Management: Management as a Science, Arts and Profession
Some authors regard management as science because there are well tested and experimented principles of management, some authors describe management as an art because more practice is required in management and some authors consider that management is going towards the paths of profession. To conclude whether management is science, art or profession, we must understand the features and meanings of science, art and profession and compare them with management meaning and features.
Management as a Science:
Science can be defined as a systematic and organised body of knowledge based on logically observed findings, facts and events.
Science comprises of exact principles which can be verified and it can establish cause and effect relations.
Main characteristics/features of science are:
1. Systematic body of knowledge:
In science organised and systematic study material is available which is used to acquire the knowledge of science. Like science in management also there is availability of systematic and organised study material. So first feature of science is present in management.
2. Scientific principles are derived on the basis of logical and scientific observations:
The scientists perform logical observation before deriving any principle or theory. They are very objective while doing the observations. But when managers are observing they have to observe human beings and observation of human being cannot be purely logical and objective.
Some kind of subjectivity enters in the observations so this feature of science is not present in management. All the scientific principles have same effect, wherever we try them whereas effect of management principles varies from one situation to other.
3. Principles are based on repeated experiments:
Before developing scientific principles scientists test these principles under different conditions and places. Similarly, managers also test and experiment managerial principles under different conditions in different organisations. So this feature of science is present in management.
4. Universal Validity:
Scientific principles have universal application and validity. Management principles are not exact like scientific principles so their application and use is not universal. They have to be modified according to the given situation. So this feature of science is not present in management.
5. Replication is possible:
In science replication is possible as when two scientists are undertaking the same investigation working independently and treating the same data under the same conditions may desire or obtain the identical or exactly same result.
But in management managers have to conduct research or experiments on human beings. So if’ two managers are investigating same data, on different sets of human beings they will not get identical or same result because human beings never respond in exactly identical manner. So this feature of science is also not present in management.
Management as an Art:
Art can be defined as systematic body of knowledge which requires skill, creativity and practice to get perfection.
The main features of art are:
1. Systematic body of knowledge/Existence of theoretical knowledge:
In every art there is systematic and organized study material available to acquire theoretical knowledge of the art. For example, various books on different ragas are available in music. In management also there is systematic and organised body of knowledge available which can help in acquiring managerial studies. So this feature of art is present in management also.
2. Personalised application:
In the field of art only theoretical knowledge is not enough. Every artist must have personal skill and creativity to apply that knowledge. For example, all musicians learn same ragas but they apply these ragas according to their personal skill and creativity which makes them different.
In management also all managers learn same management theories and principles. But their efficiency depends on how well they use these principles under different situations by applying personal skills and creativity so this feature of art is also present in management.
3. Based on Practice and creativity:
The artist requires regular practice of art to become more fine and perfect. Without practice artists lose their perfection. Art requires creative practice, i.e., artist must add his creativity to the theoretical knowledge he has learned. Same way with experience managers also improves their managerial skills and efficiency. So this feature of art is also present in management.
Management: Both Science and Art:
Management is both science as well as art. Like science it has systematic and well- organised body of knowledge and like art it requires personal skill, creativity and practice to apply such knowledge in the best possible way. Science and art are not in contrast to each other; both exist together in every function of management.
Management as a Profession:
Profession can be defined as an occupation backed by specialised knowledge and training, in which entry is restricted.
The main features of profession are:
1. Well defined Body of knowledge:
In every profession there is practice of systematic body of knowledge which helps the professionals to gain specialised knowledge of that profession. In case of management also there is availability of systematic body of knowledge.
There are large numbers of books available on management studies. Scholars are studying various business situations and are trying to develop new principles to tackle these situations. So presently this feature of profession is present in management also.
2. Restricted Entry:
The entry to a profession is restricted through an examination or degree. For example a person can practice as Doctor only when he is having MBBS degree.
Whereas there is no legal restriction on appointment of a manager, anyone can become a manager irrespective of the educational qualification. But now many companies prefer to appoint managers only with MBA degree. So presently this feature of profession is not present in management but very soon it will be included with statutory backing.
3. Presence of professional associations:
For all the professions, special associations are established and every professional has to get himself registered with his association before practising that profession. For example, doctors have to get themselves registered with Medical Council of India, lawyers with Bar Council of India etc.
In case of management various management associations are set up at national and international levels which have some membership rules and set of ethical codes, for example, AIMA in New Delhi, National Institute of Personal Management at Calcutta etc., but legally it is not compulsory for managers to become a part of these organisations by registration. So presently this feature of profession is not present in management but very soon it will be included and get statutory backing also.
4. Existence of ethical codes:
For every profession there are set of ethical codes fixed by professional organisations and are binding on all the professionals of that profession. In case of management there is growing emphasis on ethical behaviour of managers. All India Management Association (AIMA) has devised a code of conduct for Indian managers. But legally it is not compulsory for all the managers to get registered with AIMA and abide by the ethical codes.
So presently this feature of profession is not present in management but very soon it will be included with statutory backing.
5. Service Motive:
The basic motive of every profession is to serve the clients with dedication. Whereas basic purpose of management is achievement of management goal, for example for a business organisation the goal can be profit maximisation.
But nowadays only profit maximisation cannot be the sole goal of an enterprise. To survive in market for a long period of time, a businessman must give due importance to social objectives along with economic objectives. So presently this feature of profession is not present but very soon it will be included.