You are here: Home / Topics / UNIT-1 Nature of Management | BCA semester 1 | Principle of Management

UNIT-1 Nature of Management | BCA semester 1 | Principle of Management

Filed under: BCA Study Material on 2023-11-01 06:26:56

The organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve 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 management includes both marketing and innovation. Practice of modern management originates from the 16th century study of low-efficiency and failures of certain enterprises, conducted by the English statesman Sir Thomas More (1478-1535). Management consists of the interlocking functions of creating corporate policy and organizing, planning, controlling, and directing an organization’s resources in order to achieve the objectives of that policy.


Many management experts have tried to define management. But, no definition of management has been universally accepted. Let us discuss some of the leading definitions of management:

Peter F. Drucker defines, “management is an organ; organs can be described and defined only through their functions”.

According to Terry, “Management is not people; it is an activity like walking, reading, swimming or running. People who perform Management can be designated as members, members of Management or executive leaders.”

Ralph C. Davis has defined Management as, “Management is the function of executive leadership anywhere.”

According to Mc Farland, “Management is defined for conceptual, theoretical and analytical purposes as that process by which managers create, direct, maintain and operate purposive organization through systematic, co-ordinated co-operative human effort.”

Henry Fayol, “To mange is to forecast and plan, to organize, to compound, to co-ordinate and to control.” Harold Koontz says, “Management is the art of getting things done through and within formally organized group.”

William Spriegal, “Management is that function of an enterprise which concerns itself with direction and control of the various activities to attain business objectives. Management is essentially an executive function; it deals with the active direction of the human effort.”

Kimball and Kimball, “Management embraces all duties and functions that pertain to the initiation of an enterprise, its financing, the establishment of all major policies, the provision of all necessary equipment, the outlining of the general form of organization under which the enterprise is to operate and the selection of the principal officers.”

Sir Charles Reynold, “Management is the process of getting things done through the agency of a community. The functions of management are the handling of community with a view of fulfilling the purposes for which it exists.”


Management is a distinct activity having the following salient features:

1. Economic Resource : Management is one of the factors of production together with land, labour and capital. As 10 industrialization increases, the need for managers also increases. Efficient management is the most critical input in the success of any organized group activity as it is the force which assembles and integrates other factors of production, namely, labour, capital and materials. Inputs of labour, capital and materials do not by themselves ensure production, they require the catalyst of management to produce goods and services required by the society. Thus, management is an essential ingredient of an organization.

2. Goal Oriented : Management is a purposeful activity. It coordinates the efforts of workers to achieve the goals of the organization. The success of management is measured by the extent to which the organizational goals are achieved. It is imperative that the organizational goals must be well-defined and properly understood by the management at various levels

. 3. Distinct Process : Management is a distinct process consisting of such functions as planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. These functions are so interwoven that it is not possible to lay down exactly the sequence of various functions or their relative significance.

4. Integrative Force : The essence of management is integration of human and other resources to achieve the desired objectives. All these resources are made available to those who manage. Managers apply knowledge, experience and management principles for getting the results from the workers by the use of non-human resources. Managers also seek to harmonize the individuals’ goals with the organizational goals for the smooth working of the organization.

5. System of Authority : Management as a team of managers represents a system of authority, a hierarchy of command and control. Managers at different levels possess varying degree of authority. Generally, as we move down in the managerial hierarchy, the degree of authority gets gradually reduced. Authority enables the managers to perform their functions effectively.

6. Multi-disciplinary Subject : Management has grown as a field of study (i.e. discipline) taking the help of so many other disciplines such as engineering, anthropology, sociology and psychology. Much of the management literature is the result of the association of these disciplines. For instance, productivity orientation drew its inspiration from industrial engineering and human relations orientation from psychology. Similarly, sociology and operations research have also contributed to the development of management science.

7. Universal Application : Management is universal in character. The principles and techniques of management are equally applicable in the fields of business, education, military, government and hospital. Henri Fayol suggested that principles of management would apply more or less in every situation. The principles are working guidelines which are flexible and capable of adaptation to every organization where the efforts of human beings are to be coordinated.


