Management: Scope, concept & Principles

Management is required in all kinds of organisations— whether government or private, whether business or non-business.  It is necessary so that individuals make their best contribution towards group objectives. It consists of a series of interrelated functions that are performed by all managers.

Concept of Management

Management is a very popular term and has been used extensively for all types of activities and mainly for taking charge of different activities in any enterprise.


“Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims”. –  Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich

“Management is the process of working with and through others to effectively achieve organisational objectives by efficiently using limited resources in the changing environment.” –  Kreitner

Characteristics of Management

  • Management is a goal-oriented process
  • Management is all pervasive
  • Management is multidimensional
    • Management of work
    • Management of people
    • Management of operations
  • Management is a continuous process
  • Management is a group activity
  • Management is a dynamic function
  • Management is an intangible

Importance of Management

  • Management helps in achieving organisation’s goals
  • Management creates a dynamic organisation and promotes Stability and Growth
  • Management helps in achieving personal objectives as well as development of society
  • Management increases Efficiency and Effectiveness

Nature of Management

As a Process

  • Management consists of a series of inter-related activities of planning, organising and controlling. All activities are undertaken in a proper sequence with a systematic approach so as to ensure that all actions are directed towards achievement of common goals. Thus, it is regarded as a process of organising and employing resources to accomplish the predetermined objectives.

As a Art

Management can be Art on account of following features:

  • Existence of theoretical knowledge – There are various theories of management, as propounded by many management thinkers, which prescribe certain universal principles.
  • Based on practice and creativity – A manager applies this acquired knowledge in a personalised and skillful manner in the light of the realities of a given situation.
  • Personalised application – A successful manager practices the art of management in the day-to-day job of managing an enterprise based on study, observation and experience

As Science

  • Systematised body of knowledge – Management has a systematised body of knowledge. It has its own theory and principles that have developed over a period of time, but it also draws on other disciplines such as Economics, Sociology, Psychology and Mathematics.
  • Principles based on experimentation – The principles of management have evolved over a period of time based on repeated experimentation and observation in different types of organisations. Despite the limitations of applying on human beings, management scholars have been able to identify general principles of management.
  • Universal validity – Since the principles of management are not as exact as the principles of science, their application and use is not universal. They have to be modified according to a given situation. However, they provide managers with certain standardised techniques that can be used in different situations

Levels of Management

There are certain levels of management with varying degree of authority and responsibilities. Managers performing different types of duties may be divided into three categories:

  • Top-Level Management
  • Middle-Level Management
  • Lower-Level Management

Levels of Management

Functions of Management

  • Planning,
  • Organising,
  • Staffing,
  • Direction,
  • Coordination and Control

Discussed in detail at: Planning, Organising, Staffing, Direction, Coordination and Control

Principles of Management

A managerial principle is a broad and general guideline for decision-making and behaviour. There is a long history of management principles and with time these processes are in the continuous process of evolution. As these principles deal with human behaviour & technology, both of which are never static, so management principles are not as rigid as principles of pure science.

The principles of management should be distinguished from techniques of management. Techniques are procedures or methods, which involve a series of steps to be taken to accomplish desired goals. Principles are guidelines to take decisions or actions while practicing techniques.

Principles of Scientific Management:

In the early 20th Century, Fredrick Winslow Taylor, foreman and later the chief engineer of a steel company in U.S.A., suggested a new approach to management known as ‘Scientific Management’.

  • Science not Rule of Thumb: Development of a true scientific approach to management replacing the old rule of thumb method, which would enable managers, among other things, to determine the best method of performing each task
  • Harmony, Not Discord: Scientific selection and placement of workers so that each worker could be assigned the task for which he is best suited
  • Cooperation, Not Individualism: Close co-operation between management and labour to ensure that work is carried out in accordance with the scientific principles which are developed.
  • Development of Each and Every Person to His or Her Greatest Efficiency and Prosperity: Scientific training and development of workers so as to achieve the highest level of efficiency.

Fayol’s Principles of Management

Scientific management was primarily concerned with increasing the efficiency of individual workers at the shop floor. It did not give adequate attention to role of managers and their functions. Around the same time, Henry Fayol, Director of a coal mining company in France made a systematic analysis of the process of management. Fayol explained what amounts to a managers work and what principles should be followed in doing this work. The 14 principles of management given by him are:

  1. Division of Work:
  2. Authority and Responsibility:
  3. Discipline:
  4. Unity of Command:
  5. Unity of Direction:
  6. Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest:
  7. Remuneration of Employees:
  8. Centralisation and Decentralisation:
  9. Scalar Chain:
  10. Order
  11. Equity
  12. Stability of Tenure of Personnel:
  13. Initiative
  14. Team Spirit (Esprit de Corps):

Comparison between Fayol’s & Taylor’s Principles of Management

Sl. No. Basis of difference Henri Fayol F. W. Taylor
1 Perspective Top level of management Shop floor level of a factory
2 Unity of Command Staunch Proponent

Did not feel that it is important as
under functional foremanship a
worker received orders from eight specialists.

3 Applicability Applicable universally Applicable to specialised situations
4 Basis of formation Personal experience Observations and experimentation
5 Focus Improving overall administration Increasing Productivity
6 Personality Practitioner Scientist
7 Expression General Theory of Administration Scientific Management


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