You are on page 1of 5

George Sebastian 1/4 109244415

Introduction to Management
According to Pettinger (2002)1, management can variously be defined as a `science, profession and art and `its status lies somewhere between the three with `strong elements of each.
To analyse the statement of pettinger we need to understand the history of management. It was Joseph Wharton who established a college course in Business management in 1881 (University of Pennsylvania). It is widely accepted that Henry Fayol was the first to compile the theories of management in a remarkable way. Theories of management were widely applied in the World War 2 and after the World War 2 Governments and companies started following management practices in an extensive way and because of that from an insignificant position in the 19th century management studies have gathered steam and now in this 21st century we have it applied in rocket building to personal management to almost anything we do. These are some of the fragmented information we have on the history of management. I do not think management has its root in 18th century or 19th century. Management techniques were followed even in our ancient civilisations and we have Archaeological evidences suggesting that the roots of management was guiding the human race for centuries Kautilyas Arthasstra (Economic science) written about 321 BC have many management principles encrypted in it. He has specified the importance of social,

George Sebastian 2/4 109244415

Political, economic and personal management in everyday management of kingdom. (Translated by R. Shamasastry, 1915). Early civilizations west of Mesopotamia and the writing of the Egyptians extending back to around 1200 B.C. indicate knowledge and use of management for guiding political affairs. Likewise, the history of ancient Greece and that of the Roman Empire gives much evidence of managerial knowledge. Church also played a pivotal role in management by means of developing a worldwide, classical organization structure and by the effective use of authority in managerial work, (George R. Terry, 1968). It is generally acknowledged that management as a field of study has its early beginnings during World War 2. In 1940 the British military organized a group of scientists headed by Professor P.M.S.Blackett to investigate a number of complex operational decision problems. This group included physicists, mathematicians, Physiologists, surveyors, astrophysicists, army officers and others were known as the Army Operational Research Group and unofficially as Blankets Circus, (Dannenbring and Starr, 1981).So unlike the modern managers who are trained in every aspect of management, they had a group of people specialised in different areas to take joint decisions in management. From these we can understand that the management education as it exist had its beginnings from the theories and assumptions made by people from different areas of specialisation. There were many economists, scientists, philosophers and others who have laid down the basics of management but they were not distinctively classified as management works. Everyone has a sense of management in them. Therefore Management

George Sebastian 3/4 109244415

as a whole cannot be classified as a science or art. It is a combination of interdisciplinary skills and practices that are logically viable in a given set of conditions. There is a science of management and an art of management. Science and art are part of this profession. According to George R. Terry, Science of management can be defined as a body of systematized knowledge accumulated and accepted with reference to the understanding of general truths concerning a particular phenomenon, subject or object of study and the art of management is the bringing about of desired result through the application of skills. Science teaches one to know and an art teaches one to do. In the art of management there are major differences among individual managers. This is due primarily to variation in judgement, understanding, motive, and ability to work with people, (1968). In essence, a manager is a scientist and an artist. He needs a systematized body of knowledge which provides fundamental truths he can utilize in his work. At the same time he must inspire, cajole, flatter, teach, and induce others to serve in unison given goal. It is best never to become addicted to either all science or all art in management. Both are needed, and in any case the combination to be used should fit the malady. In any given case, management can be dominated by science with a sound artistic veneer or it can be just an opinionated folklore with slight sprinkling of management science. Some believe that art is superior to science because art starts from beginning whereas science usually builds on its predecessors. In certain sense it can be said that the art of management starts where the science of management stops (George R Terry, 1968).

George Sebastian 4/4 109244415

Management was not considered to be a profession. A manager was not expected to complete a formal education in management, were as he was hired considering his experience and knowledge in certain fields relevant to the industry. But the picture had changed as we advanced into the 21st century. Employees interested in management have started taking formal education like an MBA before entering the management side of the business. A professional qualification in management has a considerable weightage in employability in management sectors. We have discussed about management being a science, art or profession and I agree with pettingers statement that its status lies somewhere between the three with strong elements of each and according to me In the present scenario management can be considered as a profession which is expected to have a scientific leaning in terms of fundamental approaches, but with a human touch of artistic skills.

Kautilya - Arthasastra (Translated by R. Shamasastry, 1915), Raguveer Printing Press, Mysore, 1956 George R. Terry (1968) - Principles of Management, Richard D. Irwin, Inc. David G. Dannenbring and Martin K. Starr (1981 ) - Management Science an Introduction, McGraw-Hill, Inc.