Personal Website of R.Kannan
|Home||Table of Contents||Feedback|
Management is a vast subject that branches into several sub-categories, like "business management", "Organization Management", "Management of Hospitals", "Management of Educational Institutions" etc. Men have learnt management, when they grouped themselves into society and thence into a State to protect and regulate their mutual interests. This has been possible on account of emergence of "leadership" amongst the group and the ability of such "leader" to organize others into obeying what all was needed for their common good. The group's mission and objectives were defined. Codes of ethics and behaviour and responsibility for specific tasks were then assigned to the individuals of the group. Men learnt to manage the institutions of the State, like the "army", revenue collection, the judiciary", "municipal or civic administration" etc. All these systems incorporate essentials of good management.
'ABC of Management' is introducing "management" as a subject for study to those who are not new to the process of "management", but to the academic subject of management. It aims to familiarise you with the various concepts covered in the art and science of modern management, which has grown now into a vast subject covering a wide field of knowledge.
Peter Drucker has stated aptly that "the achievement of business management enables us to promise the abolition of the grinding poverty that has been mankind's lot through ages". This is significantly relevant to conditions in our country. Our country is endowed with huge natural resources and talented technical personnel. But we are still a developing country and large sections of our population live in abject poverty and illiteracy. Amongst the many causes responsible for this state of affairs is the poor management of social, business and other enterprises of our country. Many of our shortcomings and drawbacks will disappear, if we sharpen our management techniques and train efficient, dedicated managers to run our institutions and organizations.
We are all quite familiar with the word "manage" and "management". The literary meanings ascribed to the word "manage" are
We know that to manage "something" is to look after its interest; exercise some kind of "control" over the "something" that is being managed, and in the process of such "managing" achieve with due effort some good results, that were aimed in relation to the "something" that is being managed.
When this is known, we can proceed and say, the connected terms
Similarly different literary meanings ascribed to the word "management" are
The word "management" refers to act of "managing something" and also the "persons who are in control and direct the managing process. Here we will consider the act of managing. The act of managing has to be with reference to some business, or enterprise etc. which we identified as the "managed entity". Further the act of managing has to be towards some defined standards or purpose. We identify this as the "management objectives" or the "goals of the business".
Obviously we cannot identify several functions we carry out for the personal satisfaction of our felt needs and personal interest as implying "management". These are done by instinct and self-will . Though we have total control on our selves, if we identify these actions of ours, as "management", we will be integrating the "manager" with the "managed entity". The "manager" and the "managed entity" should be distinct and cannot be the same.
There is however an exception to this observation. While normally several functions that we do on account of our instinct or natural urge do not fall under the substance or meaning of management, but when we start to analyse these functions and through observation and experiment try to optimise results with minimum effort, we enter into the field of management. Thus we may define "time management", when we search for and find ways of achieving more results in smaller units of time, and thus maximise our output per day, or per week etc. Similarly human memory is a gift of nature provided to each individual. But memory has limitations. When we start analysing the systems or behaviour of human memory and experiment and find, how we can optimise on this resource, we come to "Memory Management". Time and Memory are resources endowed to us and we come to deem them as external objects and try to "manage" their best utilisation.
Similarly when we render some personal service to others based on the possession of a specific skill and specialisation that we hold, like a doctor extending medical advice or a chartered accountant extending some advice about investing the savings of another individual, these are merely providing ad-hoc service and do not fall under the definition of management. The individuals, who seek such service take the initiative and approach the "service-provider" and the "service provider" responds, but has no control over the individuals to whom they provide service. The service that is being provided may be a one-time transaction or one-function transaction, while management function carries comprehensive responsibilities and control or access over the resources of the "entity managed", with power to use/utilize the same.
Having covered a good ground in understandings the ABC of management and the function "to manage", we may proceed to define 'management' in more concrete terms. We saw earlier that the word 'Management' is referred in our day-to-day usage to the people at the top, who lay down policies and plan future? It also refers to the functions carried out by managers at various levels. Management mainly consists of two things. One is accomplishment of certain tasks and second is the efforts of the people.
Most of the definitions of Management are based on the functions of Management. Obviously Management is what Management should do or what it actually does. Definitions of Management by some of the leading writers on the subject are as under:
So many definitions replete with management jargons will be confusing to you. You need not memorise these definitions. All these definitions deal with the principles and functions of management. It is these principles and functions that are important and which you must understand.
Management theory is a systematic grouping of inter-dependent concepts and principles, which give framework to knowledge. Management concepts are mental images formed by generalizations based on observation of particular instances of the same kind. Facts in day to day life of the manager within the organization are observed, classified, analysed for casual relationship, tested for accuracy, and if found reliable and true are used as principles to predict results in future, for similar or near similar circumstances.
The field of management theory provides means for classifying knowledge. The principles of management are used to give guidelines for designing an organisational structure.
The above definitions broadly bring out the basic functions of Management, which are Objective setting, Planning, organising, communicating controlling and coordinating etc.
Having understood the broad parameters of management, we will proceed to identify "Management Functions" and later "Management Principles" in the following chapters.