management definition

Management: Definition, Features, Principles, Functions, and Importance

What is Management?

Management is the process of getting things done through others with the help of some basic activities like planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling to achieve the desired goals and objectives. It is the basis for every organization. An organization can not run for a long time if its all devices are not suitably managed.

In other words, management is the act of harmonizing the 5Ms men, money, materials, machines, and methods towards the achievement of desired goals and objectives.

Let’s get into it,

Many businesses fail in the first few years of operation. In almost all these cases managerial incompetence and inexperience are the causes of the failure. The cost of poor management is great to individuals and the nation’s economic stability. Not only are financial and physical resources wasted when a business fails, but individuals also suffer from psychological damage. Clearly, business failure can be avoided through good management practices, a reason why management is a subject of increasing importance.

The national economy comprises both small and large organizations. In these organizations, people work together to accomplish goals that are too complex or large in number to be achieved by a single individual. Throughout life, people have to contact a variety of organizations such as hospitals, banks, schools, businesses, colleges, universities, and many government agencies. The most significant factor determining the quality of performance and success of such organizations is the success of its management.

Why are some managers successful, and others are not? This question requires a complete answer, we should examine a variety of factors that influence managerial success. We may simply say that successful managers are those who can carry out effectively the basic functions of management (planning, organizing, staffing, coordination, and controlling). We should also note that successful managers foster the cooperation and goodwill of others inside and outside the organization.

what is management

All activities performed by a manager to get things done through others are known as management. Also, management is to manage human and other resources tactfully for the achievement of organizational goals. People associated with an organization should coordinate and support each other to devote their efforts to achieving organizational goals.

Definitions:

  • Koontz O Donnel – Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organized groups.
  • Harold Koontz & Heinz Weihrich – Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together, in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims.
  • George R. Terry & Stephen G. Franklin – Management is a distinct process consisting of activities of planning, organizing, actuating, and controlling performed to determine and accomplish stated objectives with the use of human beings and other resources.
  • Ivancevich, Donnely, and Gibson – Management is the process undertaken by one or more persons to coordinate the activities of the persons to achieve results not attainable by anyone person acting alone.

All scholars share a common idea, management is concerned with the accomplishment of the organizational objectives through the efforts of other people. Thus, management can be defined as the process of planning, organizing, influencing/directing, and controlling to accomplish organizational goals through the coordinated use of human and other resources.

Features/Characteristics of Management

The significant characteristics/features of management are as follows:

management features and characteristics

Management is Goal Oriented

Every firm is built for a distinct objective. Management is an instrument or system that contributes to the efficient use of human and other resources to achieve predetermined objectives. Its main objective of it is to maximize productivity with optimum use of human effort.

Management is Universal Activity

It is essential where there is human activity. It is necessary for all types of organizations. The process of management may be different from organization to organization and place to place but its basic principles of it are the same. Thus, it can be said that management principles are universally applicable.

Continuous Process

It is a continuous process up to the existence and functioning of the organization. A manager has to manage every activity of the organization effectively to perform best in the present and future.

Social Process

It is a part of the social process. Management achieves its objectives by, with, and through the people. It employs human resources for the attainment of the organization’s defined goals. It has to consider not only the organizational objectives but also the social objectives. It ought to fulfill the necessities of employees within the organizational supplies.

Dynamic/Modifiable Activity

It is a dynamic and continuous process. A management system of today may not be applicable or effective for tomorrow. Therefore, it must be dynamic and flexible with the changing environment of society. It has to modify its styles according to time and situation. This flexibility is essential for an organization to adjust to the changing environment of business.

Group Activity

The concept of management is not relevant when there is solely one person or titleholder. It signifies a team, class, or section of people associated with multiple managerial duties. It is essential if there is a group of people involved in performing any activity to achieve common goals. It defines the authority, responsibility, and procedures to perform specific work.

Distinct Process

It is a process that involves various types of functions. Every function of management is connected with another. It clearly defines the specific process of work to achieve predetermined goals. It does not consider the trial and error approach.

Both Science and Art

Science is a systemized body of knowledge, principle, or truth that is experimentally proved. Similarly, art is the personal skill and ability to apply scientific principles.

Management is both science and art. It is a science because it is based on some basic principles of universal application. It is also an art because skill and ability are required for performing managerial functions.

