Definition and Meaning of Management

Management means coordinating the work of people by using the available resources efficiently and effectively to ensure the achievement of goals.

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Management refers to the strategic planning, organizing, staffing, leading and directing of an organization or initiative.

The success of any organization depends on the management team. No matter the size or type of business, good management is essential for a successful outcome. Management is necessary so that all people can contribute their best efforts to the organization’s goals.

Management includes those functions that are related to each other. For theoretical purposes, it may be convenient to separate the functions of management but in practice, these functions are mixed and each function affects the performance of the other’s work.

Management Definition

Meaning of Management 

Management means many things to many people. Economists consider it a factor of production. Socialists view it as a class or group of people. While Management practitioners treat it as a process. Trade unionists consider management as an exploiting set of people. In simple terms, ‘Management is what a manager does.

Management is the art of getting things done through people in formally organised groups. Management can therefore be defined as the art or skill of directing human activities and physical resources in the accomplishment of planned goals.

“Management” is a wide term. It carries different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It is defined as a “process”, “activity”,  and  “group of people” vested with the authority to make decisions.

Definition of Management

According to Louis Allen, “Management is what a manager does”.

According to James D. Mooney and Allan C. Reiley, “Management is the art of directing and inspiring people”.

According to Peter Drucker, “Management is a multipurpose organ that manages a business, manages a manager and manages a worker and work”.

According to Koontz and O’Donnel, “Management is the creation and maintenance of an internal environment in an enterprise where individuals, working in groups, can perform efficiently and effectively toward the attainment of group goals. It is the art of getting the work done through and with people in formally organised groups”.

Management, in the context of business and organization, means coordinating the actions of people by using the available resources efficiently and effectively to ensure the achievement of goals. Management includes planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling the organization or initiative.

Management is essential for any organization, regardless of size or profitability. Whether the organization is big or small, profitable or non-profitable, good management is essential for success. Management is necessary so that everyone in the organisation can cooperate and can make their best contribution to achieving the collective objectives. Management includes those mutually related functions that all managers perform. Managers spend different amounts of time on different tasks. Managers at higher levels of the organization spend more time on planning and organization than managers at lower levels.

Management is an important topic that many authors have written about. The word management is a widely used word that is generally used for all types of activities. It is mainly used for many activities of any enterprise. From the above example and study of the situation, it must have become clear that management is that activity that is necessary for every organization in which people are working as a group. 

People in the organization perform different types of activity but they still work for the same purpose. Management provides direction to the efforts of the people to achieve the common objective. In this way, management sees that tasks are completed and goals are achieved (i.e. effect completion) with the least amount of resources and minimum cost (i.e. efficiency).

Thus, management can be defined as the process of getting the work done to achieve objectives effectively and efficiently. We need to analyze this definition. Some words need to be described in detail.

 These words are-

(a) Process 

(b) Effectively and

(c) To full capacity.

The process used in the definition means the primary function or activities that the management performs to get the tasks done. These functions are planning, organization, appointment, direction, and control, which will be discussed in this chapter and further in the book.

Effective or to do a task effectively actually means to accomplish a given task. Effective management is concerned with doing the right thing, completing the activities, and achieving the objectives. In other words, its function is to achieve the final result. But just completing the work is not enough, there is another aspect to it and that is efficiency i.e. doing the work efficiently.

Efficiency means doing the job correctly at the lowest cost. It involves a kind of cost-benefit analysis and the relationship between inputs and outputs. If we get more profit (output) by using fewer resources (input), then we will say that there is an increasing inefficiency. Efficiency will increase if fewer resources are used for the same profit or output and less cost is incurred. Input resources are those which are the money, materials, equipment, and human resources required to perform a particular task. Naturally, management is concerned with the efficient use of these resources as they reduce costs and ultimately increase profits.

Effectiveness vs Efficiency

Although these two words are different, they are related to each other. The management needs to be both efficient and effective. Effectiveness and skill are two sides of the same coin. But balance is necessary for both these aspects and sometimes management has to compromise efficiently. 

For example, it is easy to be effective and overlook efficiency which means getting the job done but at a high cost. For example, suppose a company aims to produce 8,000 units in a year. The manager was effective but not efficient enough to achieve this goal when power was not available most of the time, as more inputs (cost of labour, cost of electricity) were used for the same output. Sometimes business focuses more on the production of goods with fewer resources i.e. reduced cost but could not produce the stipulated output. 

As a result, the goods could not reach the market, so their demand decreased and their place was taken by the competitors. It is a situation of lack of efficiency but effectiveness as the goods did not reach the market. Therefore, achieving the goals (effectively) at the lowest cost (efficiently) is more important for the manager. It requires a balance between effectiveness and efficiency.

High efficiency is generally accompanied by high effectiveness which is the goal of all managers. But unnecessarily stressing high work efficiency without effectiveness is also undesirable. Management is weak due to a lack of both effectiveness and efficiency.