Management is considered to be both an art and a science. Explain.
Management fulfills the criteria of both an art as well as a science. The following points explain the features of management as an art and as a science.
Management as an Art
Management satisfies the following criteria for it to be called an art.
- Existing Literature: All art forms such as music, dance presuppose a defined body of knowledge and literature. Similarly, management also has a lot 9of literature for theoretical knowledge and learning. Various theories and principles have been developed in management. Such as Henry Fayol's Principles of Management, Taylor’s Scientific Management Theory.
- Dynamic Application: Art is the personalised applicability of the existing knowledge. That is, each individual uses the basic knowledge in his own creative way. For example, every dance form has some basic steps. These steps are used by each dancer using his own creative manner. In a similar manner, managers use the available theories and principles as per the situation in their own unique manner. That is, the managers use their own creativity and imagination for the application of the knowledge of management.
- Practice and Creativity: Art involves practice and innovation. The artists use the existing literature as per his own creativity and innovation. For example, two writers can describe a given situation based on their unique interpretations. Similarly, in management, a manager applies the theories and principles of management to different situations as per his own creativity and imagination and some times even formulates new ways to address a situation.
Management as a Science
As a science, management fulfills the following criteria.
- Systematic Body of Knowledge: Science has a specified body of knowledge which is based on cause and effect relationship. Similarly management has its own body of theories and principles that are developed over years. In addition, similar to other disciplines of science, management also has its own vocabulary.
- Theories Based on Experimentation: In science the principles and theories are based on continuous observation and experimentation. In a same manner, the principles of management have also developed over several years based on repeated observations and experiments. However, as against science, in management no exact cause and effect relationship can be established. This is because management primarily deals with humans and human behavior. As human behavior is subject change, so, the outcome of these theories would also vary from one situation to another. Despite this, management fulfils this criterion of science to some extent as the scholars have been able to identify certain theories and principle that act as guidelines in management.
- Universal Validity: In science, the principles have universal validity. In management also the theories and principles are valid to some extent if not universal. Although the application of the theories and their outcomes vary from situation to situation, however they act as standards for actions in different situations. That is, these principles can be used for the basic training of the managers.