Management - Definition and Features

Concept of Management

  • Managing is the art of getting things done through people in formally organized groups. Management can thus be defined as the art or skill of Directing human activities and physical resources in the attainment of predetermined goals. 

According to W. Jack Duncan

In his books Essentials of Management, W. Jack Duncan states,
Management consists of all organisational activities that involve goal formation and accomplishment, Performance, Appraisal, and the development of an operating philosophy that ensures the oragnisation’s survival within the social system.

Here, the following three tasks have been added to this definition:
  • Goal Formation 
  • Development of an operating philosophy and 
  • Operation within the social system.

According to Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell

Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell, in their book Essentials of management, define the management as 
the creation and maintenance of an internal environment in an enterprise where individuals, working together in groups can perform efficiently and effectively towards the attainment of group goals.

According to the James L. Lundy

Management is prinicipally the task of planning, coordinating, motivating anf controlling  the efforts of others towards a specific objective.

According to the McFarland

"Management is that process by which managers create, direct, maintain, and operate purposive organisation through systemetic, coordinated and cooperative human efforts." 

According to the Theo Haimann, William Scott

"Management is a social and technical process that utilises resources, influences human actions and facilitates changes in order to accomplish an organisations's goals "

According to the George R. Terry

"Management is a distinct process consists of planning, organising, actuating, and controlling performance to determine and accomplish stated objectives by the use of human beings and other resources."

This definition emphasizes the role of management in creating an internal environment of teamwork in the organisation.


In conclusions , we can state that management involves the following tasks: 
  1. Planning and setting objectives,
  2. Designing the organisational structure,
  3. Organising human resources and non-human resources,
  4. Organising activities to encourage efficiency and effectiveness in teamwork,
  5. Developing an operating philosophy and strategy,
  6. Leading and co-ordinating resources,
  7. Creating a conducive internal environment,
  8. Ensuring the satisfaction of customers, shareholders, suppliers and society,
  9. Ensuring ethics in working and rendering services,
  10. Ensuring an organisation's survival within the social and environmental system by assessing the social impact and
  11. Assessing performance vis-à-vis tasks.

Characteristics of Management

  • Management is a goal oriented process:  Management unites the efforts of individuals in the organisation towards achieving the organisational goals.
  • Management is all pervasive: Management is required in all types of organisations- Economic, Social or Political.
  • Management is multidimensional: It has three dimensions:
    • Management of work- activities to be performed for achieving common goals
    • Management of people - individuals working in the organisation to achieve those common goals.
    • Management of operations - Production process involving flow of inputs and available technology to produce desired products or services
  • Management is a continuous process: The process of management is a series of continuous, composite, but separate functions which includes planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling
  • Management is a group activity: Management deals with a group of individuals with different capabilities and needs, and coordinates their efforts in a common direction.
  • Management is a dynamic function: It has to adapt itself to the ever-changing environment.
  • Management is an intangible: force that cannot be seen, but its presence can be felt in the way it functions to attain the organisational goals.


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