Management | Meaning, Role, Importance, Limitations

Management is an inevitable element for directing and unifying the group efforts towards a common objective. Since the most of the human aims can be well realized only through collective action, management is universally called for in all such organizations of the society.

Management - Meaning, Role, Importance, Limitations
Management – Meaning, Role, Importance, Limitations

In short, management is not merely the task of managing the business. But it is an essential accompaniment of all social organizations and is to be found everywhere as a distinct and dominant activity.

In other words, management functions have universal application. While describing the pivotal role of management in the social history, Drucker rightly remarked that

Management which is the organ of society specially charged with making resources productive that is with the responsibility for organized economic advance, therefore reflects the basic spirit of the modern age.

With the growth of industry and commerce and the separation of ownership from control, management has become more or less a profession.

Management, today, consists of a cadre of professionalists and is concerned not only with the initial formation of the enterprise but also with the problems of adapting, expanding or contracting the firm whenever changing economic conditions and environmental influences require such action.

It provides new ideas, imaginations and visions to the group working so as to account for better results or performances. It ensures a smooth flow of work in the organization by focusing on strong points, neutralizing weak links, overcoming difficulties and establishing team spirit.

Thus management, as Drucker says

is the life giving dynamic element in every business.

Meaning and Definition of Management

There is not a single generally accepted definition for the term management. However, eminent authors have made an attempt to formulate a suitable definition for the term management. But none of them can be regarded as a generally accepted definition.

There are more differences of opinion as some writers stress the directing of human activities while others emphasis the earning of maximum profits. Since the evolution of management thinking has passed three distinct phases, differences of opinions are bound to exist.

Now we shall proceed to discuss some of the definitions formulated by eminent thinkers in the subject of management science.

Definition of Management

Definition of Louis A. Allen

Management is what a manager does .

Definition of Henxy Fayol:

To manage is to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control.

Definition of F.N. Taylor:

Management is the art of knowing what you want to do…. in the best and cheapest way.

The definition for management is more comprehensive and much wider in its scope. From the definitions referred above, it is clear that management is getting things done through the efforts of other people.

In other words, it refers to the technique of extracting work from others in an integrated manner for reaching the specific objectives of the business.

Role of Management

In any organizational unit, whether it is a company or a section in a company, the manager stands between his organization and its environments.

Today, the society has become very complex and a change in one part generates changes in other parts. Changing technology has created complexities which call for improved managerial practices. The age of specialization poses problems of coordination and the job of the manager becomes more complicated and magnified. Business has also become more complicated on account of increased Government control.

Further, there is a continuous change in the social structure and we always live in a period of accelerating change which is reflected in both tangible and intangible forms.

Tangible changes are concerned with changes in technology, size of organization, specialization of work and theories which affect the society. Intangible changes such as changes in attitude, human values, culture, etc., provide shock to the society. More the complexity and changes in the society, more urgent is the need of management.

Contribution of management to society

The management contributes in the following ways to a complex society:

1. It tries to make effective utilization of resources,

2. It develops various resources,

3. It balances the pressures from various interest groups,

4 It provides stability in the society by changing and modifying the resources as per the changing environment of the society, and

5. It provides integration between traditions and new inventions and protects the society from the mal-effects of inventions so that continuity in the social process may be maintained.

Importance of Management

The significance of ‘Management’ may be enumerated in the following paragraphs:

1. Meeting the Challenge of Change

Challenge of change has become intense and critical in recent years. The complexities of modern business can be overcome only through scientific management.

2. Effective Utilization of the Seven M’s

There are seven M’s in business, such as Men, Materials, Money, Machines, Methods, Markets and Management. Management stands at the top of all these M’s and determines and controls all other factors of business.

3. Directs the Organization

Just as the mind which directs and controls the body to fulfill its desires, management also directs and controls the organization to achieve the desired goal

4. Integrates Various Interests

In the group efforts, there are various interest groups which put pressure over other groups for maximum share in the final output. Management by balancing these pressures integrates the various interests.

5. Provides Stability

It provides stability in the society by changing and modifying the resources to cope up with the demanding needs of the every changing environment of the society.

6. Provides Innovation

Management provides new ideas, imaginations and visions to the organization and necessary life for better and greater performance.

7. Establishes Team-spirit

Management coordinates the activities of the various departments in an organization and establishes team-spirit among the personnel.

8. Tackles Business Problems

Good management serves as a friend, philosopher and guide in tackling business problems. It provides a tool for the best way of doing a task.

9. Acts as a Tool of Personality Development

Management is not the direction of things, but the development of men. It makes the personality of the people. Management strives to improve quality, efficiency and productivity.

Limitations of Management

Like other social sciences, management is also subject to certain limitations. They are as follows:

1. Management techniques and policies should be adjusted according to specific circumstances. One principle may be good for one enterprise, but it may not be suitable for another enterprise. Likewise, a technique may be extremely useful in England, but it may be unworkable in India.

2. Principles of management are not static in nature. The concepts about management changes with the development of science and technology. New ideas are innovated, new products being put on the market, new likes and dislikes are developing every year. So what was successful in 2015 may lead to failure in 2016. Thus, a great deal of adjustment is to be done to cope with the changing times.

3. Management is concerned with human element in an organization. Different groups and different persons even in the same group, behave differently under different circumstances. This human aspect of management provides the greater challenge to its scientific treatment. As written by 0liver Sheldon,

Where human beings are concerned, Management principles may be so much waste paper.