Well, if the goal is a "well-oiled machine" (a business which runs smoothly and efficiently), I'd say there is certainly some artistry involved. Certainly there are formulas and numerical processes and procedures which fall more into the category of science than art; however, there is nothing so satisfying as something which works beautifully and well. If I can appreciate it, I think it can be considered artful, if not art.
Of course it is an art. My mother is a production control manager with a large company. Perhaps being a woman in a traditionally male role has something to do with it as well, but I see her masterfully balancing people and business in her daily life. She is constantly listening to what makes people happy and using that information as a manager to get the best out of her people all the while producing the highest quality and quantity of materials needed to make the engines her company produces. She is highly knowledgeable of every job in the plant and how those jobs work together. She is highly knowledgeable of the parts they produce and how each part works seperately as well as together in order to make the best engine possible. Balancing all this is more than a science. It is an art. Anytime unpredictable people are involved, it is an art.
The preference for classifying management as a Science rather than an art, expressed in Post #5, is a matter of personal opinion and judgement, to which no one should object. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions.
But I do disagree that the reason cited for the choice really justifies it. When there are too many variables in decision making, that is when the issues are very complicated, scientific method alone is not sufficient for effective management. In such situations, it becomes necessary to practice the art of management. Complexity in management beyond a level requires use of art of management rather than science.
Incidentally, descriptions like "getting along with people" are more appropriate for describing social skills rather than tasks of management. Effective managers work as group members, and not just get along with people.
I wouldn't classify it as an art; it is more of a science. There are too many variables in business decision making than merely getting along with people.
Blimy, this is complex. Overly simplified, I'd suggest that for a newcomer learning business skills, there is a lot more pure science to learn, but as one gathers a rounded capability to function, it becomes more art as one then can do things properly and can make progressively more choices as to how to employ the tools and knowledge in the operators kit. But just as Castaneda reminds us, CLARITY and POWER are enemies just as much as friends, for once we gain them, if we don't stay refreshed we get out of touch in our smugness; all suggesting that we always pay attention to the ever-new science of it all with both eyes all along the way, always ready to take a hit to the ego in the interests of remaining competent.
The debate on "whether management is an art or science" has been doing the round for a long time. I think, this is so because in earlier days - say Nineteenth century and before - there was no guidance available to people to learn to become good managers. At that time it was thought that you can become a good managers only if you have the God given gift of mind and skills of a manager, just as a person can become a good poet only if he or she has the inborn skills and temperament of a poet. For this reason management was considered as an art.
Starting from late Nineteenth and early Twentieth century this situation began to change, a many pioneering management experts began to systematically study, develop and popularize methods of management which could be learnt and taught. With time the this movement became very strong. As result the work of management is very well understood and documented creating a scientific body of knowledge for guidance of practicing manager. Thus management has acquired the characteristics of a science also.
Yet, there are many areas of management which are best handled using personal skill and judgment of individual managers rather than on the basis of cold analysis of scientific management. Thus we can say that today best management practices combine features of science as well as art.