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Is Management an Art or Science Essay

Management is too complex of a concept for one definition to capture accurately. (Hitt et al. , 2012) There exists unanswered difficulties that reflect major hindrances in teaching and learning management. This problem arises mainly due to insufficient agreements about the definition of management. Moreover, agreements about the functions of management such as planning, organizing, and controlling have practically limited universal acceptance. However, staffing and leadership usually ends up being in the list. Recognition of management occurring outside of organization grounds are also minimal.

No concrete research is conducted about management outside organizations. There is also still an inability to differentiate between management and leadership. Although the definitions to these words might seem pretty straight-forward; a precise basis for differentiating the two; does not exist. The simple, oxford dictionary definition of management states, ‘Management is defined as the process of dealing with or controlling things or people’. Scholars, however have defined management in their own ways. According to Follett (2005), ‘management is an art of getting things done through people’.

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Mary Parker clearly describes management as an art. Another definition that inclines towards management being an art is by Harold Koontz. According to Koontz, ‘Management is the art of getting things done through others and with formally organised groups’ History Management in America formally started in the early 1900s amid the Industrial Revolution. In response to the industrial revolution, the management profession had two primary focuses. Firstly, improvement in efficiency was to be made in the industrial settings.

Secondly, it was important to create a science for the administration of organizations. All through this period, terms such as “administration,” “management,” and “organization” were used to signify, more or less, the same thing. With the emergence of the second half of the century, the term “management” was more widely used and accepted as a universal code. The attention then turned to identifying the mechanisms and limitations of this new discipline. During the early years of the Industrial Revolution, ‘personal judgement’; theoretically known as ‘Rule of Thumb’ was used.

Yet, while thinking about the semantics and theoretical circumstances in the administration calling today, it isn’t time-consuming to understand that a century after the production of Erederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management (1911), and half a century after the release of the Management Theory Jungle in 1961 by voyager Harold Koontz, it’s still a “jungle out there! ” (Dangerfield, 1986). The period ranging from the mid-twenties saw extraordinary expansion in respect to management theories and in the guru-industrial complex.

Many writers including Max Weber, Elton Mayo, Chester Barnard, Mary Parker Follett, and Chris Argyris laid forward theories from different fields such as psychology and sociology to be practiced in management. With all of the above said, it still remains a question as to whether management is an art or science. Science Science is defined as the systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. This proves that science is based on concrete facts and surety.

Efficient and effective management would require observation and experimentation and would indulge a new learning curve throughout its life-course. ‘Scientific management means knowing exactly what you want men to do and seeing that they do it in the best and the cheapest way’ (Taylor, 1911: 21) As a matter of fact, Management as a science was firstly characterized by Frederick Taylor (1911). According to Taylor (1911), ‘The best and the only way to maximize efficiency was a method that could only be developed through study and analysis” (p. 21)

Taylor was an American mechanical engineer who stepped forward to improve industrial efficiency. In 1911, Taylor published the book, The Principles of Scientific Management, which explained the rules for a effective industrial organization. Taylor believed management to be effective as a science. Under Taylor, the old rule-of-thumb was replaced with scientific management. Work was now divided among managers and workers to embrace specialisation. Workmen were scientifically selected, trained, thought and developed to undertake the work they were best fitted-in.

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Utmost cooperation between the management and workers was seriously encouraged. He states that, “close, intimate, personal cooperation between the management and the men is of the essence of modern scientific or task management” (Taylor, 1911: p. 4) ‘Harmony’ was key to ensure smooth and healthy working conditions and relationships. Moreover, the needs of the organization were separated from the needs of the individual thus giving individual preferences to all employees, at the same time, keeping in mind the goal of the organisation as a whole.

Various experiments was conducted by Taylor (1911) to devise techniques of scientific management. ‘Method’, ‘motion’, ‘time’ and ‘fatigue’ studies were personally devised to find out the most efficient way for the accomplishment of a task. The concept of functional foremanship was devised to ensure specialisation and division of work. Moreover, the ‘differential piece wage system’ was formulated to motivate the employees for better work effectiveness. The scientific facts and methods he formulated; reaped huge organisational benefits.

This proved management to be a science rather than a process completely depending on personal judgement. But the experiences of the last twenty years has made managers more alert, thus helping them understand that in new business environments; “scientific” principles can also end up being disastrous. In current market situations division of work, separating planning from execution, and the isolation of workers have created organizations that are not flexible enough to adapt to change.

Therefore, managers must now rethink all essential features of Taylor’s contribution: work organization, employee motivation, and the task of management. Yet, with the introduction of new specific techniques, the fundamental principles of a newer managerial patterns are far from clear. With that being said, Taylor’s scientific principles can’t still be ignored instead just needs to be expanded and reinforced. Thus, we can conclude that scientific management has brought a dramatic increase in productivity by modifying working methods in an organization.

