War to manage war logistics now finds a place in business.

5. Contingent Nature:

Despite being universal and transferable, as the goals, structure, resources, and beliefs of people vary across time, organisa­tions, and contexts, application of most management concepts and practices are situational. Management is not like the laws of physics, which remain true in all conditions. By nature, management is contingent.

6. Synthesis:


Apart from time, we employ various resources such as men, money, and material for achievement of goals. Management integrates the resources and optimises the output. Hence, synthesis is an inherent charac­teristic of management.

7. Ever-Evolving Phenomenon:

Management is an ever-evolving phenomenon. Since it is executed by people, social evolution and thoughts of the era dominate management. For example, ’employee first’ is a thought of the 21st cen­tury. This evolved from the beliefs on participation and centrality of people in productivity that dominated the 20th century.

8. Multidisciplinary:

Knowledge and techniques in management emerge from various disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology, anthropol­ogy, and so on. This proves that management is multidisciplinary in nature.

9. Ephemeral:

Management enables efficient and effective execution, and is therefore a resource. However, unlike other resources, it cannot be seen; it can only be felt. Though the principles and rules of application of man­agement are scientific, due to the contingent nature/characteristic of man­agement, several variables cannot be scientifically factored into a decision.

So, management has to depend on heuristics, intuition, and experience. Hence, there is a lot of tacit knowledge that goes into management, which can only be felt and not seen. This makes management ephemeral.

Characteristics of Management – Salient Features of Management

The salient features of management may be outlined as:

1. Management as a Continuous Process:


Management may easily be termed as a continuous process as all the managerial functions will loose their essence if they are not carried out on a regular basis. Management as a process since it comprise activities like planning, organizing, activating and controlling the business resources to optimize on their returns so as to achieve the common objectives.

2. Management as a Discipline:

Since the boundaries of management are not exact as that of any other physical sciences, it may not fit in very well for being addressed as discipline. However, its status as a discipline increases because it continuously discovers many aspects of business enterprises and also passes on the verified knowledge to the practioners of managerial process.

3. Management as a Career:

Management may be understood in a broad sense when it comes to career or occupation. Management may in itself be able to be regarded as a career, but it also represents a variety of interesting and challenging careers focused on specialized occupations in the fields such as marketing, finance and personnel.

4. Management as an Applied Science:

Even though management is a science so far as it possesses a systematized body of knowledge and less scientific methods of research, it is not an exact science, like natural sciences which deal with living phenomena such as botany and medicine.

Hence, management is definitely a social science like economics or psychology and has the same institutions which these and other social sciences have.

5. Universal Application:

Management is a universal activity, applied to any form of activity, economic or otherwise.

6. Goal Oriented:


The main function of management is to capitalize or realize the pre-determined objectives. A manager works to achieve a goal. Hence, management may be considered as a goal-oriented activity.

7. Guidance:

The management extends guidance about the optimum utilization of resources, man-made and human is the best way possible. Primarily, it aims at attaining its targets by optimal utilization of resources. The essential element of management is that it gets the work done by coordinating the performance of those who actually perform diverse and specific jobs.

8. Divorced from Proprietorship:

Management does not signify proprietorship. In earlier days, management and enterprise were lumped into the same factor. It now refers to a specialized group of people who have acquired the ability to carry out a project.

9. An Activating Factor:

All the other factors of production are put to action or get activated by management. A manager’s skills lies in motivating his workers through guidance, training, incentives, rewards, status, security, control, etc. Hence, it is the abilities of a successful manager to recognize and mobilize the skills rested with people working in the enterprise by motivation in order to accomplish the targeted goals.

10. Management as a Human Activity:

Management is necessarily a human activity as it uses the knowledge and abilities of the individuals involved to manage different business affairs. No artificial being can perform the work of management.

11. Management Signifies Authority:

Since the essence of management is to direct, guide and control, it has to have an authority. Authority is the power to command others to work and behave in a particular manner. Management cannot discharge its functions without authority. It is the foundation of management. Since management has an authority, it stands at a higher pedestal.

12. Leadership:


The management has to lead a team of workers. It must be capable of inspiring, motivating and winning their confidence.

Characteristics of Management: 8 Characteristics Explained

The characteristics of management are as under-

(i) Every management has a goal to achieve. Especially organizational goals, which are set by the promoters. To achieve these goals, the management has to work hard to plan and co-ordinate resources, direct manpower, control the activities. Hence, we can say that the management is goal oriented.

(ii) Management has to produce the goods/services using the resources such as men, material and capital. To see that these resources are used optimally to achieve the organizational goals. So, we can say that the management plays a catalyst role in achieving above.

(iii) We know that management has some functions to do to produce goods and/or services. These are planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. So, we can say that the management is a distinct process comprising the above functions.

(iv) To carry out its functions management must have authority, a hierarchy of command and control. Without the authority it is very difficult to direct and control the resource under their control. Managers at different levels (Top, Middle, Operational levels) posses varying degrees of authority.


