Everything you need to know about the definition of management. Management is a distinct process of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish stated objectives with the use of human beings and other resources.
Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims. Management is defined as the process by which a co-operative group directs actions towards common goals.
Learn about the definitions of management provided by eminent authors like Karl Marx, Marry Parker Follett, Stewart, John F. Mee, R.C. Davis, Prof. A Dasgupta, E.F.L. Brech, George R. Terry, Stanley Vane, S. George, William Spriegel, Kimball and Kimball, Harold Konntz, Peter F. Drucker and Others.
Definition of Management: Propounded by John F. Mee, R.C. Davis, Prof. A.Dasgupta, EFL Brech, George R. Terry and Other Details
Definition of Management – Provided by Karl Marx, Mary Parker Follett and Stewart
Management has been defined in many ways. A simple definition is “the activity of using resources in an efficient and effective way so that the end product is worth more than the initial resources”. This simple definition has the advantage that it focuses upon the crucial role of management to transform inputs into outputs of greater value.
However, the simple definition has a drawback- it is too inclusive. According to this definition, a cow chewing the cud would be an excellent manager since it eats a cheap resource, i.e. grass, and converts it into a more valuable product, milk. The definition includes practically every adult- a housewife cooking a meal, a vagrant collecting cigarette stubs, a student working in a library and an operative assembling chocolate boxes would qualify as a manager.
A definition so wide is useless because it is synonymous with humankind and does not differentiate a subset of people who are clearly managers. To improve the definition it is necessary to specify the resources a manager uses.
Classically (according to Karl Marx) there are three main resources (inputs):
i. Capital- the money to buy machines and raw materials
ii. Labour- the people to work the machines
iii. Land- where raw materials such as coal, iron ore and cotton can be extracted or farmed
Modern theory has refined Marx’s list of resources.
Today we tend to think of resources as the four “M’s” of management:
ii. Making goods and services
Even when the resources are specified, a definition of a manager as “someone who uses resources in an efficient and effective way so that the end product is worth more than the initial resources” is still inadequate. It still includes too many people. A person working alone assembling bundles of firewood or an academic reading a book in a library would still qualify as a manager. Many people identify the management of other people as the defining characteristic of management.
Mary Parker Follett (1941) defined management as:
“Getting things done by other people.”
More recently Stewart (1967) described a manager as:
“Someone who get things done with the aid of other people.”
This emphasis on the management of other people provides a good way to differentiate between managers, operatives (workers who work directly upon raw materials or information or who directly provide personal services) and specialists (workers who use their skills and knowledge to enable other people to do things).
Specialists such as neurologists or financial analysts may have equal or higher status and salaries than managers. However, they will not be managers until they are responsible for the work of other people such as a clinical team or a group of junior investment analysts.
The simple definition of a manager needs a final improvement. It needs to specify what is meant by “more value”. Resources can be combined in ways that merely make the workers feel happy or they can be combined in ways that merely give managers pleasure. However, managers work within organisations and the phrase “more value” means “more value” in terms of the organisation’s goals.
When all these ideas are taken into account management can be defined as:
“The activity of getting other people to transform resources so that the results add value to the organisation in terms of reaching its organisational goals.”
Definition of Management – John F. Mee, R.C. Davis, E.F.L. Brech and Prof. A. Dasgupta (With Different Meanings of Management)
John F. Mee defines management as the art of securing maximum results with a minimum of effort so as to secure maximum prosperity and happiness for both employer and employee and give the public the best possible service.
R C Davis defines management is tough function of executive leadership anywhere.
Mary Cushing Niles defines management as Good Management, or Scientific Management, achieves a social objective with the best use of human and material energy and time and with satisfaction for the participants and the public.
E F L Brech says that management is concerned with seeing that the job gets done -its tasks put emphasis on planning and guiding the operations that are going on in the enterprise.
Prof. A Dasgupta defines as management is the creation and control of technological and human environment of an organization in which human skill and capacities of individuals and groups find full scope for their effective use in order to accomplish the objective for which an enterprise has been set up. It is involved in the relationships of the individual, group, organization and the environment.
