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Management studies are of recent origin but management is as old as man’s need
for organizing work and activities. Management now has become a ‘discipline’.
Numerous Management Gurus have emerged. They have been defining,
redefining and commenting on the scope and nature of Management. Question
as to whether Management is a Science or an Art has been resolved by saying
that Management is the “oldest of the arts and youngest of the sciences”.

Management is different from other higher studies because of its inclusive

nature. It, not only deals with the theory and practice of production of goods and
services but also with development and deployment of human resources.

Manufacturing, procuring, distributing and delivering of goods in a competitive

environment and international markets demands efficient and effective
operations. Selling, promoting and marketing of goods too calls for coordinated
efforts and innovative ideas. Services to customers and the analysis of queue
systems is yet another aspect of Management.

Historically, Management Studies have their origin in the body of knowledge

stemming from industrial engineering. This body of knowledge formed the basis
of the first MBA programs, and has become “central to operations management
as used across diverse business sectors, industry, consulting and non-profit

It is not only the scope but also the nature of Management that demands proper
understanding. How the various “parts” of an organisation relate to their “whole”
and what contribution they make to its efficient and productive working are
important issues. Looked at from these considerations, an organisation needs to
devise standards for measuring its performance. Here, the distinction between
efficiency and effectiveness assumes significance.

Often, Management is divided into Operations management and Production

management. Operations management is the process whereby resources or
inputs are converted into more useful products. Thus, there appears hardly any
difference between “production management and operations management”.
However, “production management” is used for a system that produces tangible
goods. Operations management is used for a system that transforms various
inputs into tangible services, for example, banks, airlines, utilities, pollution
control agencies, super bazaars, educational institutions, libraries, consultancy
firms and police departments, and, of course, manufacturing enterprises. The
second distinction relates to the evolution of the subject. ‘Operations
management’ is currently in vogue. Earlier, ‘Production management’ was in use.
Both terms are interchangeably used.

Stanley Vance has defined Management as simply the process of decision-making

and control over actions of human beings for the attainment of pre-determined
goals. Lawrence Appley says it is the “accomplishment results” through others.
According to John Mee, management is the art of maximizing results and
minimizing efforts for securing maximum happiness and prosperity for the
employees and the employer and giving the public best possible service. The
scope as well as nature of Management, thus, remains undefined but its goals are
hotly pursued.