management definition

Management: Definition, Features, Principles, Functions Made Simple

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 understand through,

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 achieve organizational goals.


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. The 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 the 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 in 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 are directed to achieve the desired goals. The major functions are:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Staffing
  • Directing
  • Controlling
  • Supervision
  • Motivation
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Coordination

Follow this link to know how these functions ad to the success of individuals and organizations.


The 14 principles of management are universally accepted principles that are applicable in every area. The principles are:

  1. Division of Work
  2. Authority and Responsibility
  3. Discipline
  4. Unity of Command
  5. Unity of Direction
  6. Subordination of Individual Interest
  7. Remuneration
  8. The Degree of Centralization
  9. Scalar Chain
  10. Order
  11. Equity
  12. Stability of Tenure of Personnel
  13. Initiative
  14. Esprit de Corps

Get a detailed explanation of these principles here.

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