What is Management ?
Peter Ferdinand Drucker
(November 19, 1909 – November 11, 2005)
(Istanbul, 29 July 1841–Paris, 19 November 1925)
Frederick Winslow Taylor
(March 20, 1856 – March 21, 1915)
Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal. Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.
Since organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action, including design, to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system. This view opens the opportunity to 'manage' oneself, a pre-requisite to attempting to manage others.
The verb manage comes from the Italian maneggiare (to handle — especially tools), which in turn derives from the Latin manus (hand). The French word mesnagement (later ménagement) influenced the development in meaning of the English word management in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Some definitions of management are:
- Organization and coordination of the activities of an enterprise in accordance with certain policies and in achievement of clearly defined objectives. Management is often included as a factor of production along with machines, materials, and money. According to the management guru Peter Drucker (1909–2005), the basic task of a management is twofold: marketing and innovation.
- Directors and managers have the power and responsibility to make decisions to manage an enterprise when given the authority by the shareholders. As a discipline, management comprises the interlocking functions of formulating corporate policy and organizing, planning, controlling, and directing the firm's resources to achieve the policy's objectives. The size of management can range from one person in a small firm to hundreds or thousands of managers in multinational companies. In large firms the board of directors formulates the policy which is implemented by the chief executive officer.
Levels of management
In organizations, there are generally three different levels of managers: first-level managers, middle-level managers, and top-level managers. These levels of managers are classified in a hierarchy of importance and authority, and are also arranged by the different types of management tasks that each role does. In many organizations, the number of managers in every level resembles a pyramid, in which the first-level has many more managers than middle-level and top-level managers, respectively. Each management level is explained below in specifications of their different responsibilities and likely job titles.
Typically consist of board of directors, president, vice-president, chief executive officers, etc. These individuals are mainly responsible for controlling and overseeing all the departments in the organization. They develop goals, strategic plans, and policies for the company, as well as make many decisions on the direction of the business. In addition, top-level managers play a significant role in the mobilization of outside resources and are for the most part responsible for the shareholders and general public.
According to Lawrence S. Kleiman, the following skills are needed at the top managerial level.
- Broadening their understanding of how factors such as competition, world economies, politics, and social trends influence the effectiveness of the organization.
These personnel typically consist of general managers, branch managers, department managers. These individuals are mainly responsible to the top management for the functioning of their department. They devote more time to organizational and directional functions. Their roles can be emphasized as executing plans of the organization in conformance with the company's policies and the objectives of the top management, they define and discuss information and policies from top management to lower management, and most importantly they inspire and provide guidance to lower level managers towards better performance. Some of their functions are as follows:
- Designing and implementing effective group and intergroup work and information systems.
- Defining and monitoring group-level performance indicators.
- Diagnosing and resolving problems within and among work groups.
- Designing and implementing reward systems that support cooperative behavior.
Typically consist of supervisors, section officers, foreman, etc. These individuals focus more on the controlling and direction of management functions. For instance, they assign tasks and jobs to employees, guide and supervise employees on day-to-day activities, look after the quantity and quality of the production of the company, make recommendations, suggestions, and communicate employee problems to the higher level above, etc. In this level, managers are the "image builders" of the company considering they are the only ones who have direct contact with employees.
- Basic supervision.
- Career planning.
- Performance feedback.