Managing is essential in all organized co-operation, as well as at all levels of organization in an enterprise. It is the function performed not only by corporation President and the army general but also of the shop supervisors and the company commander. Managing is equally important in business as well as non business organizations. During the last few decades, Management as a discipline has attracted the attention of academicians and practitioners to a very great extent. The basic reason behind this phenomenon is the growing importance of management in day to day life of the people.

Because of the divergent views, it is very difficult to give a precise definition to the term Management. It has drawn concepts and Principles from economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, and statistics and so on. The result is that each group of contributors has treated Management differently. Management is invariably defined as the process of ―getting things done through the effort of others‖, getting from where we are to where we want to be with the least expenditure of time, money and efforts, or co-ordinating individual and group efforts, or co-ordinating individual and group efforts towards super-ordinate goals.

Harold Koontz defines management in a very simple form where he states that ―Management is the art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups‖.

Dalton E. McFarland defines “Management as Management is defined for conceptual, theoretical and analytical purposes as that process by which Managers create direct, maintain and operate purposive organization through systematic co-ordinated co-operative human effort.”

To sum up, we can say that management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims.



The study and application of Management techniques in managing the affairs of the organization have changed it‘s nature over the period of time. The nature of Management can be described as

  1. Multi disciplinary :- Management integrates the ideas and concepts taken from disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, ecology, statistics, operation research, history etc. and presents newer concepts which can be put in practice for managing the organizations. Contributions to the field of management can be expected from any discipline which deals with some aspects of human beings.


  1. Dynamic Nature of Principles:- Principles are a fundamental truth which establish cause and effect relationship of a function. Based on practical evidences, management has framed certain principles, but these principles are flexible in nature and change with the changes in the environment in which an organization exists. In the field of Management, organization researches are being carried on to establish principles in changing society and no principles can be regarded as a final truth.
  1. Relative, Not Absolute Principles:- Management Principles are relative, not absolute and they should be applied according to the need of the organization. Each organization may be different from others. The difference may exist because of time, place, socio-cultural factors etc. A particular management Principle has different strengths in different conditions and therefore Principles of Management should be applied in the light of the prevailing conditions.
  1. Management, science, or Art:- Science is based on logical consistency, systematic explanation, critical evaluation, and experimental analysis. It is a systematized body of knowledge. Management, being a social science may be called an inexact or pseudoscience. The meaning of art is related with the bringing of the desired results through the application of skills. It has to do with applying of knowledge or science or of expertness in performance. Management can be considered as an art and a better manager is one who knows how to apply the knowledge in solving a particular problem.
  2. Management as a Profession:- The word profession may perhaps be defined as an occupation-based upon specialized intellectual study and training, the purpose of which is to supply skilled service or advice to others for a definite fee or salary. The profession is an occupation for which specialized knowledge, skills, and training are required and the use of these skills is not meant for self-satisfaction, but these are used for the larger interests of the society and the success of these skills is measured not in terms of money alone. Management possesses certain characteristics of a profession, while others are missing. Therefore, it cannot be said to be a profession, though it is emerging as a profession and the move is towards management as a profession.
  3. The universality of Management:- There are arguments in favor and against the concept of universality.

The arguments in favor of universality are:-

[a]management as a process and the various process of management are universal for all organizations

[b]distinction between management fundamentals and techniques

[c]distinction between management fundamentals and practices.

The arguments against universality are:-

[a]management is culture bound

[b]management depends upon the objectives of an enterprise

[c]management depends upon the differences in philosophies of organization


Creative, dynamic management is a driving force behind the success of any business. In today‘s marketplace, change is rapid and managers are expected to deal with a broad set of issues and needs. How they address those issues is very different today than it was a hundred years ago. Times have changed, labor has changed, and, most importantly, management philosophies have changed. The management philosophies of yesterday are valuable tools for managers to use today. The development of management thought has been evolutionary in nature under the following four parts:-

1.Pre- Scientific Management Era [Before 1880]

2.Classical Management Era [1880-1930]

3.Neo-Classical Management Era[1930-1960]

4.Modern Management Era [1950 onwards]

During pre-scientific management era, valuable contributions were made by Churches, Military organizations and writers like Charles Babbage and Robert oven. A school of thought emerged in this era is known as pre-scientific management school.

The earliest management philosophy, the classical perspective, emerged in the 19th and early 20th century in response to a problem businesses grapple with today: how to make businesses efficient operating machines. In the factory system, managers had the challenge of coordinating a huge, unskilled labor force, complex production systems, and an expansive manufacturing operation. The classical theorists like F.W.Taylor and Henri Fayol concentrated on organizational structure for the accomplishment of organizational goal.

