History and Evolution
To understand the concept of management, a recap of its history and its slow but steady evolution is absolutely necessary. After the advent of machines, thanks to the industrial revolution of the eighteenth century, management has become an entity by itself. Since business activity is increasing by leaps and bounds globally, a more organized set up is called for, which has led to the development of different management concepts. Whether you consider management an art or a science, one definite thing is that, science and art complement each other and not mutually exclusive.
Management gurus like Peter Drucker, Henry Fayol, Taylor and others have classified the essential features of management, for the benefit of the industry. Theory comes first followed by practice. Management knowledge certainly improves your style of working. How long do you think, luck, intuition or experience can be relied on, without a scientific knowledge of management. It is a thought to be pondered.
Practical experimentation and analysis of theoretical hypotheses, yield better results and in course of time you tend to gain more scientific knowledge. Management is a process of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. The management process is applicable to all kinds of organizations and firms, be it a private firm, a government institution, a hospital, a school, a college, an university and other financial, profit making or non profit making NGO’s. This clearly indicates that management is a process that involves individuals who work in groups to accomplish their objectives in an effective and efficient manner.
Levels of Management
Does management pertain only to the top level management? A big no! It applies to managers at all levels. It is a chain reaction and a successful management totally depends on the synergistic activities of the people belonging to that organization. So, care must be taken by the managers to create and design an internal environment that is conducive for the smooth operations of the firm thus increasing the productivity. This does not mean that the external environment can be overlooked. A manager has to respond to the periodic changes, be it social, technological, economic or political in the external environment also.
Management is a must for every organization and the style of management may vary according to the nature and size of business. Large organizations now-a-days prefer a “flat structure”, as it brings their employees closer and reduces the span of management, thus making communication faster. The more the number of levels, the more the conflict and improper communication. Although management pervades the entire organization, it is the duty of the top management cadre to initiate and maintain consistency in the process of management.
All managers (by the term “manager “which is a much generalized term, we denote persons who hold authority to get things done; he may be a financial, administrative, human resource or a production executive) have a common aim, that is to create surplus. To increase productivity, create a suitable environment for the effective performance of their group and to solve crisis situations, they must be capable of seeing the “big picture”.
A sea of changes has swept the theory of management area in recent times, owing to the development of different approaches. Management theory is criticized to have all the characteristics of a jungle as numerous management practitioners have recorded their findings in the management history. This led to severe confusion as to what management is, and how things should be organized; however, in modern corporate business world, the managerial activity is directed towards growth, thanks to the innovative management concepts evolved by successful companies.