Many authors defined management in their own way of learning. Many definitions concentrate on getting things done by the people by coordinating, using the resources of the organization to fulfill the goal for which the organization is set up.
Management is also looked up on as a process concerned with planning, executing and controlling the activities of an enterprise.
The word management can be referred as a field of learning a body of organized knowledge, which is taught in universities and business schools.
Another way of thinking is collective sense of the managerial group of an organization; say for example, ‘the management of the college has declared the vacation period’.
Management may also be taken as an occupation or a career.
The word management can also referred to as describing a field of learning – the new discipline of management. Today the knowledge of management is taught in Universities, Colleges, Institutions and professional bodies. The status of management as a discipline will be enhanced as more principles are evolved, as more information or knowledge of managing is organized and communicated to those interested and as the act of managing becomes more systematic.
Management can also be taken in the collective sense of the managerial group of an organization – say for example we will be hearing or reading that the management of XYZ organization is pleased to sanction two months bonus…… All those who performs supervisory responsibilities are grouped under this package.
In an organizational set up management would include not only the top level manager but includes departmental and divisional heads, first line supervisors at the bottom of the management hierarchy as well as all the executives at the higher level reaching up to the chief executives. In a business organization, non-managers are the clerical, technical and sales employees.
Finally, the term management is now beginning to be used as distinguishing an occupation or a career. Careers in the sense here is workers like salesman, typist, clerk who are generally considered as non-managerial. When an employee occupies a position where he is responsible/accountable for the work of others, it may be mentioned that he has entered as the managerial career. Some of these managers attain the status of professional managers, which mainly indicates the knowledge, skill and attitude attain by these people.
Thus, the management is a purposeful goal-directed activity concerned with accomplishing objectives with and through the efforts of others. It is intangible in that it is a force, which is invisible. One can feel it presence in the results obtained, such as, increased productivity, employee co-operation and so on. Here one thing must be cleared that is an owner may be a manager, but a manager need not be an owner. The effectiveness of a manager (or management) depends on the knowledge and skill he possesses.
Definition of Management – George R. Terry, E.F.L. Brech, Stanley Vane, S. George, William Spriegel, Kimball and Kimball, Harold Konntz and Peter F. Drucker
Unlike other subjects like philosophy, psychology and economics, management is a relatively a new subject. The principles and techniques of management are still in a developing stage and the definitions of management given by different scholars emphasise different aspects of management.
The following are a few of the important definitions of the term ‘management’:
“Management is a distinct process consisting of planning, organising, actuating and controlling performance to determine and accomplish the objectives by the use of people and resources” – George R. Terry
“Management is concerned with seeing that the job gets done, it tasks all centre that on planning and guiding the operations to it are going on the enterprise.” – E.F.L. Brech
“Management is simply the process of decision making and control over the actions of human beings for the express purpose of attaining predetermined goals.” – Stanley Vane
“Management consists of getting things done through others. Manager is one who accomplishes the objectives by directing the efforts of others.” – S. George
“Management is that function of an enterprise which concerns itself with the direction and control of the various activities to attain the business objectives.” – William Spriegel
“Management embraces all duties and functions that pertain to the initiation of an enterprise, it’s financing, the establishment of major policies, the provision of all necessary equipment, the outlining of general form of organisation under which the enterprise is to operate and the group of officials in primary control of an enterprise is referred to as the management.” – Kimbail and Kimball
“Management is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organised groups. It is the art of creating an environment in which people can perform as individuals and yet co-operate towards the attainment of group goals. It is the art of removing blocks to such performance, a way of optimising efficiency in reaching goals.” -Harold Konntz
The first definition of management is that it is an economic organ of industrial society. It means taking action to make the desired result to pass. – Peter. F. Drucker
From these definitions, it is clear that management consists of getting things done through others by directing their efforts in an integrated and co-ordinated manner in order to attain business objectives. It is a process consisting of functions such as planning, organising, actuating and controlling business operations in such a manner as to attain the predetermined goals. It also involves securing men, money, materials and machinery needed for the achievement of business objectives and putting all of them into operation and checking their performance in order to ensure the productive use of the material resources.
