Here is a compilation of term paper topics on ‘Management’ especially written for school and college students.
Term Paper Topics on Management
- Term Paper on the Meaning of Management
- Term Paper on the Functions of Management
- Term Paper on the Principles of Management
- Term Paper on the Universality of Management
- Term Paper on the Levels of Management
- Term Paper on the Challenges for the Management
Term Paper Topic # 1. Meaning of Management:
Management is an essential ingredient of all organised human activity. All modern organisations relied on organised endeavour for their success. This ranges from production of goods and services by business organisations to government.
All the major achievements of society have been made possible through organised effort. The human being’s dominance over other forms of life has been achieved through a genius for harnessing resources and integrating human efforts as a part of group activity.
Managers play an activating role in organisations. The success of organisation depends on the successful functioning of management. The management is responsible for planning, organising, integrating and interrelating organisational activities and resources for achieving common objectives. This task of managing is well performed by managers who are good at achieving desired results.
They are responsible for converting dis-organized resources of men, money and materials into a useful enterprise. They conceive of the service an enterprise can render, mobilise the required means of production, co-ordinate the activities within the organisation and integrate it with the outside world. So the managers perform the role of catalyst in every organisation.
Term Paper Topic # 2. Functions of Management:
The best way to analyse management as a process is in terms of what a manager does or the functions performed by him.
The functions of management are:
(iv) Directing and
Planning is the pre-determination of future course of action. It bridges the present with the future. It gives us an idea about where we are and where we want to go. Any business activity needs systematic planning. It ensures effective utilisation of human and material resources to achieve the desired results. It is to be performed at all levels of management.
The steps in planning are:
(a) Determination of objectives for the organisation.
(d) Formulation of policies and procedures
(e) Preparation of schedules programmes and budgets.
This function involves the following:
(a) Determination of activities to be performed
(b) Grouping of activities.
(c) Assigning of activities to various levels and individuals.
(d) Creating a structure of authority and responsibility among the individuals.
Organising involves the steps specified below:
(a) Identification of activities.
(b) Grouping of activities so as to create well defined jobs.
(c) Assignment of jobs to employees.
(d) Delegation of authority to subordinates.
(e) Establishing authority responsibility relationships.
Koontz and O’Donnell define staffing “involves manning the organisational structure through proper and effective selection, appraisal and development of personnel to fill the role designed into the structure”. So it focuses on manpower planning, procurement, training and development appraisal and remuneration of workers—since every manager is concerned with management of human resources he has to perform the staffing function.
The steps in staffing function are:
(a) Employment of human resources.
(b) Training and development of employees.
(c) Remuneration of employees.
(d) Providing better understanding between management and employees.
(e) Tuning and toning of working conditions.
(f) Providing good welfare activities.
(g) Maintenance of personnel records.
(h) Maintaining good industrial relations.
Directing is the interpersonal aspect of management process. This facilitates the employees to understand and contribute effectively and efficiently to the accomplishment of organisational objectives. It is the direction function of management which is related to the activities that deal directly with influencing, guiding, supervising and motivating the people in the organisation for the attainment of objectives.
The steps in directing are:
It is a two-way process of creating understanding between employees and management. The object is to facilitate effective performance.
It is defined as the process by which a manager guides and influences the behaviour of his subordinates.
This means inspiring the subordinates with a zeal to perform and accomplish organisational objectives. It is process of indoctrinating the personnel with unity of purpose and the need to maintain continuous harmonious relationship.
Controlling is evaluation function of management. In this function performance is to be compared with plans with the object of knowing that performance is in the desired direction or not. It envisages a system that not only provides a historical record what has happened to the business and tries pin-point the reasons why it has happened and provides the information needed for corrective action.
The steps in controlling are:
(a) Establishment of standards.
(b) Measurement of performance
(c) Comparing performance with standards.
(d) Taking corrective action.
Term Paper Topic # 3. Principles of Management:
The principles of management advocated by Henri Fayol are generally accepted as principles of management. The principles prescribed by him are flexible and capable of adaptation to every need.
The principles are listed below:
(i) Division of Work:
This means division of work among various individuals in the organisation to bring about specialisation in every activity.