Harmony and coordination was incorporated and work was divided among people to increase efficiency. Employees were paid by results to get advantage from incentive payments. Working conditions for employees were also improved through scientific management. The responsibilities, now, carry down to enrich the concept of management with new knowledge and understanding to adapt with the new-markets and latest trends. Management therefore, is indeed a science; because the scientific principles formulated by scholars such as F. W Taylor and M.

Weber; can be analysed and applied for improving the productivity and efficiency of organizations. This is an evident fact. These facts clearly depicts as management being a science. But the question remains; Is it an art? Art Art is defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Management on the other hand requires the application of human skill and imagination. This definition clearly shows that art is a very personalised concept. Basic theoretical knowledge will be used and be applied according to one’s calibre based on their practice and creativity.

Artists use ingredients which they have utmost knowledge in; to produce works of art they can call a ‘masterpiece’. Musical instruments, for example, are very compound instruments that have to be learned and applied but are very composite and challenging to manipulate. A true craftsman mentally connects with materials to assess strengths and weaknesses. They know how to work with it so that it wouldn’t let their efforts go to a waste. The manager’s materials to success comprises mainly of his own talent.

That talent that helps in revealing and shaping other human talents as well. The fundamental aim of the manager’s job is to accomplish remarkable performances and purposes through human efforts. According to Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, ‘Management is the art of arts because it is the organizer of talent’. Efficient management would require a scientific base with an artistic approach to applying these principles. Management is most definitely a science but human behaviour is flexible among a variety of people making it impossible to be applied in the same way, every time.

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Therefore science of management need to be utilized and applied according to the given circumstances and situations. Fayol (1916) was not so popular until his book ‘Administration Industrielle et Generale’ was published during 1916. It was later translated to English and published as ‘General and Industrial Management in 1949’. It got widespread publicity and imbedded Fayol as a huge authority on management. According to Henry Fayol (1916), “To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organise, to command, to co-ordinate and to control. ” It is evident from this definition that H.

Fayol believed in a systematic process of management. Based largely on experience, the concept of administration was developed by him. Science was used as basis to apply art; gained mainly from experience, to formulate fourteen principles of management. In Fayol’s works, he goes to great detail to explain what each principle means to him. Fayol saw vast difference between technical and administrative abilities. He proposes that engineers use minimal time for subjects like mathematics; instead focus on administration which above all else, was the art of managing human resources.

Fayol (1949, : 42) concluded, “Without principles we are working in the dark and in chaos, without experience and judgment we are still working under great dif? culties, even with the best of principles. Principles of management was looked upon with utmost importance by many scholars. According to Wren (1994), ‘The principle is the lighthouse, which enables us to get our bearings, but it can only help those who know the way into port’ (p. 188). All of the above prove that plain knowledge of science cannot be applied to all situations equally.

One needs to modify and use their creativity and knowledge to apply basic scientific knowledge for effective management. Theories that Fayol laid out has been compared with many management authors such as Follett, Taylor, and Porter. Some authors, particularly Mintzberg, negatively critiqued some of Fayol’s theories and principles. Fayol also negatively discussed other author’s theories that contradicted the the statements, theories and principles set by him. According to Lamond (2004), ‘Fayol gave us management as we would like it to be and Mintzberg gave us management as it is’.

We see contradictions and clashes among different management authors. Fayol applied principles based largely on experience which is seen to have negative feedback from others. But, this personal application has impacted and continues to have improvements in managerial efficiencies. Therefore, management as an art cannot be ignored as evidence suggests otherwise. Management as we know, has proven to be both a science; as well as an art. It is seen to require experimentation and is proved to be based on facts derived after repeated practice.

But, outcomes of these experiments are not capable of being accurately predicted or replicated because management deals with human behaviour and capabilities that tend to be very flexible due emotional and physical differences. The key framework of science has to be applied based on the practice and creativity of individual managers. They have to be modified according to a given situation. Management, as of now has been shaped and moulded since the industrial revolution to form a not-so-perfect but enhanced process. To conclude, one can say that science is a huge step taken to land on a field full of artistic materials.

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Is Management an Art or Science Essay
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Management is too complex of a concept for one definition to capture accurately. (Hitt et al. , 2012) There exists unanswered difficulties that reflect major hindrances in teaching and learning management. This problem arises mainly due to insufficient agreements about the definition of management. Moreover, agreements about the functions of management such as planning, organizing, and controlling have practically limited universal acceptance. However, staffing and leadership usually ends up bei
2018-03-01 17:50:12
Is Management an Art or Science Essay
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