Business Management as a Profession!
Profession is a well defined body of knowledge which can be acquired through training and instruction and it follows ethical standards. For example, Doctors, Advocates, Chartered Accountants etc. come under the category of professionals.
A profession has the following characteristics:
1. Well Defined Body of Knowledge:
All professions are based on well defined body of knowledge that can be acquired through training and formal instructions. For example-medicine, law.
2. Restricted Entry:
The entry to a profession is based on examination or through acquiring an educational degree.
For example, in order to become a doctor, one must acquire M.B.B.S. degree. Similarly, to become a lawyer, one must acquire LLB degree.
3. Professional Association:
All the professions have their representative associations. The professionals are required to get themselves registered with their respective associations for starting their practice.
Such professional associations regulate entry, issue certificate of practice and formulate certain code of conduct, whose compliance is mandatory for all the professionals.
For example, there are professional associations like Medical Council of India for Doctors and Bar Council of India for Lawyers; one must register himself with these associations to practice.
4. Ethical code of conduct:
Every professional is required to follow the code of conduct as laid down by their respective association. The code of conduct regulates the behaviour of its members. For example, doctors, lawyers etc. are bound for ethical practice when they enter these professions.
5. Service Motive:
The main aim of every profession is to serve its clients by providing them committed service. For example, the main aim of a doctor is to ensure that his patient is free from all illnesses. Similarly, a lawyer ensures to seek justice for his client.
Let us examine whether management fulfills the criterion of profession:
No doubt management has some of the features of a profession but still it doesn’t meet the full requirements of a profession:
(i) Well defined body of Knowledge and Management:
At present management has grown as a discipline having a systematic body of knowledge and well defined principles. Management education occupies a place of prominence. There are large number of Business Schools and institutes like, IIMs all over the country engaged in imparting professional training and education in the field of management.
(ii) Restricted entry and Management:
Many institutions and schools are teaching management as a subject. Some institutions like IIMs are set up specially for providing management education. The entry to these institutions is only through an examination.
But there is no restriction on any one being appointed as manager irrespective of the educational qualification possessed by him/her. Hence, criterion of “Restricted Entry” is not fully met in management.
(iii) Professional Association and Management:
AIMA (All India Management Association) has laid down appropriate code of conduct in order to regulate the activities of managers. However, there is no compulsion for managers to be members of this association. Thus, management doesn’t satisfy this criterion fully.
(iv) Ethical code of conduct and Management:
In order to regulate the activities of the managers, several associations of practising managers in India like AIMA (All India Management Association) have laid down code of conduct. However, there is no compulsion for managers to be members of these associations and abide by the code of conduct. The extent to which a manager conducts himself ethically depends more on his internal value – system rather than any external mandate. Hence, Management doesn’t meet this criterion either.
(v) Service Motive and Management:
In order to survive in a dynamic environment, an organisation has to fulfill its social obligations too along with its objective of maximizing profit. An effective and efficient management helps the organisation in fulfilling these social obligations like providing, regularly good quality products at reasonable prices all the times.
Thus, on the basis of above discussion we can say that management does not fulfill the exact criteria of a profession. It possesses only some of the characteristics of a profession. Hence, at present, it cannot be recognized as a full-fledged profession as law or medicine. However, in near future it may be recognized in that manner.
Management Becoming a Profession – An Emerging Trend:
In the modem world, there is a fast trend towards management getting professionalized.
This can be seen by referring to following emerging trends in business:
(i) All big companies appoint professional managers at all levels.
(ii) Many Indian companies take initiatives to replace family members by professional managers.
(iv) In public undertakings, management is in effect by professional managers only.
(v) Sole proprietors are now more interested in acquiring latest knowledge and techniques of management. They are motivating their children to do management courses.
In conclusion, it may be said that even though presently management cannot be recognized as a full-fledged profession, it is on fast track to become so in near future.