The merits of specialisation are:
It increases efficiency; it avoids waste of time and effort. Its main demerit is that when carried too far it leads to loss of skill and craftsmanship of the employee and makes the job monotonous and less interesting.
(ii) Authority and Responsibility:
Authority is the right or power to give orders to the subordinates. Responsibility means the duty which the subordinate is expected to perform by virtue of his position in the organisation. This is expressed in terms of functions or in terms of objectives.
These two terms are to be in a perfect mix and match as they are coextensive and co-terminus. This is needed for successful functioning of every organisation.
This means respecting of rules and regulations of the organisation. Fayol states that discipline means obedience, application, energy and outward marks of respect. This is a must for the smooth running of the organisation. This depends upon the quality of leadership, clear and fair agreements between employer and employee.
(iv) Unity of Command:
This principle emphasises that a subordinate is to receive orders from one superior only. One cannot serve two masters as dual command is a permanent source of conflict. Further discipline will be in jeopardy, order is disturbed and stability is threatened.
The merits of this principle are:
a) It facilitates clear cut authority and responsibility relationships.
b) It simplifies organisation structure.
c) Effective functioning is ensured.
d) Confusion is avoided.
(v) Unity of Direction:
This means one head and one plan for group activities having the same objectives. It is an essential condition for unity of action, co-ordination of strength and focussing of efforts. This is needed for designing the organisation structure and its smooth functioning. This will facilitate achievement of objectives and avoids unnecessary duplication of efforts.
(vi) Sub-Ordination of Individual Interest to the General Interest:
In every organisation the management and employees have their own interests. These interests should call for reconciliation of objectives and they should not conflict with one another. They have to sub-ordinate their interests to the general interests of the organisation.
(vii) Remuneration of Personnel:
Employees are to be remunerated fully for their services rendered in the organisation. The remuneration should be just and fair to everybody. It should accord satisfaction to both the employees and the organisations.
This refers to concentration of authority at one place or at one level in the organisation. As against this decentralisation, means dispersal of authority to the lower levels in the organisation. Fayol is of the opinion that both centralisation and decentralisation is a simple question of proportion.
The management is to find the optimum degree for the particular concern. In small organisations there is lesser de-centralisation and in bigger organisations there is greater decentralisation. In any case centralisation is always present to a greater or less extent in every organisation.
(ix) Scalar Chain:
This principle states that the chain of superiors ranging from ultimate authority to the lowest level in the organisation. The communication is to be faster and effective in the line.
The merits of this principle are:
a) There is to be unity of command.
b) It facilitates delegation.
c) It establishes the channels of communication.
The scalar chain should not be rigid.
If it is rigid it creates the following problems:
(i) There is delay in the flow of communication.
(ii) There is a possibility for distortion of messages.
The important points to be kept in mind are that the flow of communication is to be swift and effective.
Order means a “place for everything and everything in its place”. Fayol meant order in material things and also social order. To achieve order for materials there must be a specified place for everything and everything must be in its place. For social order to prevail in the organisation there must be an appointed place for every employee and every employee must be in his appointed place. The appointment of right person in right place will promote social order.
This requires fair judgement in dealing with human resources. Personnel must be treated with equity and kindness to enlist devotion and loyalty. The superiors in the organisation should be experienced and good natured to deal with subordinates in a proper manner.
(xii) Stability of Tenure of Personnel:
Every organisation should have a fair blend of experienced and inexperienced people. The incoming and outgoing of employees is to be restricted to the minimum level. The labour turnover ratio is to be maintained at the lowest possible percentage. Further, the employees should not be rotated at different jobs very frequently because considerable time is required to learn each job; this will affect the performance potential of employees.
Fayol is of the opinion that the subordinates should be given an opportunity to take some initiative in thinking out and execution of plans. Employees get satisfaction when they are allowed to take initiative. This will improve the morale of the employees and their performance will strengthen the organisation.
(xiv) Esprit De Corps:
This is a French word which means union is strength. This principle wants harmonious human relations in the organisation so that the employees are loyal to the organisation. Harmony promotes strength in the organisation, and this is achieved through effective written and verbal communication.
