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Principles of Management

by Surya Raj
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Surya Raj
Surya Raj
What is Management? Management is a universal phenomenon. It is a very popular and widely used term. All organizations - business, political, cultural or social are involved in management because it is the management which helps and directs the various efforts towards a definite purpose. According to Harold Koontz, “Management is an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups. It is an art of creating an environment in which people can perform and individuals can co-operate towards attainment of group goals”. According to F.W. Taylor, “Management is an art of knowing what to do, when to do and see that it is done in the best and cheapest way”. Management is a purposive activity. It is something that directs group efforts towards the attainment of certain pre - determined goals. It is the process of working with and through others to effectively achieve the goals of the organization, by efficiently using limited resources in the changing world. Of course, these goals may vary from one enterprise to another. E.g.: For one enterprise it may be launching of new products by conducting market surveys and for other it may be profit maximization by minimizing cost. Management involves creating an internal environment: - It is the management which puts into use the various factors of production. Therefore, it is the responsibility of management to create such conditions which are conducive to maximum efforts so that people are able to perform their task efficiently and effectively. It includes ensuring availability of raw materials, determination of wages and salaries, formulation of rules & regulations etc. Therefore, we can say that good management includes both being effective and efficient. Being effective means doing the appropriate task. Being efficient means doing the task correctly, at least possible cost with minimum wastage of resources. Management can be defined in detail in following categories: Management as a Process: As a process, management refers to a series of inter - related functions. It is the process by which management creates, operates and directs purposive organization through systematic, coordinated and co-operated human efforts. As a process, management consists of three aspects: 1. Management is a social process - Since human factor is most important among the other factors, therefore management is concerned with developing relationship among people. It is the duty of management to make interaction between people - productive and useful for obtaining organizational goals. 2. Management is an integrating process - Management undertakes the job of bringing together human physical and financial resources so as to achieve organizational purpose. Therefore, is an important function to bring harmony between various factors. 3. Management is a continuous process - It is a never ending process. It is concerned with constantly identifying the problem and solving them by taking adequate steps. It is an ongoing process.
Management as an Activity: Like various other activities performed by human beings such as writing, playing, eating, cooking etc, management is also an activity because a manager is one who accomplishes the objectives by directing the efforts of others. Management as an activity includes: 1. Informational activities - In the functioning of business enterprise, manager constantly has to receive and give information orally or in written. A communication link has to be maintained with subordinates as well as superiors for effective functioning of enterprise. 2. Decisional activities - Practically all types of managerial activities are based on one or the other types of decisions. Therefore, managers are continuously involved in decisions of different kinds since the decision made by one manager becomes the basis of action to be taken by other managers. (e.g. Sales Manager is deciding the media & content of ad.). 3. Inter-personal activities - Management involves achieving goals through people. Therefore, managers have to interact with superiors as well as the sub-ordinates. They must maintain good relation with them. The inter-personal activities include with the subordinates and taking care of the problem. (e.g. Bonuses to be given to the sub-ordinates). Management as a Science: Science is a systematic body of knowledge pertaining to a specific field of study that contains general facts which explains a phenomenon. It establishes cause and effect relationship between two or more variables and underlines the principles governing their relationship. These principles are developed through scientific method of observation and verification through testing. Science is characterized by following main features: 1. Universally acceptance principles - Scientific principles represents basic truth about a particular field of enquiry. These principles may be applied in all situations, at all time & at all places. E.g. law of gravitation which can be applied in all countries irrespective of the time. Management also contains some fundamental principles which can be applied universally like the Principle of Unity of Command i.e. one man, one boss. 2. Experimentation & Observation - Scientific principles are derived through scientific investigation & research i.e. they are based on logic e.g. the principle that earth goes round the sun has been scientifically proved. Management principles are also based on scientific enquiry & observation and they have been developed through experiments & practical experiences of large no. of managers. E.g. it is observed that fair remuneration to personnel helps in creating a satisfied work force. 3. Cause & Effect Relationship - Principles of science lay down cause and effect relationship between various variables. E.g. when metals are heated, they expand. The same is true for management; therefore it also establishes cause and effect relationship. E.g. if workers are given bonuses, fair wages they will work hard but when not treated in fair and just manner, reduces productivity of organization. 4. Test of Validity & Predictability - Validity of scientific principles can be tested any time. Each time these tests will give same result. Moreover future events can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by using scientific principles. E.g. H2 & O2 will always give H2O. Principles of management can also be tested for validity. E.g. principle of unity of command can be tested by comparing two persons - one having single boss and one having 2 bosses. The performance of 1st person will be better than 2nd.
