Definition, Meaning and Characteristics of Management.

Definition, Meaning and characteristics of Management.

Management is a continuous, lively and fast developing science. Management is needed to convert the disorganized resources of men, machines, materials and methods into a useful and effective enterprise. management is a pipeline, the inputs are fed at the end and they are proceeded through management functions and ultimately we get the end results or inputs in the form of goods, services, productivity, information and satisfaction. Management is a comprehensive word which is used in different sciences in the modern business and industrial world. In the narrow sense, it signifies the technique of taking work from others. In this way a person who can take work from others is called manager. In the wide sense, the management is an art, as well as science, which is concerned with the different human efforts so as achieve the desired objective.

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Management has been defined by different authors in a number of ways. Some call it a process of managing. Some call it a coordination of resources, some call it body of personnel challenged in the task of managing while others call it as an organized distinct discipline. The following are some of the main definitions of management:


1. Management as process:

Kimball, koontz and O’Donnell, Newmann and Summer, Stanley Vance, Theo Haimann, F.C. Hooper and E.F.T Breach they all call it a process. It is evident from the following definitions also:

I. According the Kimball-management may be broadly defined as the art of applying the economic principles that underlie the control of men and materials in the enterprise under consideration.

II. According to Koontz, “Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organized groups.”


III. According to Theo haimann, “Management is the function of getting things done through people and directing the efforts of individuals towards a common objective.”

IV. According to Sisks, “Management is the process of working of with and other to effectively achieve organizational objectives by efficiently using limited resources in changing environment.”

2. Management as an Activity:

According to this approach management consists of those activities, which are performed by managers in attaining the predetermined objectives of the business. This approach may be referred to Henry Fayol, who classified management activities into the following categories:

  • Technical – referred to production department.
  • Commercial – relates to buying, selling and exchange.
  • Financial concerned with maximum utilization of capital.
  • Security concurred with protection of property and person.
  • According concerned with maintenance of accounts, presentation and statistics and
  • Management concerned to planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling.


3. Management as a group of personnel:

According to this approach human factor plays an important role in accomplishing business objectives. management is concerned with those who have been managing the affairs of the business. Managers are assigned duties and are also granted requisite authority to perform their duties efficiently and thus, management is effective direction, coordination and control of individual and group efforts to accomplish business objective.

This approach is advocated by management authorities like Taylor, Wilson and others. They have defined management as following. As per F.W. Taylor’s approach, “Management is the art of knowing exactly what you want your men to do and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way.”

4. Management as a discipline:

Some times the term ‘Management’ is used to connote neither the activity nor the personnel who exercise it, but as a substantive describes the subject, the body of knowledge and practices of management as a subject of study. Management is being taught in different college and universities as a district subject.

Thus, management, as such is a process, an activity, a discipline and as effort to coordination, control and direct individual and group efforts towards desired goal of the business.

Characteristics / Nature / Features of Management:

The main characteristics of management are as follows:

I. Management is an activity: Management is an activity which is concerned with the efficient utilization of human and non-human resources of production.

II. Invisible Force: Management is an invisible force. Its existence can be felt through the enterprise or institution it is managing.

III. Goal Oriented: Management is goal oriented as it aims to achieve some definite goals and objectives. According to the Haimann, “Effective management is always management by objectives”. Managers and other personnel officers apply their knowledge, experience and skills to achieve the desired objectives.

IV. Accomplishment through the efforts of Others: Managers cannot do everything themselves. They must have the necessary ability and skills to get work accomplished through the efforts of others.

V. Universal activity: Management is universal. Management is required in all types or organizations. Wherever there are some activities, there is management. The basic principles of management are universal and can be applied anywhere and in every field, such as business, social, religious, cultural, sports, administration, educational, politics or military.

VI. Art as well as Science: Management is both an art and a science. It is a science as it has an organized body of knowledge which contains certain universal truths and an art as managing requires certain skills which apply more or less in every situation.

VII. Multidisciplinary Knowledge: Though management is a distinct discipline, it contains principles drawn from many social sciences like psychology, sociology etc.

VIII. Management is distinct from ownership: In modern times, there is a divorce of management from ownership. Today, big corporations are owned by a vast number of shareholders while their management is in the hands of paid qualified, competent and experienced managerial personnel.

IX. Need at all levels: According to the nature of task and scope of authority, management is needed at all levels of the organization, i.e., top level, middle and lower level.

X. Integrated process: Management is an integrated process. It integrates the men, machine and material to carryout the operations of the enterprise efficiently and successfully. This integrating process is result oriented.

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