Business Studies Part I
Business Studies Part II

Nature of Management

MANAGEMENT AS AN ART:

Art is the skillful and personal application of existing knowledge to achieve desired results. It can be acquired through study, observation and experience.

The basic features of an art are as follows:

  • Existence of theoretical knowledge: Art presupposes the existence of certain theoretical knowledge. Experts in their respective areas have derived certain basic principles which are applicable to a particular form of art. For example, literature on dancing, public speaking, acting or music is widely recognised.
  • Personalised application: The use of this basic knowledge varies from individual to individual. Art, therefore, is a very personalised concept. For example, two dancers, two speakers, two actors, or two writers will always differ in demonstrating their art.
  • Based on practice and creativity: All art is practical. Art involves the creative practice of existing theoretical knowledge. We know that all music is based on seven basic notes.

MANAGEMENT AS A SCIENCE:

Science is a systematised body of knowledge that explains certain general truths or the operation of general laws. The basic features of science are as follows:

  • Systematised body of knowledge: Science is a systematic body of knowledge. Its principles are based on a cause and effect relationship. For example, the phenomenon of an apple falling from a tree towards the ground is explained by the law of gravity.
  • Principles based on experimentation: Scientific principles are first developed through observation and then tested through repeated experimentation under controlled conditions.
  • Universal validity: Scientific principles have universal validity and application.

MANAGEMENT AS A PROFESSION:

A profession has the following characteristics:

  • Well-defined body of knowledge: All professions are based on a well-defined body of knowledge that can be acquired through instruction.
  • Restricted entry: The entry to a profession is restricted through an examination or through acquiring an educational degree. For example, to become a chartered accountant in India a candidate has to clear a specified examination conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
  • Professional association: All professions are affiliated to a professional association which regulates entry, grants certificate of practice and formulates and enforces a code of conduct. To be able to practice in India lawyers have to become members of the Bar Council which regulates and controls their activities.
  • Ethical code of conduct: All professions are bound by a code of conduct which guides the behaviour.

In the above case, management is being considered as an art.
Art is the skillful and personal application of existing knowledge to achieve desired results. The evaluation of management as an art is given below:

  1. Existence of theoretical knowledge: Art presupposes the existence of certain knowledge. Management fulfills this criterion as there exist a number of theories and principles on management which have been formulated by various management experts.
  2. Personalised applications: Art is a personalised concept. Management fulfills this criterion as a good manager works through a combination of his own experience, creativity, imagination, initiative and innovation to carry out the assigned work.
  3. Based on practice and creativity: All art is practical. Management fulfills this criterion as a person becomes a better manager with constant practice and experience. This also leads to emergence of different styles of management.
  1. Dharam considers management as a discipline because there exist a number of theories and principles on management which have been formulated by various management experts. It is taught in various schools and colleges, all over the world, as a separate subject of study.
  2. Management is not considered to be a full-fledged profession because of the following reasons:
    • Restricted entry. Unlike management, the entry to the other professions is restricted through an examination or eligibility criteria like specific percentage in a particular degree or diploma. However, management as profession does not fulfill this criterion as anyone can be called a manager regardless of his/her academic qualifications.
    • Professional association: Unlike managers, all working professionals have to be a member of an affiliated professional association which regulates their entry, grants certificate of practice and formulates and enforces code of conduct. For example,the practicing lawyers have to be a member of Bar Council of India, the practicing doctors should have membership of All India Medical Association etc. However, in case of management, although there exist several management associations like the AIMA (All India Management Association), neither does it have any statutory backing nor is it mandatory for the practicing managers to a member of such associations.