(v) With the Authority (command and control) in their hand they act as a unifying life force to integrate all the resources to achieve organizational goals which aims at satisfying the needs of society.

(vi) In general, individuals have their own goals, which are known as personal goals. In fact, any person has to must see his personal goals are below the organizational goals and carry out his work. The work of management is to harmonize the individual’s goals with the organizational goals to minimize the conflicts in the organization to see that the objectives are fulfilled smoothly.

(vii) Management (in fact group of managers) must have knowledge in different disciplines such as Engineering, Psychology, Sociology, Applied mathematics, Metallurgy etc., to carry out their work effectively to achieve the predetermined goals. Hence, we say that management is a multi-disciplinary subject.

(viii) Just think about yourself. From morning till evening, you plan your work, co-ordinate recourses, control yourself to achieve your goals. Business managers, Industrial managers, Officials of Government organizations, Officers of Education, Hospitals, Army – every Organizational head has to plan, organize, coordinate, control resources under their control to achieve their organizational goals. Hence, we can say that Management is universal in character.

Characteristics of Management – Top 14 Characteristics: Distinct Process, Indefinable Force, Management is a Science as well as an Art and a Few Others

Management is one of the distinct processes having so many activities.

Some of the salient activities of management are illustrated as under:

Characteristic # 1. Distinct Process:


Management is a separate process which is associated with the functions of planning, organizing, directing and controlling. The sequence of various functions cannot be decided due to complexity of processes. The process of management is always associated with decision-making and putting the decisions into practice. The decision-making process is a risk taking process.

Characteristic # 2. Indefinable Force:

The necessity of management is to integrate the human and other resources to get the desired objectives. All the input resources are provided to managers and managers apply the principles of management, his knowledge and experience to get the desired results. Managers also harmonize the employee’s goal with the company’s goal for smooth functioning of organization.

Characteristic # 3. Management is a Science as well as an Art:

Management is also described as a systemized body of knowledge which consists of well-defined concepts, principles and techniques along with the scope of wide application. This is the reason that it is treated as science. The application of these concepts, principles and techniques needs specialized knowledge and skills.

Since the skill gained by a manager is his personal possession, this is the reason that management is also considered an art. Dean Stanley has observed that present management is 90% art and only 10% science.

Characteristic # 4. Management is a Multidisciplinary Subject:

Management has developed as an area of discipline by taking the assistance from other disciplines like sociology, psychology, engineering, economics, and so on. This is the main reason that management literature is full of these disciplines. For example, production management is oriented with industrial engineering, and human relations is oriented with psychology. Operations research and sociology help in development of management science.

Characteristic # 5. Management is Goal Oriented:

Management is one of the most important and purposeful activity. The efforts of the employees are coordinated in such a way as to achieve the objectives of organization. The parameter to measure the success of management is that what percentage of objectives is achieved. It is necessary that the objectives of the management should be well defined at all the levels of management.

Characteristic # 6. Intangible Force:

Management is like an unseen force. The presence of management is witnessed by its efforts like orderliness, buoyant sprit, informed employees and sufficient work output. The feeling of the management is target oriented and result oriented. Management cannot be seen by the naked eyes but its results are well understood to everyone. People used to put their remark on management as an effective management or an ineffective management on the basis of the end result.

Characteristic # 7. Universal Application of Management:

The character of the management is universal. The principles and techniques of management are applicable in all the areas whether it is education, industry, military or the government. Henri Fayol has solicited that principle of management applies more or less in every situation. The principles are generally practical guidelines which are flexible and worth of adoption in all the organizations.

Characteristic # 8. Management is a System of Authority:

Management consists of a team of managers who possess a system of authority, control and command. Managers at different levels possess varying degrees of authority. The degree of authority reduces from top level towards bottom level of management gradually. Authority helps the manager to perform effectively.

Characteristic # 9. Management of Economic Resources:

One of the factors of production is management which involves land, labour and capital, the most critical resource for success of any organization. This is the force which coordinates with the other factors of production. These factors themselves cannot give any production; they need the management to give the desired goals. Thus, the management is an important ingredient of an organization.

Characteristic # 10. Managing Results through Others:

Managers do not work themselves but they make others to work. They have necessary ability and skill to take the work from others. They can motivate their subordinates for getting the task done effectively. To take the work from others is not an easy task in present condition throughout the world, nobody wants to do anything. So, this is one of the most critical tasks of the managers.

Characteristic # 11. Management is a Profession:

Management is managing the things like men, material, capital, machines, technology, market, etc. With the existing theory and philosophy of management, development of new knowledge, new principles, and new skills can be applied to problem solving to achieve the goals.

Born managers can still become better managers if, they receive proper training. In modern times, management is emerging as a profession. Management consultancy services are amply available nowadays.

