"Management is an art of getting things done through people." Do you think this definition is adequate for the present-day concept of management?

4 Answers

jimjimjimmy's profile pic

jimjimjimmy | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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In some ways, this statement is true. Successful management entails the recruitment, training, and supervision of individuals chosen for tasks specifically tailored toward company goals, so in this respect, interpersonal interaction is very important as a means of maintaining efficiency and cohesion within a modern marketplace that is constantly evolving to suit increasingly specific consumer demands. However, given recent technological advances in the business sector, business has become more and more depersonalized, thereby reducing the need for highly developed interpersonal skills within the workplace. Before computers, tasks were organized and carried out person to person, with very few intermediaries to facilitate these demands. Now, in the age of Big Data, it has become more and more necessary to acquire skills related to the management of computer software (Microsoft Excel) rather than skills relating to the management of people. So, while it is true that successful management still entails working well with others, it has become more and more important to get things done through the successful integration and mastery of technological advances that surface constantly within a continuously evolving economy.

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The only way in which I would disagree with the statement is to say that you should include "science" in your statement.  In other words, management is the art and science of...

Management has always included some amount of science, or at least it has ever since Taylor's Scientific Management movement over 100 years ago.  Science is needed in the planning of the activities that the manager will have the people do.  This is becoming ever more important as competition gets fiercer and supply chains and such become more complex and international.

While dealing with people is an art, there is also a great deal of science involved in making sure a firm is trying to get those people to do the right things in the right ways.

besure77's profile pic

besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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I agree that this statement is true. A good "manager" is able to organize. There is always a goal to be reached and it is the job of the person in charge to make sure that this goal is met. This would mean providing feedback, setting examples, providing excellent organization skills and organizing and delegating tasks in order to reach the desired outcome. 

Effective managers also need to earn respect. This can be achieved by exhibiting a positive character and having strong interpersonal skills. Another way to earn respect is by listening. Many ineffective managers simply do not listen to what others have to say.

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krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Getting the best output from people for meeting organizational goals, and making them work effectively as a team, is a very important aspect of management. However,management is much more than just managing people. It is also managing work. This means deciding what objectives to be pursued by the organization, determining the tasks to be performed for achievement of those objectives, and finally ensuring that those tasks are performed effectively and efficiently. The definition of management as "art of getting things done through people" fails to take note of these important functions of management and therefor cannot be considered adequate.