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Definition of management

There are several definitions of the word management because different experts have defined management in various ways. The following are the well-known definitions of management:

  1. Management is planning, organizing, leading, directing, and controlling the efforts of organizational members using all other resources to achieve organizational goals and objectives.
  2. According to Harold Koontz, “Management is an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups. It is an art of creating an environment in which people can perform and individuals and can co-operate towards attainment of group goals”.
  3. Management is the act of getting things done by other people. The implication here is that managers arrange for others the necessary activities to be performed to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization.
  4. Management is that function of an enterprise that concerns itself with the direction and control of the various activities to attain business objectives
  5. Management can also be described as a set of activities directed at the efficient and effective utilization of resources to pursue organizational goals.
  6. According to Taylor, “Management is an art of knowing what to do, when to do and see that it is done in the best and cheapest way”.

From the above definitions, we can conclude that management refers to all those activities which are concerned with: –

  1. Formulation of objectives plans and policies of the collective enterprise.
  2. Assembling men, money, materials, machines, and methods for their accomplishment.
  3. Directing and motivating the men at work.
  4. Co-coordinating the physical and human resources.
  5. Supervising and controlling performance; and
  6. Securing maximum satisfaction for both employer and employee and providing the public with the best possible services.


Importance of management

Management is important in every organization. Management helps in achieving the following:

  1. Maximum results with minimum efforts – The main objective of management is to achieve the best results for the organization while using minimum resources. Thus, management brings together human, material and financial resources both efficiently and effectively to achieve organizational goals.
  2. Maximum prosperity for both employer and employee – Management ensures the smooth and coordinated functioning of the enterprise. This, in turn, helps in providing maximum benefits to the employee in the shape of good working conditions, a suitable wage system, incentive plans on the one hand, and higher profits to the employer on the other hand.
  3. Human betterment and social justice – Management serves as a tool for the upliftment as well as the betterment of the Society. Through increased productivity and employment, management ensures better standards of living for Society. In addition, it provides justice through its uniform policies.
  4. Organizational goal– Management arranges the factors of production, assembles and organizes the resources, effectively integrates the resources to achieve goals. It directs group efforts towards the achievement of predetermined goals.
  5. Optimum use of resources – Management utilizes all the physical and human resources productively. This leads to efficacy in management; Management provides maximum utilization of scarce resources by selecting its best possible alternate use in industry from out of various uses.
  6. Sound organization – Management aims to establish a sound organizational This is by putting in place an effective authority and responsibility relationship, i.e., who is accountable to whom, who can give instructions to whom, superiors, and subordinates.
  7. Equilibrium – Management enables the organization to survive in changing environment. It keeps in touch with the changing environment. With the change in the external environment, the initial coordination of organization must be change.
  8. Provision of essentials for the prosperity of Society – Efficient management leads to better economic production, which helps in turn to increase the welfare of people. Good management makes a difficult task easier by avoiding the wastage of scarce resources. It improves the standard of living.
  9. Increasing the efficiency of factors of production – Through proper utilization of various factors of production, their efficiency can be increased to a great extent which can be obtained by reducing spoilage, wastages, and breakage of all kinds, this, in turn, leads to saving of time, effort, and money, which is essential for the growth and prosperity of the enterprise.


Functions of management

  1. Planning: Planning is the most basic or primary function of management. It precedes other functions because a manager plans before he acts. Planning involves determining the objectives and selecting a course of action to achieve them. It implies looking ahead and deciding in advance what is to be done, when and where it is to be done, how and by whom it is to be done.
  2. Organizing: Organizing is defined as the process of groping activities and resources in a logical and appropriate fashion. In the study of management, organizing can therefore be regarded as a process of management concerned with change or growth of structure. It involves shaping the organization as it grows, changes or shrinks. Organizing as a process involves:
  • Identification of activities.
  • Classification of grouping of activities.
  • Assignment of duties.
  • Delegation of authority and creation of responsibility.
  • Coordinating authority and responsibility relationships.
  1. Coordination: Coordination is the function of management that ensures that different departments and groups work in sync. Therefore, there is the unity of action among the employees, groups, and departments. It also brings harmony in carrying out the different tasks and activities to achieve its objectives efficiently.
  2. Directing: Directing is concerned with telling people what to do and seeing that they do it as best as possible. It includes assigning tasks and duties, explaining procedures, issuing orders, providing on-the-job instructions, monitoring performance, and correcting deviations. The directing function of management involves guiding, inspiring, overseeing, and leading people for the accomplishment of predetermined objectives.
  3. Controlling: It is the process of ensuring that events conform to plans as closely as possible. It is the process of ensuring that what ought to be done is being done and of restricting undesirable action in terms of quantity, quality, time, and costs. The managerial function of controlling involves the measurement of actual performance, comparing it with the planned standard and correcting deviations to ensure attainment of predetermined objectives.
  4. Staffing: Staffing is getting people with the right skills, knowledge, and abilities to fill up vacant positions in the organization. Staffing involves:
  • Manpower Planning
  • Recruitment, Selection & Placement.
  • Training & Development.
  • Performance Appraisal.
  • Promotions & Transfer.
  1. Motivation – It means inspiring, stimulating, or encouraging the subordinates with zeal to work. Positive, negative, monetary, non-monetary incentives may be used for this purpose.
  2. Communications – It is the process of passing information, experience, opinion, etc., from one person to another. It is a bridge of understanding.


