Management and its characteristics


Management is an activity that is necessary wherever there is a group of people working in an organization. People in organizations are performing diverse tasks but they are all working towards the same goal. Management aims at guiding their efforts towards achieving a common objective Management is necessary so that individuals make their best contribution towards group objectives. – a goal.

Definitions of Management

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

2. “Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals work together in groups and efficiently accomplish selected aims. -Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich

3. “Management is defined as the process of planning, organizing, directing and controlling an organization’s operations in order to achieve coordination of the human and material resources essential in the effective and efficient attainment of objectives.” -Robert L. Trewelly and M. Gene Newport

4. “Management is the process by which a cooperative group directs actions of others towards common goals. -Massie and Douglas

Management is defined as a process of getting things done with the aim of achieving goals effectively and efficiently.

We need to elaborate on three terms- Process, Effectiveness, and Efficiency.

1. Process

It means the primary functions or activities that management performs to get things done. These functions are planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. These interconnected and interdependent functions are part of management. In terms of functions, management is defined as the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the efforts of organizational members and of using organizational resources to achieve specific goals.

(i) Planning is the function of determining in advance what is to be done and how it is to be done. This involves setting objectives and targets in advance and formulating an action plan to achieve them effectively and efficiently. Planning cannot prevent problems, but it can predict them and prepare contingency plans to deal with them, if and when they occur.

(ii) Organising is the management function of assigning duties, grouping tasks, establishing reporting relationships, and allocating resources required to carry out a specific plan. It determines what activities and resources are required. It decides who will do a particular task, where it will be done, and when it will be done.

Organizing involves the grouping of tasks into manageable departments or work units and the establishment of authority and reporting relationships within the organizational hierarchy. Proper organizational techniques help in the accomplishment of work and promote both the efficiency of operations and the effectiveness of results. Different kinds of businesses require different organizational structures according to the nature of work.

(iii) Staffing simply means finding the right people for the right job. Staffing is an important aspect of management to make sure that the right people with the right qualifications are available at the right places and times to accomplish the goals of the organization. This function of management involves activities such as recruitment, selection, placement, and training of personnel. The staffing function of management is also known as the human resource function.

(iv) Directing is telling people what to do and seeing that they do it to the best of their ability. It involves leading, influencing, and motivating employees to perform the tasks assigned to them. This requires establishing an atmosphere that encourages employees to do their best. Motivation and leadership are two key components of directing. Motivating workers means creating an environment that makes them want to work willingly and enthusiastically. Leadership is influencing people to work willingly to achieve organizational goals. Directing also involves communicating effectively as well as supervising employees at work. Thus, there are four elements of directing, viz. Motivation, Leadership, Communication, and Supervision.

(v) Controlling is the management function of monitoring organizational performance towards the attainment of organizational goals. It involves establishing standards of performance, measuring actual performance, comparing it with established standards, and taking corrective action where any significant deviation is found. Here, management must determine what activities and outputs are critical to success, how and where they can be measured, and who should have the authority to take corrective action.

Read: Business: Meaning, Definition, and objectives


It is concerned with doing the right task completing activities and achieving goals. In other words, it is concerned with the end result i.e., finishing the given task.

3. Efficiency

It means doing the task correctly and with minimum cost. Efficiency is increased if – by using less inputs such as money, materials, equipment and persons, more output is produced; or for the same output, fewer resources are used and less costs are incurred. Obviously, management is concerned with efficient use of resources, because they reduce costs and ultimately lead to higher profits. the The two terms ‘Effectiveness’ and ‘Efficiency are different but they are inter-related.

For management, it is important to be both effective and efficient. Management has to see that tasks are completed and goals are achieved (i.e., effectiveness) with the least amount of resources at a minimum cost (i.e., efficiency). Effectiveness and efficiency are two sides of the same coin. O Sometimes, a business concentrates on effectiveness and ignores efficiency, i.e., it completes the given task but at a higher cost. For example, suppose a company’s target production is 10000 units in a year. To achieve this target, the manager has to operate on double shift due to power failure most of the time.

The manager is able to produce 10000 units but at a higher production cost. In this case, the manager is effective but not efficient since for the same output, more inputs (i.e. more labour and electricity costs) have been used. O On the other hand, sometimes a manager is able to cut down cost but cannot achieve the target production. Consequently, the goods do not reach the market and hence the demand for them declines and competitors enter the market. In this case, the manager is efficient but not effective.

Conclusion: It is important for management to achieve goals (effectiveness) with minimum resources i.e., as efficiently as possible while maintaining a balance between effectiveness and efficiency. Usually high efficiency is associated with high effectiveness which is the aim of all managers. But undue emphasis on high efficiency without being effective is also not desirable. Poor management is due to both inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

Characteristics/Features of Management

1. Management is a goal-oriented process:

An organisation has a set of goals which are the basic reason for its existence. These should be simple and clearly stated. Different organisations have different goals, e.g., to earn 20% return on investment (ROI), to increase sales by 10%, etc. Management unites the efforts of different individuals in the organisation towards achieving these goals.

2. Management is a group activity:

An organisation is a group of different individuals who work together with team spirit and coordination to achieve the goals of the organisation. This focuses on a team rather than individuals. Management as a group (or team) can contribute more effectively and efficiently than an individual.

3. Management is an intangible force:

Management cannot be seen but its presence can be felt when targets are achieved according to plans, employees are happy and satisfied, and there is orderliness instead of chaos.

4. Management is all-pervasive:

Managerial activities are performed in all types of organisations, in all departments and at all levels. Management is essential for all organisations -big or small, profit or non- profiteering, service or manufacturing. A government, a cricket team, a hospital or a school – all require management. The activities involved in managing an enterprise are common to all organisations whether economic, social or political.

5. Management is multi-dimensional

As it involves management of work, people and operations. Management is a complex activity that has three main dimensions. These are:

(1) Management of work:

All organisations exist for the performance of some work. In a factory, a product is manufactured, in garment store a customer’s need is satisfied and in a hospital translates this work in terms of goals to be achieved and assigns the means to achieve it. This is done in terms of problems to be solved, decisions to be made, plans to be established, budgets to be prepared, responsibilities to be assigned and authority to be delegated. a patient is treated. Management

(ii) Management of people:

Human resources or people are an organisation’s greatest asset. Despite all developments in technology “getting work done through people” is still a major task for the manager. Managing people has two dimensions: dealing with employees as individuals with diverse needs and behaviour; and dealing with employees as a group of people. The task of a manager is to make people work towards the achievement of the organisational goals by making their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.

(iii) Management of operations:

Every organisation has some basic product or service to provide in order to survive. This requires a production process of transforming input material and the technology into the desired output for consumption.

6. Management is a continuous process:

Management process is a series of continuous, composite but separate functions- organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. These functions are simultaneously performed by all managers all the time.

7. Management is a dynamic function

As it adapts itself to the changing environment. An organization interacts with its external environment which consists of various economic, social, legal, technological, and s-planning, political factors. In order to be successful, an organization must change itself and its goals according to the needs of the environment. For example, McDonald’s, the fast-food giant, made major changes in its men in the Indian market, e.g. it offers Aloo Tikki, burger. to be able to survive

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