  1. Achievements of group goals : Management makes group efforts
    more effective. The group as a whole cannot realise its objectives
    unless and until there is mutual co-operation and co-ordination
    among the members of the group. Management creates team work
    and team spirit in an organization by developing a sound
    organization structure. It brings the human and material resources together and motivates the people for the achievement of the goals of the organization.
  2. Optimum utilization of resources : Management always
    concentrates on achieving the objectives of the enterprise. The
    available resources of production are put to use in such a way that all sort of wastage and inefficiencies are reduced to a minimum.
    Workers are motivated to put in their best performance by the
    inspiring leadership. Managers create and maintain an environment conducive to highest efficiency and performance. Through the optimum use of available resources, management accelerates the process of economic growth.
  3. Minimisation of cost : In the modern era of intense competition,
    every business enterprise must minimise the cost of production and distribution. Only those concerns can survive in the market, which can produce goods of better quality at the minimum cost. A study of the principles of management helps in knowing certain techniques used for reducing costs. These techniques are production control, budgetary control, cost control, financial control, material control, etc.
  4. Change and growth : A business enterprise operates in a constantlychanging environment. Changes in business environment create uncertainties and risk and also produce opportunities for growth. An enterprise has to change and adjust itself in the everchanging environment. Sound management moulds not only the enterprise but also alters the environment itself to ensure the success of the business. Many of the giant business corporations of today had a humble beginning and grew continuously through effective management.
  5. Efficient and smooth running of business : Management ensures
    efficient and smooth running of business, through better planning,
    sound organization and effective control of the various factors of
  6. Higher profits : Profits can be enhanced in any enterprise either by increasing the sales revenue or reducing costs. To increase the sales revenue is beyond the control of an enterprise. Management by decreasing costs increases its profits and thus provides opportunities for future growth and development.
  7. Provide innovation : Management gives new ideas, imagination
    and visions to an enterprise.
  8. Social benefits : Management is useful not only to the business
    firms but to the society as a whole. It improves the standard of living of the people through higher production and more efficient use of scarce resources. By establishing cordial relations between different social groups, management promotes peace and prosperity in society.
  9. Useful for developing countries : Management has to play a more
    important role in developing countries, like India. In such countries, the productivity is low and the resources are limited. It has been rightly observed, “There are no under-developed countries. They are only under-managed ones”.
  10. Sound organization structure : Management establishes proper
    organization structure and avoids conflict between the superiors andsubordinates. This helps in the development of spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, and a congenial environment is provided in the organization.


For our purpose, we shall designate the following six as the functions of a manager: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating and controlling.

1. Planning : Planning is the most fundamental and the most pervasive of all management functions. If people working in groups have to perform effectively, they should know in advance what is to be done, what activities they have to perform in order to do what is to be done, and when it is to be done. Planning is concerned with ‘what’, ‘how, and ‘when’ of performance.

It is deciding in the present about the future objectives and the courses of action for their achievement. It thus involves:

(a) determination of long and short-range objectives; 

(b) development of strategies and courses of actions to be followed for the achievement of these objectives; and

 (c) formulation of policies, procedures, and rules, etc., for the implementation of strategies, and plans.

The organizational objectives are set by top management in the context of its basic purpose and mission, environmental factors, business forecasts, and available and potential resources. These objectives are both long-range as well as short-range. They are 13 divided into divisional, departmental, sectional and individual objectives or goals. This is followed by the development of strategies and courses of action to be followed at various levels of management and in various segments of the organization. Policies, procedures and rules provide the framework of decision making, and the method and order for the making and implementation of these decisions. Every manager performs all these planning functions, or contributes to their performance. In some organizations, particularly those which are traditionally managed and the small ones, planning are often not done deliberately and systematically but it is still done. The plans may be in the minds of their managers rather than explicitly and precisely spelt out: they may be fuzzy rather than clear but they are always there. Planning is thus the most basic function of management. It is performed in all kinds of organizations by all managers at all levels of hierarchy.

2. Organizing : Organizing involves identification of activities required for the achievement of enterprise objectives and implementation of plans; grouping of activities into jobs; assignment of these jobs and activities to departments and individuals; delegation of responsibility and authority for performance, and provision for vertical and horizontal coordination of activities. Every manager has to decide what activities have to be undertaken in his department or section for the achievement of the goals entrusted to him. Having identified the activities, he has to group identical or similar activities in order to make jobs, assign these jobs or groups of activities to his subordinates, delegate authority to them so as to enable them to make decisions and initiate action for undertaking these activities, and provide for coordination between himself and his subordinates, and among his subordinates

. Organizing thus involves the following sub-functions : 

(a) Identification of activities required for the achievement of objectives and implementation of plans. 

(b) Grouping the activities so as to create self-contained jobs.

 (c) Assignment of jobs to employees.

