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What is management?

What is management?

Management is regarded as the most important of all human activities. It may be called the practice of consciously and continually shaping organizations. Each and every organization has people who are entrusted with the responsibility of helping the organization achieve its goals. Those people are called managers. No organization can carry on its business without management, which is in turn supervised by managers.

Managing is essential to ensure the coordination of individual efforts within an organization. It is exciting because it deals with setting, seeking, and reaching the objectives of an organization. Each and every one of us is a manager and the practice of management is found in every facet of human endeavor- educational institutions, business, government or non-government organizations, associations, mosques, and families. Whatever may be the type of endeavor and/or organization, the managerial hurdles to overcome for setting and achieving objectives are surprisingly similar for all organizations.

Management is universal. Every group effort requires setting objectives, making plans, handling people, coordinating and controlling activities, achieving goals, and evaluating performance directed towards organizational goals. These activities relate to the utilization of four types of input or resources from the environment − human, monetary, physical, and informational. Human resources include managerial talent, labor, and so forth. Monetary resources are the financial capital the organization uses to finance both ongoing and long-term operations. Physical resources include raw materials, office and production facilities, and equipment. Information resources are data and other kinds of information utilized by the organization. The job of the manager is to combine and coordinate these resources to achieve the organization’s goals.

Management has been defined by various authors/authorities in various ways. So, the definitions of management are numerous. Most of them have merit and highlight important aspects of management. A few often-quoted definitions are:

"The process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the work of organization members and of using all available organizational resources to reach stated organizational goals".

"Management is a distinct process consisting of activities of planning, actuating, and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish stated objectives with the use of human beings and other resources".

"Management is the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling an organization’s human, financial, physical, and information resources to achieve organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner".

All these three definitions put emphasis on the attainment of organizational goals/objectives through the deployment of the management process (planning, organizing directing, etc.) for the best use of the organization’s resources.

Many of us are apt to define management as “getting things done through other people in an efficient manner.” The term efficient means doing things in a systematic manner without waste. From this perspective of managerial efficiency, the most widely accepted definition of management could be the act of "designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims".

At this stage, we need to understand who a manager is. In simple words, a manager is a person who is responsible for directing the efforts aimed at helping organizations achieve their goals.

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