Fayol was a Universalist as he thought that his principles would be applicable to all types of situations and different organisations. Principles are to be modified to meet the requirements of situations. They are flexible and capable of adaptation to every need.
In spite of these aspects the principles are subjected to the following criticisms:
(a) They are unscientific and they over-estimate the rationality of people.
(b) They are more truism or common sense.
(c) They are based on false premises.
(d) They occur in pairs of contradictory statements with no guidance for the application in a given situation. These criticisms were leveled by Joseph and Massie.
They can be countered on the basis of the following observations of various authorities:
(i) These principles are not rigid laws and they may not be applicable fully in all situations. They are simply guide posts which facilitate the manager to take right decisions. They cannot be applied blindly and they are to be used carefully and discretely.
(ii) The universality of management principles and their modified application to a variety of institutions can never be denied.
(iii) The principles can be applied effectively by considering changes and requirements of the organisation.
(iv) Though there is contradiction between unity of command and specialisation the principles cannot be discarded completely. They could be used as guideposts which facilitate a manager to take right decisions.
Term Paper Topic # 4. Universality of Management:
The concepts and principles of management have universal application.
This universality has two connotations and they are as follows:
(a) Management principles can be applied to different kinds of organisations like clubs, hospitals, educational institutions, religious and political organisations.
(b) They are applicable in different economic systems of the world.
The Management experts and thinkers differ with reference to the universal application of concepts and principles. The authorities like Fayol, Taylor, James Lundy, Louis A. Allen, Dalton E. Macfarland advocate that management is universal. Authorities like Earnest Dale, Peter F. Drucker and John Woodward are not subscribing to this view. There are arguments for and against universality of management.
Arguments for Universality of Management:
(1) As a manager in any type of organisation one has to perform the functions of planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling. As a result they have to follow these principles irrespective of the nature of organisation and the level they occupy in an organisation.
(2) Differentiate between Fundamentals and Techniques:
Management fundamentals, Theory and principles are different from managerial techniques or approaches. The former has universal application. Techniques or approaches may vary from country to country but not the fundamentals or principles.
(3) Effective Use of Inputs is Common to All:
Organisations have different objectives but the problem of allocating scarce resources of men, material and money is the same for every organisation. The allocation is done on the basis of common principles, concepts and skills of management. So principles, concepts and skills are universal but only practices change.
Arguments against Universality of Management:
(1) Difference in Objectives:
Peter F. Drucker subscribes to this view.
According to him organisations are classified into two groups on the basis of objectives.
(a) Organisation with economic ends—Business organisation.
(b) Organisation with non-economic ends—clubs, hospitals, religious organisation of service nature—non-business organisation.
As the style of functioning of these organisations and their approach is different management can transfer only administrative and analytical skills, abilities and experience. The competence and the experience of management cannot be transferred and applied as their orientation will be different.
(2) Difference in Philosophies:
Difference in philosophies of organisation influence productivity, organisation structure, delegation of authority, communication pattern, span of supervision etc. The philosophies design the framework for functioning and the framework creates the environment. The environment conditions the functioning of the employees. No two business enterprises follow the same philosophy. So the difference in philosophies may affect the functioning of employees.
(3) Differences in Culture:
Management philosophy is culture based and not universally applicable. This was demonstrated by Gonzalez and Mc Millan who tried to examine the applicability of American management philosophy in Brazil. They observed that external environment forces affect the management philosophy.
Similarly Haire, Ghiselli and Porter observed that variations in managerial behaviour patterns were due to identifiable cultural differences. This they concluded after studying 3,600 managers from 14 countries.
The discussion on the universality of principles makes us to come to the following conclusions:
(a) It is obvious that principles, concepts and skills are universal, only practices change.
(b) Management is a must for all enterprises where there is organised human activity, irrespective of different philosophies pursued by them.
(c) Fundamentals of management remain the same though their applications to different situations differ.
(d) The management thinkers and writers use the terms management philosophy, managerial know-how, management theory, management principles, management practice have been used by the writers without adequate degree of preciseness.
Whatever may the arguments for and against it may be concluded that management principles are universal in nature.
