The concept of management is universal and very old. That is why different views have been expressed about its nature by different writers from time to time. The continuous and rapid development of management principles and practices in organization has changed the nature of management. The main points of view about the nature of management are given below:
Management as an Inborn or Acquired Ability
In the pre-scientific management period, i.e., prior to 1880 there has been a leading concept that management is an inborn ability. It is a traditional approach. The supporters of this concept believe that the hereditary characteristics, inborn talents and natural aptitudes of a man make him an efficient manager. Some people are so efficient and talented since their birth that they lead and get success in the field of business. To our mind, this concept was used when the ownership and management were not separated. But later on the researches and development in the field of science, technology and training etc. changed this old concept. Today management is considered not only as an inborn ability but also as an acquired ability. In the words of Ordway Tead, "Managers are both born and made." Today, in large-sized business organizations, ownership and management are separate identities. The management lies in the hands of professional managers who are educated and trained. Thus, now the management can be considered as an acquired ability.
Management as an Art, Science or Both
A lot of controversy arises whether management is an art or science or both. It is said that the management is the oldest of arts and youngest of science. This explains the changing nature of management. But to have an exact answer to this question, it is necessary to understand both these aspects separately and combinedly, as given below:
Management as an Art:
Art refers to the way of doing specific things; it indicates how an object can be achieved. In the words of George R. Terry, "Art is bringing about of a desired result through the application of skill." Art is, thus, skilful application of knowledge which entirely depends on the inherent capacity of a person which comes from within a person and is learned from practice and experience. In this sense, management is certainly an art as a manager uses his skill, knowledge and experience in solving various problems, both complicated and non-complicated that arise in the working of his enterprise successful. In the words of Ernest Dale, "Management is considered as an art rather than science mainly because managerial skill is a personnel possession and is intuitive."
Management as a Science:
Science may be described as a systematized body of knowledge based on proper findings and exact principles and is capable of verification. It is a reservoir of fundamental truths and its findings apply safely in all the situations. In this sense, management is a science as it has also developed some systematized knowledge. Like other sciences, management has also developed certain principles, laws, generalization, which are universal in nature and are applicable wherever the efforts of the people are to be coordinated. But management is not as exact science as other physical sciences like physic, chemistry, biology, astronomy etc. The main reason for the inexactness of science of management is that it deals with the people and it is very difficult to predict their behavior accurately. In this way, management falls in the area of 'social sciences'. Thus, it is a social science.
Conclusion- Management is an Art and Science Both
From the above study, we conclude that management is an art and science both. According to American Society of Mechanical Engineers. "Management is the art and science of preparing, organizing and directing human efforts to control the forces and utilize the material of nature for the benefit of men. "Thus, it has now been accepted that management is an art as well as science. It has the elements of both arts and science. In the words of Dean Stanley, "Management is a mixture of an art an science - the present ratio is about 80% art and 20% science."