Multidisciplinary nature of management

Multidisciplinary nature of management

Though management has developed as a separate discipline but it draws knowledge and concepts from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, economics, statistics, operations research etc. Management integrates ideas and concepts from these disciplines and uses them for improving the efficiency of the organization. The integration of knowledge of various fields is the major contribution of management. So the disciplines concerned with human beings contribute immensely to the management. Specifcly we shall look at management as a science, an art and a profession.

Management as a science.

Science is a systematic body of knowledge pertaining to a specific field of study that contains general facts which explains a phenomenon. It establishes cause and effect relationship between two or more variables and underlines the principles governing their relationship. These principles are developed through scientific method of observation and verification through testing.

Characteristic of science.

Universally acceptance principles Scientific principles represents basic truth about a particular field of enquiry. These principles may be applied in all situations, at all time & at all places. E.g. – law of gravitation which can be applied in all countries irrespective of the time.

Management also contains some fundamental principles which can be applied universally like the Principle of Unity of Command i.e. one man, one boss. This principle is applicable to all type of organization – business or non business.

Experimentation & Observation Scientific principles are derived through scientific investigation & researching i.e. they are based on logic. E.g. the principle that earth goes round the sun has been scientifically proved.

Management principles are also based on scientific enquiry & observation and not only on the opinion of Henry Fayol. They have been developed through experiments & practical experiences of large no. of managers. E.g. it is observed that fair remuneration to personal helps in creating a satisfied work force.

Cause & Effect Relationship Principles of science lay down cause and effect relationship between various variables. E.g. when metals are heated, they are expanded. The cause is heating & result is expansion.

The same is true for management, therefore it also establishes cause and effect relationship. E.g. lack of parity (balance) between authority & responsibility will lead to ineffectiveness. If you know the cause i.e. lack of balance, the effect can be ascertained easily i.e. in effectiveness. Similarly if workers are given bonuses, fair wages they will work hard but when not treated in fair and just manner, reduces productivity of organization.

Test of Validity & Predictability Validity of scientific principles can be tested at any time or any number of times i.e. they stand the test of time. Each time these tests will give same result. Moreover future events can be predicted with reasonable accuracy using scientific principles. E.g. H2 & O2 will always give H2O.

Principles of management can also be tested for validity. E.g. principle of unity of command can be tested comparing two persons – one having single boss and one having 2 bosses. The performance of 1st person will be better than 2nd.

Management as an Art.

Art implies application of knowledge & skill to trying about desired results. An art may be defined as personalized application of general theoretical principles for achieving best possible results. Art has the following characters –

  1. Practical Knowledge: Every art requires practical knowledge therefore learning of theory is not sufficient. It is very important to know practical application of theoretical principles. E.g. to become a good painter, the person may not only be knowing different colour and brushes but different designs, dimensions, situations etc to use them appropriately. A manager can never be successful just obtaining degree or diploma in management; he must have also know how to apply various principles in real situations functioning in capacity of manager.
  2. Personal Skill: Although theoretical base may be same for every artist, but each one has his own style and approach towards his job. That is why the level of success and quality of performance differs from one person to another. E.g. there are several qualified painters but M.F. Hussain is recognized for his style. Similarly management as an art is also personalized. Every manager has his own way of managing things based on his knowledge, experience and personality, that is why some managers are known as good managers (like Aditya Birla, Rahul Bajaj) whereas others as bad.
  3. Creativity: Every artist has an element of creativity in line. That is why he aims at producing something that has never existed before which requires combination of intelligence & imagination. Management is also creative in nature like any other art. It combines human and non-human resources in useful way so as to achieve desired results. It tries to produce sweet music combining chords in an efficient manner.
  4. Perfection through practice: Practice makes a man perfect. Every artist becomes more and more proficient through constant practice. Similarly managers learn through an art of trial and error initially but application of management principles over the years makes them perfect in the job of managing.
  5. Goal-Oriented: Every art is result oriented as it seeks to achieve concrete results. In the same manner, management is also directed towards accomplishment of pre-determined goals. Managers use various resources like men, money, material, machinery & methods to promote growth of an organization.

Management as a profession.

A profession may be defined as an occupation that requires specialized knowledge and intensive academic preparations to which entry is regulated a representative body. The essentials of a profession are:

  1. Specialized Knowledge – A profession must have a systematic body of knowledge that can be used for development of professionals. Every professional must make deliberate efforts to acquire expertise in the principles and techniques. Similarly a manager must have devotion and involvement to acquire expertise in the science of management.
  2. Formal Education & Training – There are no. of institutes and universities to impart education & training for a profession. No one can practice a profession without going through a prescribed course. Many institutes of management have been set up for imparting education and training. For example, a CA cannot audit the A/C’s unless he has acquired a degree or diploma for the same but no minimum qualifications and a course of study has been prescribed for managers law. For example, MBA may be preferred but not necessary.
  3. Social Obligations – Profession is a source of livelihood but professionals are primarily motivated the desire to serve the society. Their actions are influenced social norms and values. Similarly a manager is responsible not only to its owners but also to the society and therefore he is expected to provide quality goods at reasonable prices to the society.
  4. Code of Conduct – Members of a profession have to abide a code of conduct which contains certain rules and regulations, norms of honesty, integrity and special ethics. A code of conduct is enforced a representative association to ensure self discipline among its members. Any member violating the code of conduct can be punished and his membership can be withdrawn. The AIMA has prescribed a code of conduct for managers but it has no right to take legal action against any manager who violates it.
  5. Representative Association – For the regulation of profession, existance of a representative body is a must. For example, an institute of Charted Accountants of India establishes and administers standards of competence for the auditors but the AIMA however does not have any statuary powers to regulate the activities of managers.
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