It consists of resource and all of organisational activities that involve goal formation and accomplishment, performance appraisal and the development of an operating philosophy that ensures survival of the organisation.
(i) “To determine the goals and mission of the organisation,
(ii) To make work productive and the worker achieving,
(iii) To take care of social impacts and responsibilities.”
Of these three tasks, second task assumes priority. Human resource of the organisation is the real resource. This resource has to be effectively managed to achieve high productivity from this. Managers have to co-operate with human elements in and out of the organisation. They have to co-operate each human element to attain the organisation goals.
Definition of Management – Propounded by Koontz and O’Donnell, Oliver Sheldon, Ordway Tead, Lawrence A. Appley, Louis Allen and Henry Fayol
Koontz and O’ Donnell – Management is the task of Manager to establish and maintain an internal environment in which people working together in groups can perform effectively and efficiently towards the attainment of group goals.
Oliver Sheldon – Proper management is the function in industry concerned with the execution of policy within the limit set up by the administration, and the employment in the organisation with a particular object.
Ordway Tead – Management is the process and agency which directs and guides the operations of an organisation in the realisation of established aims.
Lawrence A. Appley – Management is the development of people and not the direction of things. Management is personnel administration.
Louis Allen – Management is what management does.
Henry Fayol – To manage is “to forecast and plan, to organise, to command, to coordinate and to control.”
Definition given by famous authors Koontz and O’ Donnel – In this definition there are two main points to be distinguished as below –
i. It is the responsibility of the manager to create and maintain a good working atmosphere in an organisation.
ii. So that people can work in group effectively and efficiently to achieve the group goals.
The authors convey through this definition that it is the responsibility of the manager to create a conducive working condition in the organization; so that the people working will have physical and psychological satisfaction to work effectively and efficiently to achieve the group goals. This definition considers the important aspect of human resource management.
Lawrence Appley, in his definition of management, spoke about the entire philosophy of modern management within a few calculated words. He stated that management is development of personnel. It means the development of human resource. In other words, development of skills of personnel. We cannot use the term management to any inanimate things (money, materials etc.).
Therefore, management is for personnel and not for the things. It is but natural to have a confusion in the mind of a reader that other managements like material, finance, production, etc., do relate to human. It should be understood that in all these managements, Personnel, Material, Finance, Production ‘HUMAN’ is the main factor. So the term management represents the management of personnel and not the inanimate things. Therefore, management is personnel administration.
Louis Allen, in his definition spoke about the entire management activity in five words. He captured the total managerial and operative functions of the manager.
He emphasised that management means what manager does. Management is basically an action oriented process.
Definition of Management – Provided by Henry Fayol, Dr. F.W. Taylor, Peter Drucker, E.F.L. Breech, Joseph L. Massie, Lawrence Appley and Others
The term ‘Management’ defies precise definition. No two definitions are identical. It has not yet been possible to include all the ingredients of management within a single unassailable formula. In spite of the fact that the area of Management is becoming increasingly clear, no universally accepted definition of Management is forthcoming.
This is because persons of different professions try to define Management according to their own predisposition or orientation; engineers view Management as a matter of design of product, accountants as a matter of facts and figures, chemists as a matter of formulae and mixtures, so on and so forth.
The different meanings and concepts of Management are due to different points of view of different persons. Some view management ‘as a group of managerial personnel’, while others define it as a function such as planning, organising, controlling etc.; still others consider Management as an economic resource and there are others to whom Management is a technique of leadership or a means of co-ordination.
Management is so comprehensive in nature covering various facets that it is well-nigh impossible to formulate a definition that will exactly fit in with all the aspects of Management.
In fact, the term Management can be interpreted in four different senses:
(i) Management as a Team or System of Authority
(ii) Management as a Discipline
(iii) Management as an Economic Resource and
(iv) Management as a Process.
The exact definition of Management poses certain difficulties which stem from the fact that Management is concerned with human beings whose behaviour is unpredictable. Moreover, Management, being a new concept and being in the process of development, naturally cannot be subjected to exact definition. Management experts like George R. Terry observed- “Management is extensive and formulating a comprehensive definition of it poses certain difficulties”.
