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PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT

Efforts Was Made To Ensure All Concepts Explained In This Note Were Simplified To The Minimum. View chapter one below

CHAPTER ONE

What Is Management?

Management is required in all areas of life; it enables operations of all types to be carried out effectively, smoothly and efficiently. The performance and survival of any institution(s) depends on management. The term management however has several definitions and several approaches have also been adopted, all in the effort to give interpretation to the term management, but practically, there is no one definition of management that has universally been accepted, but many definitions have been commonly accepted.

The following are some of the many definitions of management:

  1. Kezner: Defines management as an attempt to make the most efficient and effective use of money, information, technology, equipment, manpower and facilities, so that objectives and goals are achieved within the budget and at desired performance level adhering to the ever changing environment, economical, legal, social, technological, political etc.
  2. Follet(1919) defined management as the act of getting things done through other people.
  3. Stoner andWankel(1998) defined management as the process of planning, organizing, leading or directing, controlling and coordinating the efforts of organizational members and using all other organizational resources to achieve stated organizational goals.
  4. Weihrichand Koontz(1993) defined management as the process of designing and maintaining an environment which individuals work together in groups to accomplish efficiently selected aims.
  5. Lawal (1993) looked at management as the process of making prudent use of an organization resources in order to achieve the pre-determined goals.
  6. Ifechukwu (1994) management is the act of getting things done through efficient and effective planning, organization, control and co-ordination of the activities of people.
  7. According to Robbins and Coulter (2009) management involves coordinating and overseeing the work activities of others so that their activities are completed efficiently and effectively.
  8. Nickels et.al (2005) management is the process used to accomplish organizational goals through planning, organizing, leading and controlling people and other organizational resources.
  9. Mescon, Albert and Khedouri (1985) defined management as the process of planning, organizing, leading and controlling the efforts of organization members and of using all other organizations resources to achieve stated organizational goals.

MANAGEMENT: Art, Science, or Science-Art?

Follet defined management as an art, but her definition is not universally accepted. It is generally acknowledged that management involves some degree of skill. But beyond that, there is ongoing debate about how management should be classified; as an art, science or science-art.

Management as an art

Art relates to the skillful and systematic adaptation or application of know-how for the desired goals. To develop a skill or ability a lot of training and experience needed to be acquired, i.e art requires technical skill and conceptual ability. Manager develops judgment and intuition from experience. Therefore, just as artistic skill can be developed through training, so can managerial skills be developed in ways similar to those used in training artists. Management as practice is art. Therefore, management can be regarded as an art.

Management as a science

Science is based on practical and empirical fact that is, the idea that knowledge derives from experience and formal research conducted. Thus, many of the things a manager does are result of information obtained through formal research and studies.

In management, as in science, nothing is accepted as final. New ideas, hypotheses, theories, and practical are being developed, introduced, and interpreted in the subject continuously. Managers manage according to established rules and practices and the results of their efforts can be predicted, invested, and evaluated based on the known facts and methods as in science. Therefore, management can be referred to as a science.

Management as both an art and science

Some writers argue that management is pure art that relates to something to be done or produced by skill while others argue that is purely a science that is concerned with searching for knowledge for its own sake.

Management is both an art and science because expertness, skill or proficiency (i.e. art) results from knowledge and practice (i.e. science). When the skill and know-how are applied in producing or doing something, they become an art. Therefore, management may be described as a scientific art or an inexact science.

Management as a Profession

A profession is defined as an occupation or job that needs special knowledge e.g. medicine, law, engineering etc. According to Edgar Schein, professionals are endowed with certain key qualities among which are;

  1. They base their decisions on general principles.
  2. They achieve professionals’ status through performance not through favoritism.
  3. Ethical standards of conduct enforced by the profession itself.
  4. The method of acquiring training and experience is formalized.

Using the above qualities as yardstick, one may be tempted to conclude that management is not a profession since no generally acceptable management code of ethics yet exist and in practice managers sometimes achieve management positions through their relations in power. Moreover, one does not need to belong to an association to practice management.

However, those who argue that management is a profession say so because there is a body of management knowledge that can be taught e.g. management methods and techniques; there are skills and tools unique to the activity of management, for example, planning, organizing, and controlling; there is now a strong programme of formal management education all over the world i.e specialized undergraduate and postgraduate degree programme are offered in many polytechnics and universities; and the establishment of Nigerian institute of management (NIM) to promote professionalization of management are indications that management is increasingly becoming a profession.

 

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