 (d) Delegation of authority so as to enable them to perform their jobs and to command the resources needed for their performance. 

(e) Establishment of a network of coordinating relationships.

Organizing process results in a structure of the organization. It comprises organizational positions, accompanying tasks and responsibilities, and a network of roles and authority-responsibility relationships. Organizing is thus the basic process of combining and integrating human, physical and financial resources in productive interrelationships for the achievement of enterprise objectives. It aims at combining employees and interrelated tasks in an orderly manner so that organizational work is performed in a coordinated manner, and all efforts and activities pull together in the direction of organizational goals.

3. Staffing : Staffing is a continuous and vital function of management. After the objectives have been determined, strategies, policies, programmes, procedures and rules formulated for their achievement, activities for the implementation of strategies, policies, programmes, etc. identified and grouped into jobs, the next logical step in the management process is to procure suitable personnel for manning the jobs. Since the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization significantly depends on the quality of its personnel and since it is one of the primary functions of management to achieve qualified and trained people to fill various positions, staffing has been recognized as a distinct function of management.

It comprises several subfunctions : 

(a) Manpower planning involving determination of the number and the kind of personnel required. 

(b) Recruitment for attracting adequate number of potential employees to seek jobs in the enterprise. 

(c) Selection of the most suitable persons for the jobs under consideration. 

(d) Placement, induction and orientation. 

(e) Transfers, promotions, termination and layoff.

 (f) Training and development of employees.

As the importance of human factor in organizational effectiveness is being increasingly recognized, staffing is gaining acceptance as a distinct function of management. It need hardly any emphasize that no organization can ever be better than its people, and managers must perform the staffing function with as much concern as any other function.

4. Directing : Directing is the function of leading the employees to perform efficiently, and contribute their optimum to the achievement of organizational objectives. Jobs assigned to subordinates have to be explained and clarified, they have to be provided guidance in job performance and they are to be motivated to contribute their 16 optimum performance with zeal and enthusiasm.

The function of directing thus involves the following sub-functions : 

(a) Communication 

(b) Motivation 

(c) Leadership

5. Coordination : Coordinating is the function of establishing such relationships among various parts of the organization that they all together pull in the direction of organizational objectives. It is thus the process of tying together all the organizational decisions, operations, activities and efforts so as to achieve unity of action for the accomplishment of organizational objectives.

The significance of the coordinating process has been aptly highlighted by Mary Parker Follet. The manager, in her view, should ensure that he has an organization “with all its parts coordinated, so moving together in their closely knit and adjusting activities, so linking, interlocking and interrelation, that they make a working unit, which is not a congeries of separate pieces, but what I have called a functional whole or integrative unity”.

Coordination, as a management function, involves the following sub-functions: 

(a) Clear definition of authority-responsibility relationships 

(b) Unity of direction 

(c) Unity of command 

(d) Effective communication

 (e) Effective leadership

6. Controlling : Controlling is the function of ensuring that the divisional, departmental, sectional and individual performances are consistent with the predetermined objectives and goals. Deviations from objectives and plans have to be identified and investigated, and correction action taken. Deviations from plans and objectives provide feedback to managers, and all other management processes including planning, organizing, staffing, directing and coordinating are continuously reviewed and modified, where necessary. Controlling implies that objectives, goals and standards of performance exist and are known to employees and their superiors. It also implies a flexible and dynamic organization which will permit changes in objectives, plans, programmes, strategies, policies, organizational design, staffing policies and practices, leadership style, communication system, etc., for it is not uncommon that employees failure to achieve predetermined standards is due to defects or shortcomings in any one or more of the above dimensions of management.

Thus, controlling involves the following process : 

(a) Measurement of performance against predetermined goals.

 (b) Identification of deviations from these goals. 

(c) Corrective action to rectify deviations.

It may be pointed out that although management functions have been discussed in a particular sequence-planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating and controlling – they are not performed in a sequential order. Management is an integral process and it is difficult to put its functions neatly in separate boxes. Management functions tend to coalesce, and it sometimes becomes difficult to separate one from the other. For example, when a production manager is discussing work problems with one of his subordinates, it is difficult to say whether he is guiding, developing or communicating, or doing all these things simultaneously. Moreover, managers often perform more than one function simultaneously.