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The activities which constitute the essential functions of a top manager’s job who command a formal authority and status can be seen as a set of 10 roles which may be divided into three groups:

1.Interpersonal roles: These are relations with other people arising from the manager’s status and authority. The managerial roles in this category involve providing information and ideas. Interpersonal roles include:

  • Figurehead role – The manager is a symbol and represents the organization in matters of formality. Manager is involved in issues of a ceremonial nature such as the signing of documents and participation.
  • Leader role – The manager undertakes all activities of a manager, such as staffing, motivation, and guidance of subordinates.
  • Liaison role – The manager acts as a link between the organization and the environment. e.g. individuals and groups outside the organization.
  1. Informational roles: They relate to the sources and communication of information arising from the manager’s interpersonal roles. The managerial roles in this category involve processing information. Informational roles include:
  • Monitor role – It involves the manager in seeking and receiving information which enables the manager to develop an understanding of the organization and its environment. Information may be received from internal or external sources and may be formal or informal.
  • Disseminator role – It involves the manager in transmitting external information into the organization and internal information between subordinates.
  • Spokesperson role – The manager is the formal authority in transmitting information to people outside the organization. e.g., directors’ suppliers, customers, etc.
  1. Decisional roles: The managerial roles in this category involve using information
  • Entrepreneurial role – Managers initiate and plan controlled change through exploiting opportunities and solving problems. e.g., overseeing new projects that will improve the performance of the organization.
  • Disturbance handler – Managers take action to correct a situation when an unexpected disturbance occurs.
  • Resource allocator – Managers decide and make choices on the allocation of resources such as time, money, and staff
  • Negotiator role – Manager participates in negotiation activity with other individuals or organizations






Evolution of management thought may be divided into three stages

  1. Classical Theory
    • Scientific Management of Taylor
    • Administrative Management of Fayol
    • Bureaucratic Model of Max Weber
  2. Behaviour Approach or Neo-classical Theory
  • Elton Mayo-Human relation theory
  • Abraham Maslow’s theory
  • McGregor’s X and Y theories
  • Mary Parker Follett’s Management theory
  1. Modern Management Theory or Systems Approach
    • Quantitative thinking
    • Systems thinking
    • Contingency thinking



Fredrick Taylor was the main Proponent of Scientific school of thought and was supported by others such as Henry Gant, Gilbreths and others. Scientific Management is the kind of management that conducts business through facts and truths gained through systematic experimentation and reasoning.

Features of scientific management are as follows:

  1. It is a systematic approach to handle management problems
  2. It implies scientific techniques in method of work, recruitment, selection and training of workers
  3. The approach of scientific management completely discards traditional management. It calls for the discarding of old techniques and adoption of new and modern techniques, with the aim of improving the efficiency of employees.
  4. It attempts to discover the best method of doing the work at the lowest cost.
  5. It attempts to develop each worker to his greatest efficiency.
  6. It involves a complete change in the mental attitude of the workers as well us of the management.


Fredrick Taylor

Taylor a mechanical engineer who had started off as a common laborer in a small machine shop and went to work in a steel factory where he moved through the ranks. He later enrolled for an engineering degree.

As a manager in the engineering company he was disturbed by time wastage which he observed. He attributed this to the following:

  • Lack of appropriate training
  • Lack of incentives
  • Inappropriate tools and methods
  • Reliance on the rule of the thumb methods rather than optimal work methods that can be discovered by the scientific study
  • Workers were left on their own to determine how to do the job.
  • Belief among the workers that if they became More efficient fewer of them would be needed and job would be eliminated. This phenomenon of workers purposely operating below their capacity was known as soldering.

To address soldering and improve efficiency, Taylor conducted determine the host level and what. was necessary to achieve that performance.


The experiments were done in four areas:

i) Time and motion study

Taylor pioneered a method known as time and Motion study which involved breaking, clown the job into its various elements and eliminating unnecessary motions.


ii) Standardization

Taylor collected data on the tools that could be used to speed up the rate of work. He suggested that toots should be standardized and should be well arranged in a tool room.

iii)  Selection and training of workers

Taylor observed that workers who were trained for the job were effective if a worker is not trained for the job he gets. very fatigued and his productivity is low.

iv) Pay Incentives

Like all the other classists, Taylor believed that a man is purely economic being who is only motivated by economic gain.

Based on this economic man model, Taylor processed a piece rate method of payment.

In conclusion, Taylor advanced the following scientific principles:

  1. Scientific study of the task: The role of the thumb methods should be replaced with methods based on scientific study of the task
  2. Scientific selection and training of workers: Rather than leaving employees to train themselves an organized and deliberate intervention should be made
  3. Scientifically trained and selected workers should be matched with the scientifically designed tasks
  4. Divide work between managers and the workers, with managers taking up their responsibilities and not overloading the worker with managerial responsibilities.
  5. Workers should be paid competitive wages
  6. There should be co-operation between management and the staff to ensure that the scientifically developed methods are followed.


Complete copy of ATD PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT REVISED NOTES is available in SOFT copy (Reading using our MASOMO MSINGI PUBLISHERS APP) and in HARD copy 

Phone: 0728 776 317



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