A Profession

The profession involves a specific type of work, followed by special knowledge and education. With the development of joint-stock companies and multinational companies, ownership and administration have been different. Management of huge organizations is entrusted to the hands of professionals having specific skills and knowledge.

Multi-Disciplinary in Nature

It is multi-disciplinary in nature. Many of the principles and techniques used in management are borrowed from several disciplines like psychology, sociology, economics, and mathematics.

Functions of Management

So far we understand what management is and its characteristics. Its basic functions include planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling which are basically directed to the achievement of desired objectives.

Planning

Planning is the first and foremost important function of management which is about deciding now as to what to do in the future to achieve the set goals. Every managers’ task is to make the most effective plan so that its objectives can be achieved in the easiest and most cost-efficient way.

It is found that the more effective the planning is done, the more fruitful results it will bring in the future. For making a better organizational plan, a manager can step in a series of steps that starts with setting goals, selecting the best one from available alternatives, and implementing it.

Organizing

As is already mentioned, it is the function to manage men, money, materials, machines, and methods they should be organized in proper form. Proper organizing of these factors makes people in the organization perform well.

If an employee is capable to do well and has no authority, he should be given sufficient authority to make it real, however, the manager should ensure the proper balance between authority and responsibility. Resources should be allocated to the employee with respect to their knowledge and skills, and so forth.

Staffing

Just imagine how well will you work when you are given the task of an accountant when actually you are a marketing professional. The answer is, certainly not good.

Staffing is the just opposite it, it is giving a person a job that best his/her skills, knowledge, experience, and competencies. It is placing the right person in the right job so that the person could bring the best results.

Directing

All the people of the organization may not have a good knowledge base of how-to. So, here the manager’s task is to guide them, and instruct them so that they can devote their effort to the realization of desired goals – that is directing.

Directing is a complex task since everyone differs in knowledge and other personal attributes. To make it effective, it further has its functions, they are:

Controlling

So far the above-mentioned management functions are about setting organizational objectives and assigning them to employees. During the implementation period, different factors such as organizational resources, structure, market condition, competition, and emerging situations affect the achievement of that objectives.

Here, controlling means overseeing the actual performance, finding if it has met the standard (expected) and if not taking corrective action to again seek to achieve desired goals and objectives.

Principles of Management

Principles of management are the basic rules and philosophy that every manager has to know and apply their concept in organizational success. It is found that successful all managers have depth knowledge of these principles.

In fact, these are Henry Fayol’s principles, which are universally accepted and can also be modified when needed to. They are:

Division of Work: This principle suggests that every employee should have a specific task to do so that he/she can give the best productivity.

Authority and Responsibility: It ensures employees should have sufficient authority to fulfill the responsibility, not too much or few, and so the responsibility.

Learn More: Get Full Guide On These Principles

Discipline: Discipline is the core value of all success. It is being disciplined in own self and with the organizational culture.

Unity of Command: By this, an employee should have a provision to get orders from a single manager at a time.

Unity of Direction: Here, unity of direction means all members of the team should have the same goal and are only directed by a single boss.

Subordination of Individual Interest To General Interest: Focusing on the group’s interest over a single employee for long-term goal achievement.

Remuneration: All the employees of the organization should be paid reasonable and fair rewards for their contributions.

Centralization and Decentralization: The concept of both centralization and decentralization should be implemented in the organization when needed.

Scalar Chain: It is the line of authority either from the bottom-up or top-to-bottom, which is unchanged.

Order: All the instruments of the organization should be ordered in proper form, whether it is materials or people.

Equity: Every employee of the organization should have the right to be equally treated and respected.

Stability of Tenure of Personnel: At the core of this principle, the manager should make-believe his employees that their job is secure.

Initiative: The manager should let the employees take their own initiative while doing the job.

Espirit De Corps: At the core of this principle is that “Union is Strength” and “Team Spirit“.

Why Management is Important?

Every successful organization has one thing in common which is effective management. Effective management of people, resources, methods, setting effective plans, effective direction, proper coordination, encouraging leadership, controlling, and so forth.

It is the foundation of organizational success. Its functions, and principles best work when they are coordinated well with the organizational goals and objectives. Last but not least, management is the core function of every organization and its importance is never seen ignored.

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