The nature of management as a science, as art and as a profession is discussed below :

Management as a Science : Development of management as a science is of recent origin, even though its practice is ages old. Fredrick W. Taylor was the first manager-theorist who made significant contributions to the development of management as a science. He used the scientific methods of analysis, observation and experimentation in the management of production function. A perceptive manager, as he was, he distilled certain fundamental principles and propounded the theory and principles of scientific management. His work was followed by many others including Gantt, Emerson, Fayol, Barnard, etc. During the last few decades, great strides have been made in the development of management as a systematized body of knowledge which can be learnt, taught and researched. It has also provided powerful tools of analysis, prediction and control to practicing managers. The scientific character of management has been particularly strengthened by management scientists who have developed mathematical models of decision making. Another characteristic of science in management is that it uses the scientific methods of observation, experimentation and laboratory research. Management principles are firmly based on observed phenomena, and systematic classification and analysis of data. These analyses and study of observed phenomena are used for inferring cause-effect relationships between two or more variables.

Generalizations about these relationships result in hypotheses. The hypotheses when tested and found to be true are called principles. These principles when applied to practical situations help the practitioner in describing and analyzing problems, solving problems and predicting the results.


: Just as an engineer uses the science of engineering while building a bridge, a manager uses the knowledge of management theory while performing his managerial functions. Engineering is a science; its application to the solution of practical problems is an art. Similarly, management as a body of knowledge and a discipline is a science; its application to the solution of organizational problems is an art. The practice of management, like the practice of medicine, is firmly grounded in an identifiable body of concepts, theories and principles. A medical practitioner, who does not base his diagnosis and prescription on the science of medicine, endangers the life of his patient. Similarly, a manager who manages without possessing the knowledge of management creates chaos and jeopardizes the well-being of his organization.


We often hear of professionalisation of management in our country. By a professional manager, we generally mean a manager who undertakes management as a career and is not interested in acquiring ownership share in the enterprise which he manages. But, is management a profession in the true sense of the word? or, is management 21 a profession like the professions of law and medicine?

According to McFarland a profession possess the following characteristics : 

(i) a body of principles, techniques, skills, and specialized knowledge; 

(ii) formalized methods of acquiring training and experience; 

(iii) the establishment of a representative organization with professionalisation as its goal; 

(iv) the formation of ethical codes for the guidance of conduct; and

 (v) the charging of fees based on the nature of services.

Management is a profession to the extent it fulfils the above conditions. It is a profession in the sense that there is a systematized body of management, and it is distinct, identifiable discipline. It has also developed a vast number of tools and techniques. But unlike medicine or law, a management degree is not a prerequisite to become a manager. In fact, most managers in India as elsewhere do not have a formal management education. It seems reasonable to assume that at no time in the near future, the possession of a management degree will be a requirement for employment as a career manager.


The use of two terms management and administration has been a controversial issue in the management literature. Some writers do not see any difference between the two terms, while others maintain that administration and management are two different functions. Those who held management and administration distinct include Oliver Sheldon, Florence and Tead, Spriegel and Lansburg, etc. According to them, management is a lower-level function and is concerned primarily with the execution of policies laid down by administration. But some English authors like Brech are of the opinion that management is a wider term including administration.

This controversy is discussed as under in three heads: 

(i) Administration is concerned with the determination of policies and management with the implementation of policies. Thus, administration is a higher level function.

 (ii) Management is a generic term and includes administration.

 (iii) There is no distinction between the terms management and administration and they are used interchangeably.


The use of two terms management and administration has been a controversial issue in the management literature. Some writers do not see any difference between the two terms, while others maintain that administration and management are two different functions. Those who held management and administration distinct include Oliver Sheldon, Florence and Tead, Spriegel and Lansburg, etc. According to them, management is a lower-level function and is concerned primarily with the execution of policies laid down by administration. But some English authors like Brech are of the opinion that management is a wider term including administration.

This controversy is discussed as under in three heads: (i) Administration is concerned with the determination of policies and management with the implementation of policies. Thus, administration is a higher level function. (ii) Management is a generic term and includes administration. (iii) There is no distinction between the terms management and administration and they are used interchangeably.

2 Management is a Generic Term : The second viewpoint regards management as a generic term including administration. According to Brech, “Management is a social process entailing responsibility for the effective and economical planning and regulation of the operation of an enterprise in fulfillment of a given purpose or task. Administration is that part of management which is concerned with the installation and carrying out of the procedures by which the programme is laid down and communicated and the progress of activities is regulated and checked against plans”. Thus, Brech conceives administration as a part of management. Kimball and Kimball also subscribe to this view. According to them administration is a part of management. Administration is concerned with the actual work of executing or carrying out the objectives.

