Concept and Meaning of Management
The roots of management could be traced back to human civilization. When humans started living in communities, some form of management existed. In today’s 21st Century world, management plays a significant role in the development of every organization and every area we can conceive. Managers in the 21st century are encountering extremely significant challenges in their process of management in an organization such as hiring and keeping the right employee, building a strategic mindset, crafting an innovative culture and organization, developing system thinking and also getting rid of short term mentality and the list goes on. Management is an activity which everyone undertakes to some extent as they manage their daily lives. It is also an activity which shapes the performance of organizations.
In simple terms, management is what managers do. It includes working with different resources such as human, financial, physical and information; and achieve the organizational goals effectively and efficiently. Management is the art of getting things done through people in formally organized groups. Management can thus be defined as the art or skill of directing human activities, utilizing physical/financial/information resources in the attainment of predetermined goals. The ability to manage is an attribute quite apart from technical skills. A manager can take technical advice from functional experts, consider the information given by them, and come to a conclusion that results in management decision.
The term management has been defined in several ways. Different authors have given different definitions of management. Different definitions indicate a difference in the author’s emphasis and approach. Some authors define it as a function, others conceive it as a matter of policy and strategy, and yet others view it as discipline.
Nearly a century ago, Frederick Winslow (F.W.) Taylor, father of scientific management defined management as “knowing exactly what you want (people) to do, and seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way.” By saying so, he meant that management is the art or skill of making people work well. Taylor focused on making employees understand what to do and then organizing them to do so.
In the words of George R. Terry, “Management is a distinct process consisting of planning, organizing, activating and controlling performed to determine and accomplish the objectives by the use of people and resources.” If we give our attention towards the definition, we find that Terry perceives management as a process or a systematic way of doing things. The four management activities are included under the process and they are planning, organizing, activating and controlling.
According to Peter F. Drucker, “Management is a multipurpose organ that manages a business and manages managers and manages workers and work.”
According to John D. Rockfeller, “Management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”
American Marketing Association says, “Management is guiding human and physical resources into dynamic organizational units which attain their objectives to the satisfaction of those served within a high degree of moral and sense of attainment on the part of those rendering services.”
Therefore, it can be concluded that management is the process of working with and through other people to effectively achieve organizational objectives by efficiently using scarce resources in the changing environment. Management consists of those activities (planning, organizing, directing and controlling), which are performed by managers in attaining the predetermined objectives of the business. Thus, management, as such is a process, an activity, a discipline and as an effort to coordination, control and direct individual and group efforts towards the desired goal of the business.