MEANING AND DEFINITION OF MANAGEMENT IGNOU MMPC 001 Notes, It is not an exaggeration to state that everyone is a manager in some measure or the other in our daily lives. People confront different situations/contexts forcing them to manage the otherwise messy situations in a planned and organized way so as to achieve the goals. The levels, however, vary depending on the actors and actions. Thus, management could be understood as an activity with a goal accomplishment and results orientation.Since an organization is imbedded with groups of people working together towards an objective, management is characterized by the interaction with others in the accomplishment of the task.


It is in this context that Mary Parker Folletthas defined “management as the art of getting things done through the efforts of others”. Although this definition relates to the accomplishment of the task and the people dimension, it has been elaborated further by Herald Koontz and O’Donnel, when they brought the organized group into the definition. According to them, “management is the process of getting things done though the organized group efforts”. The people dimension has been the focus of Harold Koontz, when they said “Management means Manage Men tactfully” to label itManage/Men/T

As the meaning and definition evolved, the focus on the process gained importance. F W Taylor defined management “as the art of knowing what you want to do in the best and cheapest way”In spite of various definitions, the dynamic nature of management makes it difficult to have a universally accepted definition encompassing all its dimensions in its entirety. In summary, the essence of management revolves around managing people and other resources in an organization both internal and external, leading to the achievement of the objectives of the organization. The meaning could be better understood by examining the nature of management.

A debate continued for quite long on what exactly is the nature of management. One school of thought argues that management is a science, which the other school of thought disagrees and views as an art. Science represents a systematic body of knowledge with underlying principles that have universal application. Scientific procedure depends on reliability and validity based on experimentation and generalization. One of the principles of science also is to explain the cause and effect phenomenon with disciplined imagination. Appling these principles, management over the years has developed certain principles, laws, theories and generalizations which could be applied universally in a variety of organizations. Luther Gullick argues that management has a body of knowledge with underlying principles and is in the process of being called a science. He also contended that the interrelationship in the business scenario was being scientifically and systematically explained with emerging theories tested and proven and improved by logic and the facts on the ground.Scientific management proposed by F W Taylor was termed as scientific management, which is proof enough for the status of a science based on a numbers of experiments
on the human beings on the shop floor using management techniques. As the field does not enjoy the status of an exact science in the nature of pure sciences like physics, chemistry etc., some argue it as an inexact science.

Management deals with human beings and hence it is difficult to verify and predict the complex human behavior. The dynamic nature of management, complicates it all the more in terms of verifiability, reliability, predictability and generalization. Further, management has to account for the contextual variation, which also makes a difficult to prove the exactness of a science. However, the scientific procedure, systematic analysis and methodological rigor used in management research along with advanced tools and techniques provides the field the much needed status to the discipline. Research in the allied areas like mathematics, statistics, Psychology have added the scientific fervor to the discipline. MEANING AND DEFINITION OF MANAGEMENT IGNOU MMPC 001 Notes

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