Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal. Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.
Because organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action, including design, to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system. This view opens the opportunity to ‘manage’ oneself, a pre-requisite to attempting to manage others.
The verb manage comes from the Italian maneggiare (to handle — especially tools), which in turn derives from the Latin manus (hand). The French word mesnagement (later ménagement) influenced the development in meaning of the English word management in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Some definitions of management are:
- Organization and coordination of the activities of an enterprise in accordance with certain policies and in achievement of clearly defined objectives. Management is often included as a factor of production along with machines, materials, and money. According to the management guru Peter Drucker (1909–2005), the basic task of a management is twofold: marketing and innovation.
- Directors and managers have the power and responsibility to make decisions to manage an enterprise when given the authority by the shareholders. As a discipline, management comprises the interlocking functions of formulating corporate policy and organizing, planning, controlling, and directing the firm’s resources to achieve the policy’s objectives. The size of management can range from one person in a small firm to hundreds or thousands of managers in multinational companies. In large firms the board of directors formulates the policy which is implemented by the chief executive officer.
At the beginning, one thinks of management functionally, as the action of measuring a quantity on a regular basis and of adjusting some initial plan; or as the actions taken to reach one’s intended goal. This applies even in situations where planning does not take place. From this perspective, Henri Fayol(1841–1925) considers management to consist of six functions:forecasting, planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. He was one of the most influential contributors to modern concepts of management.
Another way of thinking, Mary Parker Follett (1868–1933), who wrote on the topic in the early twentieth century, defined management as