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Definition, Nature and Scope of Management

Management is regarded as the most important of all human activities. It may be called the practice of consciously and continually shaping organizations. Every organization has people who are entrusted with the responsibility of helping the organization achieve its goals. Those people are called managers. No organization can carry on its business without management, which is in turn supervised by managers.

Managing is essential to ensure the coordination of individual efforts within an organization. It is exciting because it deals with setting, seeking, and reaching the objectives of an organization. Every one of us is a manager and the practice of management is found in every facet of human endeavor educational institutions, businesses, government or non-government organizations, associations, mosques, and families. Whatever may be the type of endeavor and organization, the managerial hurdles to overcome for setting and achieving objectives are surprisingly similar for all organizations.

Management is a group effort to realize the organizationís policy objectives under the leadership of the manager.

Management is universal. Every group effort requires setting objectives, making plans, handling people, coordinating and controlling activities, achieving goals, and evaluating performance directed toward organizational goals. These activities relate to the utilization of four types of input or resources from the environment ? human, monetary, physical, and informational. Human resources include managerial talent, labor, and so forth. Monetary resources are the financial capital the organization uses to finance both ongoing and long-term operations. Physical resources include raw materials, office, and production facilities and equipment. Information resources are data and other kinds of information utilized by the organization. The job of the manager is to combine and coordinate these resources to achieve the organizationís goals.

Managerial work harnesses and coordinates four types of resources: human, monetary, physical, and informational. All popular definitions of management emphasize the achievement of organizational goals through the maximum use of the organizationís resources with minimum waste

Definition of Management

Management has been defined by various authors/authorities in various ways. So, the definitions of management are numerous. Most of them have merit and highlight important aspects of management. A few often-quoted definitions are:

"The process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the work of organization members and of using all available organizational resources to reach stated organizational goals".

"Management is a distinct process consisting of activities of planning, actuating, and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish stated objectives with the use of human beings and other resources".

"Management is the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling an organizationís human, financial, physical, and information resources to achieve organizational goals efficiently and effectively".

All these three definitions emphasize the attainment of organizational goals/objectives through the deployment of the management process (planning, organizing directing, etc.) for the best use of the organizationís resources.

Many of us are apt to define management as ďgetting things done through other people efficiently.Ē The term efficient means systematically doing things without waste. From this perspective of managerial efficiency, the most widely acceptable definition of management could be the act of "designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims".

At this stage, we need to understand who a manager is. In simple words, manager is a person who is responsible for directing the efforts aimed at helping organizations achieve their goals.

Nature and Scope of Management

The term management is very comprehensive. Its use is widespread and no organized effort can be successful without proper management. As a result, some form of management is found to exist in every type of human organization.

Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences states that there are three dimensions of the nature of management: (i) Methods, through which some pre-determined objectives can be reached, (ii) the combined effect of human efforts and (iii)  total of all those managers, and employees who are associated with these efforts. Joseph A. Lister has identified the nature of management as the co-ordination of (i) transformation, i.e., turning some factors and elements into products, (ii) a social system, which satisfies employees' needs through motivation, communication, and leadership, (iii) administrative system, through which the activities of the employees are controlled.

  • In a nutshell, the nature of management can be stated as follows: Management is a system comprising planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.
  • Elements of production of an organization such as labor, capital, land, equipment, etc. are used efficiently and effectively through management for achieving organizational goals.
  • Management applies to any organization.
  • Management identifies a special group of people whose job is to direct the effort and activities of other people towards common objectives.
  • It applies to managers engaged at all levels of the organization.
  • Management is gradually turning towards professionalization.
  • Management has to pay attention to fulfilling the objectives of the interested parties.
  • It has to render social responsibilities.
  • Management is both science and art.
  • all managers aim to create a surplus.
  • Managing is concerned with productivity, thereby implying efficiency and effectiveness.
The concept of management has broadened in scope with the introduction of new perspectives by different fields of study, such as economics, sociology, psychology, and the like. The study of management has evolved into more than just the use of means to achieve ends; today it includes moral and ethical questions concerning the selection of the right ends towards which managers should strive.

The perspectives of other disciplines have extended both the concept and scope of management to include socioeconomic and psychological points of view in the general definition of management.

Harbison and Myers offered a classic threefold concept of management for emphasizing a broader scope for the viewpoint of management. They observe management as (1) an economic resource, (2) a system of authority, and (3) a class and status system.

(1) As viewed by the economist, management is one of the factors of production together with land, labor, and capital. As the industrialization of a nation increases, the need for management becomes greater. The managerial resources of a firm determine, in large measure, its productivity and profitability. Executive development, therefore, is more important for those firms in a dynamic industry in which progress is rapid.

From an economic viewpoint, management is a factor of production. The administrative and organizational angle regards it as systemic, while the sociologist would like to view it in hierarchical terms.

(2) a specialist in administration and organization views management as a system of authority. Historically, management first developed an authoritarian philosophy. Later on, it turned paternalistic. Still later, constitutional management emerged, characterized by a concern for consistent policies and procedures for dealing with the working group. Finally, the trend of management turned towards a democratic and participatory approach. Modern management is nothing but a synthesis of these four approaches to authority.

(3) As viewed by a sociologist, management is a class-and-status system. The increase in the complexity of relationships in modern society demands that managers become an elite of brains and education. Entry into this class of executives is becoming more and more dependent on excellence in education and knowledge rather than family or political connections. Some scholars view this development as a "Managerial Revolution".


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2024-07-09 20:10:43
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