Introduction to Management


Definition of Management

The term management is used in different contexts to refer to different constructs;

  1. Management as a group of people: Management is seen as a group of people whose job is to direct the efforts of others in the organization towards the attainment of the organizational goals.
  2. Management as a resource: When economists identify and discuss the factors of production, they include management as one of the factors of production.
  3. Management as a rank or position or a system of authority: Organizations are hierarchically structured with levels. Certain levels in the hierarchy arc management positions by virtue of the responsibilities of the position bearers.
  4. Management as a discipline: The term management is also used to refer to a discipline which is an art and a science. Meaning that, it is a body of knowledge consisting of skills, techniques and principles which are taught in a formal setting, which managers can use to run an organization.
  5. Management as a process: The management process has been defined by several writers in different ways, however, due to the complex nature of management there is no one definition that suffices. We therefore explore several definitions of management as process;

i) Management as a process of getting things done through the ability and effort of other people. (Rosemary Stewart)
ii) Management is the process of designing, creating and maintaining of an internal environment where individuals working together in groups can perform effectively and efficiently towards attainment of group goals. (Koontz and O’Donnell)
iii) Management is a process of achieving organizational the goals through performance of five specific functions which include: planning, organizing, staffing, directing and
iv) To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organise, to command, to ‘co-ordinate and to control. (Henri Fayol)
v) Management is the art of getting things done through people. (Mary Parker Follet)
vi) Management is the effective utilization of organizational resources to achieve the objectives of the enterprise. (William F.Glucck). Management involves manipulation of the organizational resources with a view of optimizing their use in order to maximize profits and achieve the various organization objectives. The resources being: the 6 M’s human resources, financial resources, machinery and equipments, material resources, time, technology.


1. Management is complex.

Management involves dealing with a variety of activities and variables. Some of the variables are interrelated while others are heterogeneous. Some management variables are within the control of the entity’s’ management yet other variables are beyond their control. Environmental uncertainty further complicates the management process. The fact that management involves making constant changes to activities, decisions and strategies causes management to be a complex process.

2. Management is universal.

Management is practiced in virtually all productive organizations; whether public sector or private sector, profit making or non-profit making, large or small, domestic or multinational enterprise. There are also universal fundamental management principles that are applied in management and in addition managers at all levels perform the same basic functions.

3. Management is goal Oriented.

Management is not a random process but purposeful. The process of management is geared towards attainment of specified organizational goals.

4. Management is a social process

A social process refers to forms of social interaction that occur repeatedly. Management is concerned with developing various relationships among people. Management is also done by people, through people and for people. It touches all aspects of human activities

5. Management is an integrative process

Management involves synchronizing individual organizational members’ objectives and departmental objectives with those of the rest of the organization, It involves synchronizing the activities of the different units of the enterprise.

6. Management is concerned with productivity

Productivity is a function of efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency is n interned with using the minimum amount of resources to achieve the desired ends. Effectiveness on the other hand is doing the right thing at the right lime and achieving

7. Management is a continuous process:

Management is a never-ending process as long as the entity is in existence. All the functions of management are performed continuously.

8. Management is Multidisciplinary

Management draws from a variety of disciplines such as; finance, engineering, sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology and others.

9. Management is a Composite process

Management consists of series of functions which must be performed in n proper sequence. These’ functions are inter-dependent. As the main functions of management are planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling; organizing cannot be done without doing planning, similarly, directing function cannot be executed without staffing and planning and it is difficult to control the activities of employees without knowing the plan. All the functions inter-dependent on each other that is why management is considered as a composite process of all these functions.

10. Management is Pervasive:

Management is not confined to one or a few aspects of the organization rather every aspect of an enterprise requires management and is affected by management.

11. Management is distinct from ownership:

In principles of good governance practices, management is divorced from ownership. For practical reasons all the owners of the organisation for instance a listed company cannot manage the organisation. For this reason, the organisation is entrusted to salaried professionals who manage the organisation to ensure that the goals of the owners arc attained.

12. Management is an Art as well as Science:

Management is both an art and a science. It is an art as it involves application of practical knowledge to solve practical problems. It is a science as it has an organized body of – knowledge which contains certain universal truths and an art as managing requires certain skills which apply more or less in every situation

13. Management is a dynamic function:

Management is practiced in a dynamic environment that is not static. This implies that constant changes have to be made to align the organization to the changes’ in the environment.

14. Management is Intangible:

Management function cannot be physically seen but its presence can be felt. The presence of management can be felt by seeing the orderliness and coordination in the working environment. It is easier to feel the presence of mismanagement as it leads to chaos and confusion in the organization.

15. Management is Multidimensional:

Management involves a variety of activities which include;

(a) Management of tasks: All organizations are set up to perform some task or goal, Management activities aim at achieving goals or tasks to be accomplished. The task or work depends upon the nature of Business. Management makes sure that work is accomplished effectively and efficiently.
(b) Management of people: People refer to Human resources and Human resources are the most important assets of an organization. An organization can gain competitive advantage through strategic management of human resources (employees)
(c) Management of operations: Operations refer to activities in an organization that transform inputs into outputs. Management of operations combines management of tasks with management of human

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