3. Management and Administration are Synonymous: The third viewpoint is that there is no distinction between the terms ‘management’ and ‘administration’. Usage also provides no distinction between these terms. The term management is used for higher executive functions like determination of policies, planning, organizing, directing and controlling in the business circles, while the term administration is used for the same set of functions in the Government circles. So there is no difference between these two terms and they are often used interchangeably. It seems from the above concepts of administration and management that administration is the process of determination of objectives, laying down plans and policies, and ensuring that achievements are in conformity with the objectives. Management is the process of executing the plans and policies for the achievement of the objectives determined by an administration. This distinction seems to be too simplistic and superficial. If we regard chairmen, managing directors and general managers as performing administrative functions, it cannot be said that they perform only planning functions of goal determination, planning and policy formulation, and do not perform other functions such as staffing functions of selection and promotion, or directing functions of leadership, communication and motivation. On the other hand, we cannot say that managers who are responsible for the execution of plans and formulation of plans and policies, etc. do not contribute to the administrative functions of goal determination, and formulation of plans and policies. In fact all manages, whether the chief executive or the first line supervisor, are in some way or the other involved in the performance of all the managerial functions.


The real significance of levels is that they explain authority relationships in an organization. Considering the hierarchy of authority and responsibility, one can identify three levels of management namely:

(i) Top management of a company consists of owners/shareholders, Board of Directors, its Chairman, Managing Director, or the Chief Executive, or the General Manager or Executive Committee having key officers. 

(ii) Middle management of a company consists of heads of functional departments viz. Purchase Manager, Production Manager, Marketing Manager, Financial controller, etc. and Divisional and Sectional Officers working under these Functional Heads. 

(iii) Lower level or operative management of a company consists of Superintendents, Foremen, Supervisors, etc.

1. Top management : Top management is the ultimate source of authority and it lays down goals, policies and plans for the enterprise. It devotes more time on planning and coordinating functions. It is accountable to the owners of the business of the overall management. It is also described as the policy making group responsible for the overall direction and success of all company activities. The important functions of top management include : 

(a) To establish the objectives or goals of the enterprise. 

(b) To make policies and frame plans to attain the objectives laid. 

(c) To set up an organizational frame work to conduct the operations as per plans. 

(d) To assemble the resources of money, men, materials, machines and methods to put the plans into action.

 (e) To exercise effective control of the operations.

 (f) To provide overall leadership to the enterprise.

3. Lower or operative management: It is placed at the bottom of the hierarchy of management, and actual operations are the responsibility of this level of management. It consists of foreman, supervisors, sales officers, accounts officers and so on. They are in direct touch with the rank and file or workers. Their authority and responsibility is limited. They pass on the instructions of the middle management to workers. They interpret and divide the plans of the management into short-range operating plans. They are also involved in the process of decisions-making. They have to get the work done through the workers. They allot various jobs to the workers, evaluate their performance and report to the middle level management. They are more concerned with direction and control functions of management. They devote more time in the supervision of the workers.


A skill is an individual’s ability to translate knowledge into action. Hence, it is manifested in an individual’s performance. Skill is not necessarily inborn. It can be developed through practice and through relating learning to one’s own personal experience and background. In order to be able to successfully discharge his roles, a manager should possess three major skills. These are conceptual skill, human relations skill and technical skill. Conceptual skill deals with ideas, technical skill with things and human skill with people.

1. The conceptual skill refers to the ability of a manager to take a broad and farsighted view of the organization and its future, his ability to think in abstract, his ability to analyze the forces working in a situation, his creative and innovative ability and his ability to assess the environment and the changes taking place in it

2. The technical skill is the manager’s understanding of the nature of job that people under him have to perform. It refers to a person’s knowledge and proficiency in any type of process or technique. In a production department this would mean an understanding of the technicalities of the process of production. Whereas this type of skill and competence seems to be more important at the lower levels of management

3. Human relations skill is the ability to interact effectively with people at all levels. This skill develops in the manager sufficient ability 

(a) to recognize the feelings and sentiments of others;

 (b) to judge the possible actions to, and outcomes of various courses of action he may undertake; and

 (c) to examine his own concepts and values which may enable him to develop more useful attitudes about himself. This type of skill remains consistently important for managers at all levels.

Skill-mix of different management levels

Top Management————— Conceptual Skills Middle Management————— Human Relations Skills Low Management ———————-Technical Skills

About Author:
Renuka     View Profile
Hi, I am using MCQ Buddy. I love to share content on this website.