In spite of difficulties, various definitions of management have been offered.
Henry Fayol, the famous French Management expert, defined Management in a manner that gives us a better understanding of the nature of Management.
His definition runs as follows:
To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organise, to command, to co-ordinate and to control.
This functional definition of Management gives us an idea as to what a manager has to do.
Dr. F. W. Taylor, the father of scientific Management, defined Management as an art of “knowing what you want to do” and then seeing that it is done “in the best and cheapest way”. This definition is productivity-oriented and unlike the one offered by Fayol.
The concept of Management divorced from functional aspect was not liked by many including Peter Drucker who echoed the definition of Fayol and stated- “Management is an organ; organs can be described and defined only through their functions”. Taylor and Fayol defined Management in a way that did not lay much emphasis on the human aspect of Management.
This aspect of Management was emphasised later on by a number of experts, one of whom described Management as a personal administration and Management is the development of people and not the direction of things. It was even observed that it is the men whom we build and the men build products.
So, Management builds men who, in their turn, produce things. It is no exaggeration to say that in Management, the human aspect is more important; it is the motivational factor on which depends the success of an enterprise.
There have been attempts to define Management from the angle of process approach. Management is a social process. It entails responsibility for effective and economical planning and regulation of the operation of an enterprise of a given purpose on task. E. F. L. Breech stated, “It is the pervasiveness of this human element that gives Management its special character as a social process”.
Terry’s definition of Management as a distinct process consisting of planning, organising, actuating and controlling, utilizing in each both science and art and followed in order to accomplish predetermined objectives; is very comprehensive with the essential elements that Management is a distinct process and it consists of planning, organising, actuating and controlling. According to him, Management utilizes both science as well as art and it is meant to accomplish predetermined objectives.
Joseph L. Massie, an eminent Management author, defined Management as a process by which a co-operative group directs action towards common goals.
There is no dearth of definitions but to give a long list of definitions will not make things clear rather it will create confusion.
So, a few more definitions, which have been widely accepted, are being given:
Lawrence Appley, once President of the American Management Association, gave a very acceptable definition – Management is the accomplishment of results through the efforts of other people.
Harold Koontz defines Management as the art of following things done through and with informally organized groups.
Sir Charles Reynold, a British Management expert, defined Management as a process of getting things done through the agency of a community.
At present, Management has acquired the nature of trusteeship. A professional manager has to act as a trustee and not as a boss.
The discussion above clearly indicates that too many definitions have been offered for Management but the fact remains that management, in order to be deemed as science, needs to be used in one sense only and this can be secured if the word is not used to mean both status and function.
There is a perceptible trend towards professional management as we find in case of Tata Iron & Steel Company Ltd. The Tata Management Service and a few others already started in our country, have accelerated the trend towards professionalisation of Management.
The different interpretations of Management are not, as a matter of fact, contradictory views of Management; they are merely different ways of looking at Management from different perspectives. Management definitions, if carefully analysed, will reveal a synthesis of different approaches and viewpoints.
“Many chief executives and educators contend that the most important perspective of top executives should be liberally educated on life’. The total concept of Management requires an understanding of the meaning of liberal education and its relationship to Management functions. A liberal point of view is not merely the sum of a finite number of narrow approaches. Its emphasis is on freedom to choose from the widest range of possibilities by discovering new possibilities.” (Massie)
Definition of Management – Henry Fayol, Sir Charles Reynold, Mary Cushing Niles, Koontz and O’Donnell, F.W. Taylor, P.Drucker, Mary Parker Follett and Others
“Management” carries different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It is variously described as an “activity”, a “process”, and a “group of people” vested with authority to make decisions. Why, sometimes it is also used in the sense of trickery.
Henry Fayol – To manage is “to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate, and to control.”
Sir Charles Reynold – Management is “the process of getting things done through the agency of a community. The functions of management are the handling of a community with a view to fulfilling the purposes for which it exists.”
Mary Cushing Niles – “Good management, or ‘Scientific Management’, achieves a social objective with the best use of human and material energy and time, and with satisfaction for the participants and the public.”
