Learn and Study, Management as, What? As an Activity…as a Profession!


Before You Start Studying, let’s want to know, what you going to learn it. Management can be defined in detail in following categories: Management as an Art, as a Science, as a Process, as an Activity, as a Discipline, as a Group, and as a Profession. Is Management an as Profession? Also learned, the Subsidiary Functions of Management!  Continuously Studying – After, Management as, What? As an Art…As a Process! Management as, What? Now, Learning next part of Management as, What? As an Activity…as a Profession!

First, define, Management is a universal phenomenon. It is a very popular and widely used term. All organizations – business, political, cultural or social are involved in management because it is the management which helps and directs the various efforts towards a definite purpose. According to Harold Koontz, “Management is an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups. It is an art of creating an environment in which people can perform and individuals and can co-operate towards the attainment of group goals”. According to F.W. Taylor, “Management is an art of knowing what to do when to do and see that it is done in the best and cheapest way”.

Management is a purposive activity. It is something that directs group efforts towards the attainment of certain predetermined goals. It is the process of working with and through others to effectively achieve the goals of the organization, by efficiently using limited resources in the changing world. Of course, these goals may vary from one enterprise to another. E.g.: For one enterprise it may be launching new products by conducting market surveys and for other, it may be profit maximization by minimizing cost.

Management involves creating an internal environment: – It is the management which puts to use the various factors of production. Therefore, it is the responsibility of management to create such conditions which are conducive to maximum efforts so that people are able to perform their task efficiently and effectively. It includes ensuring availability of raw materials, determination of wages and salaries, formulation of rules & regulations etc.

Management can be defined in detail in following categories :

  • Management as an Art!
  • Management as a Science!
  • Management as a Process!
  • Management as an Activity!
  • Management as a Discipline!
  • Management as a Group, and!
  • Management as a Profession!

Now Explain it:

Continuously Studying – After, Management as, What? As an Art…As a Process! Management as, What? Now, Learning next part of Management as, What? As an Activity…as a Profession!

#Management as an Activity!

Like various other activities performed by human beings such as writing, playing, eating, cooking etc, management is also an activity because a manager is one who accomplishes the objectives by directing the efforts of others. According to Koontz, “Management is what a manager does”.

Management as an activity includes:

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Informational activities: In the functioning of the business enterprise, the manager constantly has to receive and give information orally or in writing. A communication link has to be maintained with subordinates as well as superiors for the effective functioning of an enterprise.

Decisional activities: Practically all types of managerial activities are based on one or the other types of decisions. Therefore, managers are continuously involved in decisions of different kinds since the decision made by one manager becomes the basis of action to be taken by other managers. (E.g. Sales Manager is deciding the media & content of advertising).

Inter-personal activities: Management involves achieving goals through people. Therefore, managers have to interact with superiors as well as the subordinates. They must maintain good relations with them. The inter-personal activities include the subordinates and taking care of the problem.

#Management as a Discipline!

Management as a discipline refers to that branch of knowledge which is connected to study of principles & practices of basic administration. It specifies the certain code of conduct to be followed by the manager & also various methods for managing resources efficiently.

Management as a discipline specifies the certain code of conduct for managers & indicates various methods of managing an enterprise. Management is a course of study which is now formally being taught in the institutes and universities after completing a prescribed course or by obtaining degree or diploma in management, a person can get employment as a manager.

Any branch of knowledge that fulfills following two requirements is known as the discipline:

  • There must be scholars & thinkers who communicate relevant knowledge through research and publications.
  • The knowledge should be formally imparted by education and training programmes.

Since management satisfies both these problems, therefore it qualifies to be a discipline. Though it is comparatively a new discipline it is growing at a faster pace.

#Management as a Group!

Management as a group refers to all those persons who perform the task of managing an enterprise. When we say that management of ABC & Co. is good, we are referring to a group of people those who are managing. Thus as a group technically speaking, management will include all managers from chief executive to the first – line managers (lower-level managers). But in common practice management includes only top management i.e. Chief Executive, Chairman, General Manager, Board of Directors etc. In other words, those who are concerned with making important decisions, these persons enjoy the authorities to use resources to accomplish organizational objectives & also the responsibility to for their efficient utilization.

Management as a group may be looked upon in two different ways:

  1. All managers have taken together.
  2. Only the top management

The interpretation depends upon the context in which these terms are used. Broadly speaking, there are three types of managers:

  • Patrimonial / Family Manager: Those who have become managers by virtue of their being owners or relatives of the owners of the company.
  • Professional Managers: Those who have been appointed on account of their specialized knowledge and degree.
  • Political Managers / Civil Servants: Those who manage public sector undertakings.
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Managers have become a part of elite group of society as they enjoy the higher standard of living in the society.

#Management as a Profession!

Over a large few decades, factors such as growing size of the business unit, separation of ownership from management, growing competition etc have led to an increased demand for professionally qualified managers. The task of manager has been quite specialized. As a result of these developments, the management has reached a stage where everything is to be managed professionally.

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 itself-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 the profession, the 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, however, does not have any statuary powers to regulate the activities of managers.
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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: –

  • It does not restrict the entry in managerial jobs for the account of one standard or other.
  • No minimum qualifications have been prescribed for managers.
  • No management association has the authority to grant a certificate of practice to various managers.
  • All managers are supposed to abide by the code formulated by AIMA,
  • Competent education and training facilities do not exist.
  • Managers are responsible for many groups such as shareholders, employees, and society. A regulatory code may curtail their freedom.
  • Managers are known for their performance and not mere degrees.
  • 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’.”

Is Management an as Profession?

The corporate form of organization with separation of ownership from management, growing complexities in managing the activities of the organization, and development of an organized body of systematic knowledge of management are essential factors responsible for raising management to the status of a distinct profession.

A field is normally characterized as a profession when it exhibits the following special features:

  • The systematic body of knowledge.
  • Need for learning and proper organization.
  • Entry restricted on the basis of examination or education, and.
  • The dominance of service motive over the profit motive.

Except for restricted entry, management qualifies all the other tests of a profession. It is now backed by a systematic body of knowledge. A number of management principles have been developed, which need proper learning and education. Besides, in a number of countries, management institutes, associations, and universities are now imparting knowledge related to management.

Moreover, the present-day social and moral climate has created new challenges for management. The present-day management must be creative rather than adaptive and must be conscious of their ethical and social responsibilities to the society. Another important development in the field of management has been the rapid increase in the number of professional management consultants, whose quality is also improving by the day. But management fails to qualify the test of professionalism relating to restricted entry.

Though there is a growing awareness in the society to prefer properly educated and trained people for managing business enterprises, yet self-made managers cannot altogether be eliminated. Thus, management may not be a profession strictly similar to the legal or medical professions, yet professional overtones are very much present in management.


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