Management is an Art or Science


Management-a Science or Art

Managing, like so many other disciplines—medicine, music composition, engineering, accountancy, or even baseball—is in large measure an art but founded on a wealth of science. It is making decisions on the basis of business realities.

Yet managers can work better by applying the organized knowledge about management that has accrued over the decades. It is this knowledge, whether crude or advanced, whether exact or inexact, that, to the extent it is well organized, clear, and pertinent, constitutes a science. Thus, managing as practiced is an art; the organized knowledge underlying the practice may be referred to as a science.

In this context science and art are not mutually exclusive but are complementary.

As science improves so should the application of this science (the art) as has happened in the physical and biological sciences. This is true because the many

variables with which managers deal are extremely complex and intangible. But such management knowledge as is available can certainly improve managerial practice.

Physicians without the advantage of science would be little more than witch doctors. Executives who attempt to manage without such management science must trust to luck, intuition, or to past experiences. In managing, as in any other field, unless practitioners are to learn by trial and error (and it has been said that managers’ errors are their subordinates’ trials), there is no place they can turn for meaningful guidance other than the accumulated knowledge underlying their practice.


Management is an Art as well as Science

Theory combined with practical application makes management a special body or entity backed up by ethical considerations and influenced by social obligations.

 ” Dhirubhai Ambani was very popular for completing tasks in lightning speed. This was possible only because he had able administrators who shared the same kind of wavelength. “


1. Management as a continuous process:

Management can be considered as a process because it consists of planning, organizing, activating and controlling the resources (personnel and capital) of an organization. So they are used to the best advantage in achieving the objectives of the organization.

None of the managerial functions would produce the ultimate results in the absence of all other basic functions. Hence we can say that management is a continuous process.

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 practitioners of the managerial process.

3. Management as a career:

As a career or occupation, management is a broad concept- Management itself can be regarded as a career, but it also presents 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 uses 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:

Management has the task of attaining certain objectives. The success or failure of the management depends on how far it is able to attain the desired goals. It is judged by the extent to which it achieves its targets.

7. Guidance:

The main task of the management is guidance in the utilization of material and human resources in the best possible way. Through optimum utilization of resources it has to ensure that the objectives are attained. 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:

Management is the factor which activates other factors of production. A manager’s skill lies in motivating his workers through guidance, training, incentives, rewards, status, security, control, etc. So a mangers’ ability lies in the fact that he is able to motivate others to apply their skill to the best advantage of the enterprise in the accomplishment of its objectives.

10. Management is a human activity:

Management functions are discharged only by individuals. No corporate body or an artificial being can perform the work of a management. Although it is an activity which may be performed by an individual it cannot be seen. It can only be felt.

11. Management signifies authority:

Since the essence of management is to direct, guide and control, it has to have authority. Authority is the power to compel others to work and behave in a particular manner. Management cannot discharge its function without authority. It is the foundation of management. Since management has 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.

scope of management -VS










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