John F. Mee – Management is the “art of securing maximum result with minimum of effort so as to secure maximum prosperity for the employer and employee, and give the public the best possible service.”
Koontz and O’Donnell – Management is the “creation and maintenance of an internal environment in an enterprise where individuals, working in groups, can perform efficiently and effectively towards the attainment of group goals. It is the art of getting the work done with and through people in formally organized group.”
Management has been defined by many thinkers in a number of ways.
Some of the important definitions are:
“Management is knowing exactly what you want men to do, and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way”. — F.W. Taylor
“Management is a multipurpose organ that manages a business, manages a manager and manages workers and work”. — P. Drucker
“Management is the art of getting things done through the other peoples”. — Mary Parker Follett
“Management may be defined as the art of applying economic principles that underline control of men and materials in enterprise under consideration”. — Kimball and Kimball
“Management is a kind of coordination activity between all the social process and man, machine, material, money and method; in such a way as to achieve the stated goals”. — Prof. S.B. Srivastava
“Management is the attainment of pre-established goals by the direction of human performance along the pre-established lines”. — Appley L.
“Management is principally a task of planning, coordinating, motivating and controlling the efforts of others towards specific objectives”. — James Landy
“Management is guiding human and physical resources into dynamic organization units which attain their objectives to the satisfaction of those served and with high degree of morale and sense of attainment on the part of those rendering service”. — American Management Association
“Management is to forecast and to plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control”. — Henri Fayol
“Management is the process of planning, organizing, leading and controlling the efforts of organization members and of using all other organizational resources to achieve stated organizational goals”. — James A.F. Stoner.
This definition suggests:
i. That management is a continuous process.
ii. There are several interrelated activities to be performed by managers irrespective their level to achieve the desired goals.
iii. That manager is to use the organizational resources, both physical and human to achieve the goals.
iv. That management aims to achieve the organizational goals by ensuring effective use of resources.
“Management is defined 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”. — Koontz & O’Donnell.
From the above definitions, it can be concluded that “Management is a social activity involving coordination between material resources and humans through the functions of organizing, planning, leading, staffing and controlling as such to get the stated objectives”.
Here in this definition, the following are the five parts of management as a social process:
i. The first is the coordination of resources.
ii. The second is the performance of the managerial function as a basic means for achieving coordination.
iii. The third is to establish the objectives or purpose of managerial process. The managerial activities should be perfectly purposeful.
iv. The fourth aspect of the management is a social process. It means that how to get work done by other people.
v. The last and fifth activity indicates a cyclical process which is a continuous process that represents planning – control-re-planning cycle, and so on.
Definition of Management – Propounded by F.W. Taylor, Harold Koontz, Harold Koontz, EFL Brech, R.C. Davis, TCM Bartol and D.C. Martin
The focal point of every business enterprise in today’s dynamic business world is “Management”. The complex structure evolved for business units today has made it impossible to handle it by a single person. It involves large number of people and “management” is the buzz word.
This wide involvement of people and dispersion of its awareness has led to the realization – “The modern age of organization”. Modern day business environment carry out all human activities through organizations ranging from production of goods and services, organizing sports, events, managing political economy, scientific research, events, managing political economy, scientific research, or transport and communication systems.
The effectiveness of all the business units further depends on its management. Vital roles played by management of any organization include planning, organizing and integrating all activities and resources of an organization to achieve pre-conceived, well-defined objectives. These tasks are performed by well-trained managers.
These well-trained managers direct the organization to achieve its goals set by the board by mobilizing the required factors of production, coordinating activities and inspiring people. Thus, ‘management’ may be understood as a prime mover of organizational performance and behaviour. Managers, on the other hand are ones to provide dynamism to organizations through effective leadership.
Management today has invaded each and every sphere of modern life, business as-well-as non-business activities. Hence, it plays a significant role in business world mainly because of the dynamism involved in business structures.
Different eminent scholars across the globe have defined management from their own perspective.
