Is management an art or a science

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Topics: Management
Many a times this question has been raised and various people have given an insight on what their beliefs are on whether management is an art or a science. To be able to determine where management falls in these two terms, it is important to know what they each mean and give support as to why it can either be an art or a science. Below shall be a discussion in detail on whether management is an art or a science but to begin with it is important to know what management is and what it entails.
Management according to Henri Fayol a renowned scholar said management ‘can be defined as a set of activities, including planning, organising, leading and controlling directed at an organisations resources with the aim of achieving organisational goals in the most efficient and effective manner.’. For management to be successful there has to be efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the organisational goals.
Since management has been defined, the detail of management as an art has to be looked into and why it can be said to be an art.
Art is derived from the Latin word ars : meaning craftsmanship. The Oxford dictionary defines art as “ a skill at doing a specific thing, typically one acquired through practise ’’.Art in management looks at how a manager manages a particular organisation in a particular industry with a specific set of goal and a specific production process and employees. On a day to day basis a manager deals with different situations arising from different employees and seeks to handle the situation effectively to achieve organisational goals. Managers behave differently to each employee and situation instead of using a prescribed set of responses dictated by a set of guidelines.
In management , art can also be defined as the exercise of human skill, the ability to apply knowledge and to combine it with an understanding of the situation to achieve a desired result. Different tools are combined to form the foundation of managerial practice. These tools

References: Henri FayolHenry MintzbergDavid E Lilenthal 1967 , Management : A Humanist Art http://peoriamagazines.com

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