Nature and Characteristics of Management:
The salient features which highlight the nature of management is as follows:
(i) Management is goal-oriented: Management is not an end in itself. It is a means to achieve certain goals. Management has no justification to exist without goals. Management goals are called group goals or organizational goals. The basic goal of management is to ensure efficiency and economy in the utilization of human, physical and financial resources. The success of management is measured by the extent to which the established goals one achieved. Thus, management is purposeful.
(ii) Management is universal: Management is an essential element of every organized activity irrespective of the size or type of activity. Wherever two or more persons are engaged in working for a common goal, management is necessary. All types of organizations, e.g., family, club, university, government, army, cricket team or business, require management. Thus, management is a pervasive activity. The fundamental principles of management are applicable in all areas of organized effort. Managers at all levels perform the same basic functions.
(iii) Management is an Integrative Force: The essence of management lies in the coordination of individual efforts into a team. Management reconciles the individual goals with organizational goals. As the unifying force, management creates a whole that is more than the sum of individual parts. It integrates human and other resources.
(iv) Management is a Social Process: Management is done by people, through people, and for people. It is a social process because it is concerned with interpersonal relations. The human factor is the most important element in management. According to Appley, “Management
is the development of people not the direction of things. A good manager is a leader, not a boss. It is the pervasiveness of human element which gives management its special character as a social process”.
(v) Management is multidisciplinary: Management has to deal with human behavior under dynamic conditions. Therefore, it depends upon wide knowledge derived from several disciplines like engineering, sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology, etc. The vast body of knowledge in management draws heavily upon other fields of study.
(vi) Management is a continuous Process: Management is a dynamic and an on-going process. The cycle of management continues to operate so long as there is an organised action for the achievement of group goals.
(vii) Management is Intangible: Management is an unseen or invisible force. It cannot be seen but its presence can be felt everywhere in the form of results. However, the managers who perform the functions of management are very much tangible and visible.
(viii) Management is an Art as well as Science: It contains a systematic body of theoretical knowledge and it also involves the practical application of such knowledge. Management is also a discipline involving specialized training and an ethical code arising out of
its social obligations. On the basis of these characteristics, management may be defined as a continuous social process involving the coordination of human and material resources in order to accomplish desired objectives. It involves both the determination and the accomplishment of organizational goals.
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