Management is a very important and common human activity. Effective management pays a decisive roles in well being of individuals, organizations, societies and event the entire world. Because of this scholars and experts have studied, researched and written about the field of management in great details. Every years thousands of books and journal are published on the various aspects of management. However, a clear and concise definition of management, which is widely accepted still does not exist.
The general perception of management for laypersons is that management is the activity concerned with getting work done through people. Koontz and Weihrich define management as:
The process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims.
To me management means all the activities designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of any work being performed. Experts have identified four major sub-function of management - planning, organising, leading and controlling.
Planning involves setting the objective of the work performed and deciding how the work will be performed. Organizing involve designing the structure relationships and responsibilities of people employed for performing the work. It also involves ensuring that people with required attributes are available to fill the positions as per the organization structure. Leading is the function of motivating the people in organization to perform as per plans or decision taken. Finally, controlling is concerned with monitoring the actual work being done the results obtained, and in case of the results not being satisfactory, take corrective action by way of making appropriate changes in the previous three functions.
Koontz, H. and Weihrich, H. 2004, Essentials of Management, Sixth Edition, Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi.