On this page, you’ll learn about the different perspectives on management as a science, art, and profession. Let’s explore the features and meanings of science, art, and profession and compare them to the concept and characteristics of management.

Management as a Science

Science is a systematic and organized body of knowledge based on observed findings, facts, and events. It involves exact principles that can be verified and establish cause and effect relationships.

  • Systematic body of knowledge: Science involves organized and systematic study materials. Similarly, management also has systematic and organized study materials available.
  • Scientific principles based on logical and scientific observations: Scientists derive principles through logical observation. However, management involves observing human beings, which introduces subjectivity. Management principles have varied effects in different situations.
  • Principles based on repeated experiments: Scientists test principles under different conditions, and managers also experiment with managerial principles in various organizations.
  • Universal validity: Scientific principles have universal application, while management principles require modification based on the situation.
  • Replication is possible: Scientists can replicate investigations and obtain identical results. In management, conducting research or experiments on human beings leads to different responses, making replication challenging.

Management as an Art

Art is a systematic body of knowledge that requires skill, creativity, and practice to achieve perfection.

  • Systematic body of knowledge/Existence of theoretical knowledge: Art involves systematic and organized study materials for theoretical knowledge. Similarly, management has a systematic body of knowledge for acquiring managerial studies.
  • Personalized application: Artists apply their theoretical knowledge with personal skill and creativity. Similarly, managers apply management theories and principles using their personal skills and creativity in different situations.
  • Based on practice and creativity: Artists require regular practice and creative application to refine their skills. Managers also improve their efficiency through experience and creative use of managerial skills.

Management: Both Science and Art

Management encompasses both science and art. It has a systematic and organized body of knowledge like science, and it requires personal skill, creativity, and practice like art. Science and art coexist in every function of management.

Management as a Profession

Profession refers to an occupation backed by specialized knowledge and training, with restricted entry.

  • Well-defined body of knowledge: Professions involve a systematic body of knowledge. Management also has a vast availability of systematic knowledge through books and studies.
  • Restricted entry: Professions restrict entry through examinations or specific degrees. While there is no legal restriction for managerial appointments, many companies now prefer managers with an MBA degree.
  • Presence of professional associations: Professions establish associations where professionals must register before practicing. Management has various management associations at national and international levels, but registration is not legally compulsory.
  • Existence of ethical codes: Professions have ethical codes set by professional organizations. Management is placing increasing emphasis on ethical behavior, with organizations like AIMA devising codes of conduct. However, adherence to these codes is not legally mandatory for all managers.
  • Service motive: Professions aim to serve clients with dedication. Management primarily focuses on achieving management goals, but there is a growing recognition of the importance of social objectives alongside economic objectives.

AspectManagement as a ScienceManagement as an ArtManagement as a Profession
Systematic Body of KnowledgeAvailability of systematic and organized study material.Existence of systematic and organized body of knowledge.Availability of systematic body of knowledge through books and studies.
Logical and Scientific ObservationsObservations involve human beings and are subjective.Personal skills and creativity applied to theoretical knowledge.Creative application of management theories and principles.
Repeated ExperimentsManagerial principles tested and experimented under different conditions.Continuous practice and improvement of managerial skills.
Universal ValidityManagement principles are not exact and vary depending on the situation.
Replication PossibilityNot possible to replicate results due to human beings’ varied responses.Artistic skills and creativity lead to personalized application.
Restricted EntryNo legal restriction on managerial appointments, but preference for MBA degree.Entry not legally restricted, but increasing preference for specialized degrees.
Professional AssociationsVarious management associations exist, but registration not legally compulsory.Associations established, registration may become mandatory with statutory backing.
Existence of Ethical CodesGrowing emphasis on ethical behavior, but not legally binding for all managers.Ethical codes gaining importance, potential for legal backing in the future.
Service MotivePrimarily focused on achieving management goals.Management goals coupled with growing recognition of social objectives.Management goals with increasing importance given to social objectives.

In summary, management encompasses elements of science, art, and is evolving towards a recognized profession with specialized knowledge, associations, and ethical considerations.

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