Management is the art of managing people in organisations or in groups. Each individual within a group or an organisation is different just as each human being is different from everyone else. So managers have to deal with individuals within the group at an individual level, if they are to be successful. To be able to deal with each individual, managers need to adapt their techniques tailored to each individual in that group- to that end, managers need to bring about subjectivity or a degree of individual attention to each employee. What is applicable to one employee, might not be applicable to the next. So since each individual has to be dealt with individually, subjectively, management is an art when it is applied to the individual level.
At the organisational level, managers need to plan for groups of people. It would not be feasible to create plans for individual people at the organisational level. So a sum total of employee expectations and goals is taken to create management plans. Such management plans are scientifically created, in a step wise fashion. Thus management at an organisational level would be a science.
To say that management is a science is only a partial truth. It is now widely accepted that management is both an art and a science.
To see why management is considered a science also we need to develop clarity on what constitutes a science.
Science is characterized by:
- Use of objective data collected through observation and experimentation.
- Systematic analysis and synthesis of such data to develop theories and models to understand reality and predict impact of various actions taken to influence the reality.
- Decisions and actions based on objective data and insights gained from scientific theories and models.
- Effectiveness of decisions and actions dependent on soundness of theories used and their appropriate application.
- Well documented scientific knowledge.
All these characteristics are displayed by management also.Scientific rigor of data analysis and synthesis has been applied to develop many useful management theories and model. These models range from simple economic order quantity formula, through statistical quality control techniques, to the highly sophisticated non linear programming models.
Thus we can see that a practitioner of professional management today relies heavily on objective data and sound management theories to qualify as a science.
Management is not a science in the true sense of the word. Niether is it an art. It is part of commerce and business.
Science is the careful investigation of our surroundings.
Art is the expression of ourselves.
Management is organising with an aim to make profit. Management tries to pretend that it has grand threories and answers, but they are just fads and fashions which come and go very quickly. 'Business Studies' and even 'Economics' are not science. They are probably 'social sciences'.