Characteristic # 12. Management is Decision-Making:

Mostly the managers are decision-makers, i.e., marketing managers decide how to market, what to market, when to market, where to market, etc. A finance manager takes decision how much fund will be needed, how to distribute profit, how to collect fund, etc. Such countless decisions are based on the data and analysis which constitutes the management.

Characteristic # 13. Coordination is the Soul of Management:

Management is a group activity. Various people organized in formal groups endeavour to achieve organizational goals. So, it becomes necessary that various departments should work in harmony with each another. In the absence of coordination of efforts among various groups, there may be conflicts and chaos.

Characteristic # 14. Management is a Dynamic Process:

Management is applied to human groups which work in the society. The social environment is ever changing which provides a challenge to management. Efficient management can never be static. It must adopt its changing conditions, so, it is a dynamic system.

Characteristics of Management: 5 Short Points 

Some of the important characteristics of management are:

i. Management is a continuous process – As long as an organisation or organised activity exists, need for management continues. The functions of management planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling are performed by all managers simultaneously all the time.

ii. Management is pervasive – Management is relevant for all types of organisations —economic, social and political. Thus clubs, universities, colleges, hospitals, political parties, business firms all require management. Wherever more than one person is engaged in working for a common goal, management is necessary.

iii. Management is a group activity – Since management is essential to undertake any organised activity, one may infer that management is concerned with a group activity. It involves the use of group efforts in the pursuit of predetermined objectives.

iv. Management is a goal-oriented process – An organisation has a set of basic goals which is the basic reason for its existence. Management unites the efforts of different individuals in the organisation towards achieving these goals.

v. Management is an intangible force – Management is an intangible force that cannot be seen but its effect can be seen by the way, work and targets are accomplished. Management ensures orderliness and coordination in an organisation instead of chaos.

Characteristics of Management – 12 Different Characteristics: Multidisciplinary, Goal-Oriented, Economic Resource, Dynamic Nature of Principles and a Few Others

Management means different aspects to different scholars.

The characteristics of management can be described as follows:

Characteristic # 1. Multidisciplinary:

Management is basically multidisciplinary. It draws knowledge and concepts from various disciplines like sociology, psychology, economics, ecology, statistics, operations research, etc. Management integrates ideas and concepts from these disciplines and uses them for improving the efficiency of the organisation.

Characteristic # 2. Goal-Oriented:

Management aims at achieving some definite goals or objectives. It co-ordinates the efforts of workers to achieve the goals of the organisation. The success of management is measured by the extent to which the organisational goals are achieved. The organisational goals must be well defined and properly understood by the managers of various levels.

Characteristic # 3. Economic Resource:

Management is a factor of production. It is the force which assembles and integrates other factors of production like labour, capital and material. These factors do not by themselves ensure production. They require management to produce goods and services.

Characteristic # 4. Dynamic Nature of Principles:

The principles of management are flexible in nature. They change with the changes in the environment in which an organisation exists. Because of the continuous development in the field, many of the old principles are replaced by new principles. In fact, there is nothing permanent in the field of management.

Characteristic # 5. System of Authority:

Authority is the power to get the work done from others and to compel them to work in a certain manner. Management cannot perform in the absence of authority. It is a rule-making and rule- enforcing body. There is a chain of authority and responsibility among people working at different levels of the organisation.

Characteristic # 6. Universal Application:

Management is applicable in all types of organisations. Wherever there is human activity, there is management. The basic principles of management have universal application. In the words of Henry Fayol, “Be it a case of commerce, politics, religion, war… in every concern there is management function to be performed.”

Characteristic # 7. A Science and an Art:

Management is a science because it has developed certain principles which are of universal application. But, the results of management depend upon the personal skills of managers and in this sense, management is an art. Thus, management is both a science and an art. However, the science of management is not as exact as physical science. It may better be called as a social science.

Characteristic # 8. A Profession:

Management is, now, recognized as a profession. It has a systematic and specialised body of knowledge consisting of principles, techniques and laws. It can be taught as a separate discipline or subject. Now, due to the advent of large scale business, the management is entrusted in the hands of professional managers.

Characteristic # 9. Results through Others:

The managers cannot do everything themselves. They must have the necessary ability and skills to get work done through the efforts of others. They must motivate the subordinates for the accomplishment of the tasks assigned to them.

Characteristic # 10. A Social Process:

Management is a social process which consists of getting things done through others. The management has to direct, co-ordinate and regulate the efforts of the human beings to achieve the desired results. In this sense, management is regarded as a social process. It also has a social obligation to make optimum use of scarce resources for the benefit of the society.

Characteristic #  11. Intangible Force:

Management is an unseen or invisible force. It cannot be seen but its presence can be felt everywhere in the form of results. However, the managers who carry out the managerial functions are tangible and visible.

Characteristic # 12. A Separate Identity:

Management is a separate identity. It is the scientific method of getting things done through and with the people. But the identity of the ‘Thinkers’ is quite different from the identity of the ‘Doers’.