Some of the famous definitions of management have been given below:
“Management is a social process entailing responsibility for the effective (or efficient) planning and regulation of the operations of an enterprise in fulfillment of a given purpose or task, such responsibility involves- (a) the installation and maintenance of proper procedures to ensure adherence to plans, and (b) the guidance integration and supervision of the personnel composing the enterprise and carrying out its operations.” – EFL Brech
“Management is the function of executive leadership. Managerial functions involve the work of planning, organizing and controlling the activities of others in accomplishing the organization s objectives.” – R.C. Davis
On the basis of definitions discussed above, we may regard management as a distinct process. Though management concepts, principles and techniques are still under evolution. Considering management has yet not been developed as a discipline in itself, a wide influence of other developed disciplines like economics, sociology, anthropology, political science, statistics and mathematics, and others has been observed.
Consequently, no clear-cut definition of management has evolved by now. Though experiences of these developed disciplines have contributed to deeper development and understanding of management as a discipline. Management is understood in different contexts by different people.
Definition of Management – According to Peter F. Drucker
Management is a distinct process of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish stated objectives with the use of human beings and other resources.
Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims. Management is defined as the process by which a co-operative group directs actions towards common goals.
Every organization, at every level, needs management, be it an organization as small as a family/temple or a church or bigger organizations as schools, colleges, universities, business houses or even the Government. It is important for both profit and non-profit organizations. Labour unions and research organizations, hospitals and armed services are also guided by management principles.
Peter F. Drucker has very remarkably explained the importance of management in today’s context-
“Without institution there is no management. But without management there is no institution. Management is the specific organ of the modern institution. It is the organ on the performance of which the performance and the survival of the institution depends.”
In light of the above discussion, management can be viewed as a process where human and non-human resources are integrated and directed towards organizational goals, whether profit or service, through various functions of management, i.e., planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
Definition of Management – Propounded by Harold Koontz and F.W. Taylor
During the prehistoric days when man lived largely by collecting food ‘from the natural flora and by hunting, life was simple. Even in those days, men hunted for food, women cooked and cared for children, and people chose a leader who could lead them in hunting, and preferred someone to make their hunting equipment sharp and precise.
At a very rudimentary level, this is specialisation and division of labour. They managed the division of labour by planning, organising, finding appropriate people to do different tasks, and by choosing leaders who controlled the system through customs, practices, laws, and dispensation of justice.
According to Harold Koontz, “Management is the art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organised groups. It is an art of creating an environment in which people can perform and individuals can co-operate towards attainment of group goals”.
According to F. W. Taylor, “Management is the art of knowing what to do, when to do, and see that it is done in the best and cheapest way”.
Building on the definition of Harold Koontz, we can define management as the ‘process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals working in groups, efficiently employ resources including technology and machines and accomplish goals of stake holders effectively’.
This definition brings to the fore the following key issues of management- it is about people and other resources, there are goals for individuals, organisations, the society and other stake holders, and it involves creating an environment where people and resources interact. This definition answers the ‘what, why, and how’ of management.
Definition of Management – Dr. James Lundy, Harold Koontz, Henry Fayol, J.N. Schulze and S. George
Management is a general term. It refers to the organising and directing of human activities for attaining a definite objective. It is a process through which all the resources are organised and utilised to attain maximum efficiency.
In the words of Dr. James Lundy, “it is principally a task of planning, coordinating, motivating and controlling the efforts of others towards the specific objectives.”
In management literature, we find a large number of definitions of management given by different scholars who had different orientations.
Some of these definitions are given below:
Harold Koontz – “Management is the art of getting things done through and with people informally organised groups”.
Henry Fayol – “To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organize, to command, to co-ordinate and to control.”
J.N. Schulze – “Management is the force which leads, guides and directs an organisation in the accomplishment of a pre-determined object.”
S. George – “Management consists of getting things done through others. Manager is one who accomplishes the objectives by directing the efforts of others.”
Management has been defined in different senses emphasizing different aspects of management.
In its broad sense, management may include the following:
(a) Formulation of plans, policies and objectives,
(b) Securing men, material, machinery, money and methods for this achievement,
(c) Putting all of them into operation,
(d) Directing and motivating the men at work,
(e) Supervising and controlling their performance, and
(f) Providing maximum satisfaction and service to employer, employees and public at large.