Is management a science or an art?
Define management. Explain whether management is an art or science.
Management is the process of planning and organising the resources and activities of a business to achieve specific goals in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Efficiency in management refers to the completion of tasks correctly and at minimal costs. Effectiveness in management relates to the completion of tasks within specific timelines to yield tangible results.
Management can be considered as both science as well as an art.
Management is science because of several reasons like - it has universally accepted principles, it has cause and effect relationship etc, and at the same time it is art because it requires perfection through practice, practical knowledge, creativity, personal skills etc.
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 in his profession must acquire the knowledge of science & the art of applying it. Therefore management is a judicious blend of science as well as an art because it proves the principles and the way these principles are applied is a matter of art. Science teaches to ‘know’ and art teaches to ‘do’. E.g. A person cannot become a good singer unless he has knowledge about various ragas & he also applies his personal skill in the art of singing. Same way it is not sufficient for manager to first 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 (like tea and biscuit, bread and butter etc.).
Management As Science [edit | edit source]
Yes,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 the 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. This principle is applicable to all type of organization – business or non business.
2. Experimentation & Observation – Scientific principles are derived through scientific investigation & researching 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 not only on the opinion of Henry Fayol. They have been developed through experiments & practical experiences of large number of managers. E.g. it is observed that fair remuneration to personal 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 are expanded. The cause is heating & result is expansion. The same is true for management, therefore it also establishes cause and effect relationship. E.g. lack of parity (balance) between authority & responsibility will lead to ineffectiveness. If you know the cause i.e. lack of balance, the effect can be ascertained easily -in effectiveness. Similarly 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 at any time or any number of times. They stand the test of time. Each time these tests will give same result. Moreover future events can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by using scientific principles. E.g. hydrogen & oxygen will always give water. 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 behavioral science. Ernest Dale has called it as a Soft Science.
Management as Art[edit | edit source]
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 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 colour and brushes but different designs, dimensions, situations etc to use them appropriately. A manager can never be successful just by obtaining degree or diploma in management; he must have also know how to apply various principles in real situations by functioning in capacity of manager.
2. Personal Skill: Although theoretical base may be same for every artist, but each one has his own style and approach towards his job. That is why the level of success and quality of performance differs from one person to another. E.g. there are several qualified painters but M.F. Hussain is recognized for his style. Similarly management as an art is also personalized. 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) whereas others as bad.
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 nature like any other art. It combines human and non-human resources in useful way so as to achieve desired results. It tries to produce sweet music by combining chords in an efficient manner.
4. Perfection through practice: Practice makes a man perfect. 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 the years makes them perfect in the job of managing.
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. Thus, we can say that management is an art therefore it requires application of certain principles rather it is an art of highest order because it deals with moulding the attitude and behavior of people at work towards desired goals.
6. Work by effectively. manager manage all problem in every environment so this is not science, it is an art that how he manage every problem of organization in every environment.
Management as both Science and Art[edit | edit source]
Management is both an art and a science. The above mentioned points clearly reveals that management combines features of both science as well as art. 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 in his profession must acquire the knowledge of science & the art of applying it. Therefore management is a judicious blend of science as well as an art because it proves the principles and the way these principles are applied is a matter of art. Science teaches to ’know’ and art teaches to ’do’. Example. a person cannot become a good singer unless he has knowledge about various ragas & he also applies his personal skill in the art of singing. Same way it is not sufficient for manager to first 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 (like tea and biscuit, bread and butter etc.). The old saying that “Manager are Born” has been rejected in favor of “Managers are Made”. It has been aptly remarked that management is the oldest of art and youngest of science. To conclude, we can say that science is the root and art is the fruit.
Management as Profession[edit | edit source]
A profession may be defined as an occupation that requires specialized knowledge and intensive academic preparations to which entry is regulated by a representative body. The essentials of a profession are:
1. Specialized Knowledge – A profession must have a systematic body of knowledge that can be used for development of professionals. Every professional must make deliberate efforts to acquire expertise in the principles and techniques. Similarly a manager must have devotion and involvement to acquire expertise in the science of management.
2. Formal Education & Training – There are no. of institutes and universities to impart education & training for a profession. No one can practice a profession without going through a prescribed course. Many institutes of management have been set up for imparting education and training. For example, a CA cannot audit the A/C’s unless he has acquired a degree or diploma for the same but no minimum qualifications and a course of study has been prescribed for managers by law. For example, MBA may be preferred but not necessary.
3. Social Obligations – Profession is a source of livelihood but professionals are primarily motivated by the desire to serve the society. Their actions are influenced by social norms and values. Similarly a manager is responsible not only to its owners but also to the society and therefore he is expected to provide quality goods at reasonable prices to the society.
4. Code of Conduct – Members of a profession have to abide by a code of conduct which contains certain rules and regulations, norms of honesty, integrity and special ethics. A code of conduct is enforced by a representative association to ensure self discipline among its members. Any member violating the code of conduct can be punished and his membership can be withdrawn. The AIMA has prescribed a code of conduct for managers but it has no right to take legal action against any manager who violates it.
5. Representative Association – For the regulation of profession, existence of a representative body is a must. For example, an institute of Charted Accountants of India establishes and administers standards of competence for the auditors but the AIMA (Alternative Investment Management Association) however does not have any statuary powers to regulate the activities of managers. From above discussion, it is quite clear that management fulfills several essentials of a profession, even then it is not a full fledged profession because: - a. It does not restrict the entry in managerial jobs for account of one standard or other. b. No minimum qualifications have been prescribed for managers. c. No management association has the authority to grant a certificate of practice to various managers. d. All managers are supposed to abide by the code formulated by AIMA, e. Competent education and training facilities do not exist. . f. Managers are responsible to many groups such as shareholders, employees and society. A regulatory code may curtail their freedom. g. Managers are known by their performance and not mere degrees. h. The ultimate goal of business is to maximize profit and not social welfare. That is why Haymes has rightly remarked, “The slogan for management is becoming – ’He who serves best, also profits most’.”
i think management is more of art than science.it is the accumulated knwoledge which comprises science. through exastive aquentence with management over the history it has added itself with knowledge. But when matter comes to practies of management it is purely art.with help of knowledge available.