Term Paper Topic # 5. Levels of Management:
The term “levels of management” refers to a line of demarcation between managerial positions in an organisation. With the increase in the size of the business and workforce the number of levels in an organisation increases. The increase in level is taken up to achieve effective supervision. Increase in levels of management may complicate co-ordination and communication. So care is to be taken in designing the levels of management. In management three levels are recognised by authorities.
(i) Top Management
(ii) Middle Management
(iii) Lower Level Management
(i) Top Management:
The Apex organisational tier or top most authority in an organisation is called top management. In a company, the Board of Directors is called as the top management.
The functions of the top management are:
(a) It lays down the objectives of the enterprise.
(b) It prepares strategic plans and policies of the enterprise.
(c) It appoints middle level executives.
(d) It co-ordinates the activities of various departments.
(e) It issues instructions for the preparation of departmental budgets, schedules, procedures etc.,
(f) It controls the performance of the organisation.
(g) It builds and maintains relations with outside public.
(ii) Middle Management:
This refers to the departmental Heads and divisional heads of the organisation.
This may be divided into:
(a) Upper middle management
(b) Middle level management.
The functions performed by this level are:
(i) Implements top management plans.
(ii) Co-ordinate the functioning of divisions.
(iii) Responsible for appointing people to the lower levels.
(iv) Give directions for the performance of lower levels.
(v) Control the functioning of lower management.
(vi) Prepare reports about the progress of their divisions.
(vii) Relieves top management from day to day management.
(viii) To develop leaders for the future
(ix) To develop team spirit among employees.
(iii) Lower Level Management:
This refers to those executives whose job is to oversee and direct operative employees. They are known as the first line supervisors.
The features of this level of management are:
(a) They are in direct contact with the operatives.
(b) Their functioning is focused on execution and control.
(c) They implement instructions given to them by the top management.
The functions performed by the lower level management are as follows:
(i) To plan and organise the activities of the group.
(ii) To arrange for men, materials and environment.
(iii) To provide training to workers.
(iv) To supervise and guide the performance of subordinates.
(v) To solve the problems of workers.
(vi) To communicate the problems of workers to the higher levels of management.
The discussion about the various levels of management forces us to arrive at the following points of inferences:
(a) The main difference between their functions in terms of management functions is the emphasis.
(b) The mix of planning and performance or thinking and doing varies according to the levels the employees occupy in the management.
(c) In the higher levels mix is in favour of more of thinking and doing and in the lower levels it is diametrically opposite to it.
The following diagram explains this point:
Term Paper Topic # 6. Challenges for the Management:
Management is an essential accompaniment of all organised activities. It is responsible for making the productive use of resources for the betterment of society. The term management also refers to the body of knowledge which enables to acquire the necessary skills to discharge their responsibilities effectively. This body of knowledge cannot remain stable for two reasons.
(1) It has grown with the development and changes that has taken place.
(2) Secondly, if it remains static, then it would have become obsolete.
So it should cope with changes taking place in social and cultural set-ups.
Change has been the order of the day. Many changes have taken place in social, technological, political and other aspects of human life. The changes create challenges and opportunities for managers. They will be successful only when they are capable of meeting the challenges.
The challenges will have a considerable impact on the theory and practice of management. They also call for the latest information and new skills for managers. Those who prepare themselves for the challenges will find many opportunities for growth and expansion of their business.
The human life has undergone a phenomenal growth in various walks of life. To a greater extent an increasing proportion of human activities are influenced by organisations. The changes in the outside world influences organisations as well. So also the management concepts and practices, organisational structure and behaviour have responded to these changes.
The prime areas which create challenges for the management are:
(i) Social Environment
(ii) Economic Environment
(iii) Technological Environment
(iv) Political environment
(v) Changes in international environment.
(i) Social Environment:
The important changes in social environment are:
(a) Population explosion,
(b) Education, Public opinion and
(c) Leisure Time.
(a) Population Explosion:
The global population is on the increase. The increasing population requires employment opportunities, infra-structure development, better living conditions, new methods of productions and distribution. Further, the sex ratio in population, the mix or the composition of the age group also plays an important role. If the majority of the population consists more of old people or more of children, then burden of the working population becomes very heavy.
