This essay deals with the argument whether management can be regarded as an art or science. The basic function of management is to manage the optimal utilisation of organisational resources. In this case, the managers depend on rigorous practice and past experiences to manage the organisational problems and these aspects depict the nature of management as art. Moreover, like art, creativity is also considered as a fundamental part of the management. On the other hand, management can also be related to the science as it also follows research, observation and sequential approaches. The concepts of management can be verified and generalised like science. Therefore, based on the discussion, it has been found that management bears the characteristics of both art and science. For successful achievement of organisational goals, the managers are required to follow both aspects of management.
In order to achieve the organisational goals and sustain in the stiff competition, it is crucial for the companies to optimise the utilisation of resources like human, physical, financial and technological. In this regards, Ackoff (2011) cited that for the purpose of rational use of the limited resources, the concept of management has been evolved. The practices, knowledge, skills and techniques required to manage the organisational resources are referred as ‘management’ and the people engaged in managing activities are termed as ‘managers’. For ensuring efficiency and profitability of any organisations, the concepts of management are required to be implemented in an effective way (Makridakis, 2009).
As the concept of management is old and universal, different views have been proposed on the nature of it. In addition, changing business environment has significantly changed the nature of management from time to time. However, the most debatable issue in the area of management is whether the management can be referred as science or art. The following discussion has focused on the characteristics of management as an art and science.
Management as an art
Art mainly indicates the way of doing certain things. In other words, art reveals the process through which an objective can be achieved. According to Lynn (2009), art is the method of obtaining a desired outcome through the application of skill. Therefore, it can be inferred that art is application of the knowledge that depends on the capability of a person. This capability can be enhanced through practice and experience (Hall and Johnson, 2009). From this point of view, management can be termed as an art. In the case of management also, a manager utilises his/her skill, knowledge and experience to resolve many complicated issues that arise from the day to day activities of the organisation. Supporting this, Schuster (2012) mentioned that management can be termed as an art more than science, as managerial skill is interpersonal and instinctive.
On the other hand, some of the scholars have identified that management is an art of getting the right things done by the right people (Koontz, 2011). It implies that the managers meet the organisational objectives by guiding others to perform the necessary tasks. This can be considered as a more traditional view of the area of management. Lucia and Lepsinger (2009) further emphasised on the fact that management ensures that certain tasks have been completed by the staff by controlling their performance.