Frederick Winslow Taylor‘s solution was the Scientific Management approach which proposed that productivity could be improved only by a series of precise procedures developed from a scientific observation of a situation. This approach standardized labor and training, employee hiring, and tied compensation to increased productivity. While highly successful, this approach did not take into consideration the diversity of abilities and needs within the workforce.

The neo classical writers like Elton Mayo and Chester I. Barnard tried to improve upon the theories of classical writers. They suggested improvements for good human relations in the organization. A crucial shift in management philosophy came in the 1920s with a new emphasis on human behaviors, needs and attitudes in the workplace over the economy and efficiency of production. This new way of thinking led the way for the human resource perspective, which saw workers as a resource to be fully utilized, as opposed to tools from which to extract utility. It suggested that beyond the need for worker inclusion and supportive leadership, organizations should design jobs to meet the higher needs of their employees and utilize their full potential. This perspective paved the way for the role that human relations departments play in organizations today.

Many of today‘s management perspectives grew out of adaptations of the humanistic perspective. One such perspective is the systems theory, which views an organization as a series of interconnected systems that affect and are effected by each other

The modern management thinkers like Robert Schlaifer and Herbert Simon define organization as a system. They also consider the impact of environment on the effectivenss of the organization. The social system school, the decision theory school, the quantitative management school, the systems management school, etc. are the contributions of modern management era.

To sum up (A)Early management approaches which are represented by scientific management, the administrative management theory and the human relations movement

(B)Modern management approaches which are represented by scientific management, the administrative/management science approach, the systems approach and the contingency approach


The development of thought on Management dates back to the days when people first attempted to accomplish goals by working together in groups.With the work of Frederic Taylor and Henri Fayol, there was serious thinking and theorizing about managing many years before. In the early 19th century , industrialization and the factory system saw the advent of assembly line operation and costing systems. Management Principles in business were adopted in the latter half of nineteenth century. As the concept of management evolved, various schools of management thought emerged. Thus there came a myriad ways of classifying management theories. One such classification was given by Koontz, who classified the theories into the following six groups:


  • The management process school
  • The empirical school
  • The human behavioral school
  • The social systems school
  • The decision theory school
  • The mathematical school
School of Distance Education 

The purpose of this article is to identify the various schools of management theory, indicate the source of the differences, and to provide some suggestions for disentangling the management theory jungle. Koontz describes six schools of management theory as follows.

  1. The Management Process School:– The management process school views management as a process of getting things done with people working in organized groups. Fathered by Henri Fayol, this school views management theory as a way of organizing experience for practice, research and teaching. It begins by defining the functions of management.
  1. The Empirical School:- The empirical school views management theory as a study of experience. Koontz mentions Ernest Dale’s comparative approach as an example which involves the study and analysis of cases. The general idea is that generalizations can be drawn from cases that can be applied as guides in similar situations. As such it is also known as case approach or management experience approach. According to this school, management is considered as a study of managers in practice. It is a study of success and failures in the application of management techniques by managers in their practice. Theories of management can be developed by studying large number of experiences because some sort of generalizations can be possible.
  1. The Human Behavior School:-The central thesis of the human behaviour school is that since management involves getting thing done with people, management theory must be centered on interpersonal relations. Their theory focuses on the motivation of the individual viewed as a socio-psychological being. This approach can be divided into two groups ; interpersonal behaviors approach and group behaviors approach. Emphasis is put on increasing productivity through motivation and good human relations.
  1. The Social System School:- The members of the social system school of management theory view management as a social system. March and Simon’s 1958 book Organizations published by Wiley is used as an example, but Koontz indicates that Chester Barnard is the spiritual father of this school of management. The social system school identifies the nature of the cultural relationships of various social groups and how they are related and integrated. Barnard’s work includes a theory of cooperation that underlies the contributions of many others in this school. Herbert Simon and others expanded the concept of social systems to include any cooperative and purposeful group interrelationship or behavior. According to this approach, the organization is essentially a cultural system composed of people who work in co-operation. As such, for achieving organizational goals, a cooperative system of management can be developed only by understanding the behavior of people in groups.
  1. The Decision Theory School:- The decision theory school of management concentrates on the rational approach to decisions where alternative ideas or courses of action are analyzed. The decision is the central focus. This approach looks at the basic problem of management around decision making – selection of a suitable course of action out of the given alternatives Major contribution to this approach has come from Simon, March, Cyert, Forrester, etc. The major emphasis of this approach is that decision-making is the job of every manager. The manager is a decision-maker and the organization is a decision-making unit. Therefore the basic problem in managing is to make rational decisions.
  1. The Mathematical School:- The mathematical school of management views management as a system of mathematical models and processes. This includes the operations researchers and management scientists. But Koontz points out that in his view mathematics is a tool, not a school.

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