Every Government wants to improve the literacy rate and expects its citizens to be educated. The increase in the level of education will make people to think and reactions will be very quick and their expectations about the quality will go up. So educated consumers may make the job of future managers tough.
(c) Leisure Time:
Due to automation, and reduced working hours people may get some leisure time. So they want to plan and spend it. This results in development of tourism and entertainment. This results in increase in employment opportunities.
(d) Public Opinion:
Public opinion about business may change the attitude of future managers. The public opinion is influenced by values of society, globalization, international competition, the degree of government interference in business, consumerism etc. So the opinion will change quickly and to a greater degree due to change in any of these factors.
(ii) Economic Environment:
Changes in Economic environment can take place due to the following reasons:
(a) Resource handling and resource exploitation may result in lot of changes. This is witnessed by humanity in various countries. Examples: Industrial Revolution in U.K., oil exploration in gulf countries.
(b) International competition has influenced the economic environment to a greater extent. It may influence complexion of the existence business organisations.
(c) The economic policies of the governments of different countries in the context of international competition may influence the economic environment.
(iii) Technological Environment:
Changes in technology will definitely affect the existing scenario. This was proved beyond doubt in many countries.
The existing trends in information technology. Changes in technology may affect the management in terms of heavy investment, understanding the changes, its application and its impact on market. All business organisations are busily engaged in technological forecasting. The areas where the changes may centre a round are automation and information technology.
Automation has revolutionized the industry.
The introduction of robots in industry has created a feeling of insecurity in the minds of workers. Automation has resulted in jobs getting routinsed and under-challenging.. The combination of automation and the introduction of may result in employees will set up production systems, give instruction to robots to run the system under computerised control.
Information Technology will be used for the following purposes:
(a) To collect and process data.
(b) Computers will be used for quantitative techniques to management problems.
(c) Higher order simulation thinking through computer programmes will take place.
(d) In future, improved and innovative information technology will rule the roost. Though the forecasting of the changes may not be correct but one thing is certain that the changes may be difficult to accept but will revolutionize the existing set-up. The future managers must be dynamic to meet this challenge. The point to be remembered is that the technological changes may overlap with social changes and affect the organisational relationships.
(iv) Political Environment:
In the political arena changes will occur due to the following reasons:
(a) Managements have to face Government interference in business with object of protecting the interest of consumers, employees and society at large.
(b) Government’s participation in business either directly or joint ventures may pose problems for management.
(c) Financial institutions which advance funds will take active part in the policy formulation of the various business organisations.
(v) Changes in International Environment:
There will be increase in international trade. Globalisation of economics may lead to new economic order due to the instructions of I.M.F. and World Bank.
The growth of multinational organisations will take place due to the following reasons:
(a) Transfer of technical know-how.
(b) Advantages of availability of labour and material in specified locations.
(c) Development of transport and communication.
(d) Management of organisations in different countries may become difficult due to differences in cultural patterns.
(e) Future managers may face problems in transfer of managerial know- how.
Changes in the Environment:
The impact of these changes in the various environments may result in the following:
(a) Complexity of Decisions:
The decision making process will become more complicated. The main reason for its complication is the availability of more and better information due to the use of computerized information system. Though this may facilitate future managers to have much better pictures of problems, their merits and demerits but identification of clear cut best solution may be more difficult. This is due to the complexity of the environment.
Secondly, complexity of decisions is caused by the growing number of groups both inside and outside the organisation which they feel that they have a stake in decision making process. So future managers are to take into consideration the interest of the various groups like consumer lobbies, community representatives and their pressures in decision making. So this complicates the decisions further.
(b) Management Education:
The future managers will have to continuously renew themselves. The degree of professionalization in management will increase. To renew and update their knowledge future managers have to attend orientation programmes and the organisation should grant them periodic leave for this purpose. The future managers will also be required to be a behavioural scientist so as to deal with human resources effectively.
(c) Changes in Organisation:
The changes in the environment may affect the organisation and the role of managers. The growth in size and complexity of organisations may change the traditional organisation structures. The control and co-ordination may become difficult due to increase in international trade and the concept of globalisation.