Management as a Science, as an Art and as a Profession

20/12/2020 1 By indiafreenotes

Management as a Science:

Science can be defined as a systematic and organised body of knowledge based on logically observed findings, facts and events.

Science comprises of exact principles which can be verified and it can establish cause and effect relations.

Main characteristics/features of science are:

Systematic body of knowledge:

In science organised and systematic study material is available which is used to acquire the knowledge of science. Like science in management also there is availability of systematic and organised study material. So first feature of science is present in management.

Scientific principles are derived on the basis of logical and scientific observations:

The scientists perform logical observation before deriving any principle or theory. They are very objective while doing the observations. But when managers are observing they have to observe human beings and observation of human being cannot be purely logical and objective.

Some kind of subjectivity enters in the observations so this feature of science is not present in management. All the scientific principles have same effect, wherever we try them whereas effect of management principles varies from one situation to other.

Principles are based on repeated experiments:

Before developing scientific principles, scientists test these principles under different conditions and places. Similarly, managers also test and experiment managerial principles under different conditions in different organisations. So this feature of science is present in management.

Universal Validity:

Scientific principles have universal application and validity. Management principles are not exact like scientific principles so their application and use is not universal. They have to be modified according to the given situation. So this feature of science is not present in management.

Replication is possible:

In science replication is possible as when two scientists are undertaking the same investigation working independently and treating the same data under the same conditions may desire or obtain the identical or exactly same result.

But in management managers have to conduct research or experiments on human beings. So, if’ two managers are investigating same data, on different sets of human beings they will not get identical or same result because human beings never respond in exactly identical manner. So this feature of science is also not present in management.

Management as Science

Science is an organized collection of knowledge that has an explanation on the basis of facts for every phenomenon. The concepts and hypotheses of science are all defined with principles, and a similar thing is practiced in Management.

Like art, Management also shares key factors with science, which can quickly help us term Management as a science.

  • Systematic structure: Subjects of science like Chemistry and physics have defined systematic principles and divisions. Each subsection has another set of principles that help you experiment with new things in a particular domain. Similarly, Management has a systematic structure of divisions and principles. Every principle can be used as a reference while experimenting with new things.
  • Universal validity: The concepts and basic principles of Management have universal validity. For example, the principles used in finance management are similar in every company, and the rules are valid universally. These sets of principles do not change with situations and applications.
  • Experiments: Concepts and principles of science are predefined and are always experimented with trial and error to justify them and bring new inventions. Similarly, concepts in Management are often tested to improve business practices.

Management as a Profession

Any occupation to be called a profession should satisfy the following:

(i) Body of Knowledge:

Management knowledge is developed systematically and scientifically based on research studies, experiments, experiences and observations. Further, management literature is continuously developed by researchers and practitioners.

(ii) Development and Updating the Knowledge:

Management knowledge has been developing continuously. Managers should update their knowledge by learning and acquiring the latest developments through training, executive development and formal study.

(iii) Professional Journals:

There should be professional journals to publish the findings of research studies. There are a number of professional journals all over the world to publish the findings of research studies and latest developments in management: Harvard Business Review, Vikalpa, Decision, Indian Management and Indian Journal of Industrial Relations.

(iv) Professional Associations:

There should be professional associations in order to monitor and enable professional development. Further, they implement the code of conduct. Management professional associations in India include- All India Management Association (AIMA), National Institute of Personnel Management, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India etc.

(v) Code of Conduct:

The professionals should behave ethically while discharging their duties. AIMA, National Institute of Personnel Management, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and other professional organisations formulate the code of conduct.

(vi) Specialised Educational Qualifications:

There should be specialised educational qualifications for employment for professional jobs. Specialised educational institutions are established to impart specialized education. Indian Institutes of Management and Departments of Management in the Universities are established to provide specialized management education leading to Post­graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and Master of Business Management (MBA) degree.

Management satisfies all the characteristics of a profession. Therefore, management is a profession like medicine and law.