It cannot be denied that management has a systematic body of knowledge but it is not as exact as that of other physical sciences like biology, physics, and chemistry etc. The main reason for the inexactness of science of management is that it deals with human beings and it is very difficult to predict their behavior accurately. Since it is a social process, therefore it falls in the area of social sciences. It is a flexible science & that is why its theories and principles may produce different results at different times and therefore it is a behavior science. Management as an Art: Art implies application of knowledge & skill to trying about desired results. An art may be defined as personalized application of general theoretical principles for achieving best possible results. Art has the following characters: 1. Practical Knowledge: Every art requires practical knowledge and therefore learning of theory is not sufficient. It is very important to know practical application of theoretical principles. E.g. to become a good painter, the person may not only be knowing different color and brushes but different designs, dimensions, situations etc to appropriately use them. A manager can never be successful just by obtaining degree or diploma in management; he must also know how to apply various principles in real situations. 2. Personal Skill: Although theoretical base may be same for all, but each one has his own style and approach towards his job. E.g. there are several qualified painters but M.F. Hussain is recognized for his style. Similarly every manager has his own way of managing things based on his knowledge, experience and personality. That is why some managers are known as good managers like Aditya Birla, Rahul Bajaj. 3. Creativity: Every artist has an element of creativity in line. That is why he aims at producing something that has never existed before which requires combination of intelligence & imagination. Management is also creative in the sense it combines human and non-human resources in useful way so as to achieve desired results. 4. Perfection through practice: Every artist becomes more and more proficient through constant practice. Similarly managers learn through an art of trial and error initially but application of management principles over years makes them perfect in managing a job. 5. Goal-Oriented: Every art is result oriented as it seeks to achieve concrete results. In the same manner, management is also directed towards accomplishment of pre-determined goals. Managers use various resources like men, money, material, machinery & methods to promote growth of an organization. Management as both Science and Art: Management is both an art and a science. It is considered as a science because it has an organized body of knowledge which contains certain universal truth. It is called an art because managing requires certain skills which are personal possessions of managers. Science provides the knowledge & art deals with the application of knowledge and skills. A manager to be successful must acquire the knowledge of science & the art of applying it. It is not sufficient for manager to know the principles but he must also apply them in solving various managerial problems. That is why, science and art are not mutually exclusive but they are complementary to each other.
Types of Management: A familiarization of different types of management will help one become a good manager. Knowing what they are can help you determine which type or style would suit you best, based on your own skills, personality, and abilities, as well as other factors such as the kind of people you will be handling and the work environment you belong to. The various management styles are: ➢ Autocratic Management: This style of management gives the manager full authority to run a department or group, and make all decisions. Majority of the decisions made are based on the manager’s opinions, ideas, knowledge, and personality. This management style can be both good and bad for the company. While it allows for quicker decisionmaking and implementation of any plan or strategy, it can also lead to employee resentment, which will eventually bring down people’s morale. Studies show that companies adopting the autocratic style of management have one of the highest turnover rates, especially if those taking on management roles are not really ready to use this management style. It may work for some organizations but definitely not for the majority. ➢ Democratic Management: Democratic Management is one of the most preferred types of management because it allows for a two-way communication between managers and their subordinates which in turn, will result to better job performance and increased productivity. With Democratic Management, employees’ voices are heard and they are given the opportunity to introduce their ideas and opinions on the table, when the need arises. However, just like all types of management styles, it also has its share of disadvantages. For one, it makes decision-making slower because it will take long time before people will reach a consensus during discussions and meetings. But all things considered, Democratic Management is considered one of the most effective types of management today. ➢ Laissez-faire Management: ‘Unconventional’ is the term that can best describe Laissezfaire Management but surprisingly, it is quite effective in bringing out the best in people. With this management style, the manager can empower his subordinates and give them the freedom to carry out their tasks, as they deem fit. Laissez-faire Management also has its share of drawbacks. For one, it relieves the manager of his duties, which can eventually lead to a lack of coordination and delegation. If not handled correctly, employees will be unable to focus and will lose their sense of purpose and direction. Levels of Management: The term “Levels of Management’ refers to a line of demarcation between various managerial positions in an organization. The number of levels in management increases when the size of the business and work force increases and vice versa. The level of management determines a chain of command, the amount of authority & status enjoyed by any managerial position.

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