Uploaded by Allan Mark Ong

Management Science Theory and Practice (1)

Management: Science, Theory and Practice
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Defining Management: Its Nature and Purpose
1.3 Function of management
1.4 Management is essential to any entity or organization
1.5 Management at Different Organizational Levels
1.6 All Efficient Managers Perform Essential Functions
1.7 Managerial Skills and Organizational Hierarchy
1.8 The objectives of all managers
1.9 Productivity, Effectiveness, and Efficiency
2.0 Managing: Science or Art
2.1 The Facets of Science
2.2 The Scientific Approach
2.3 The Role of Management Theory
2.4 Management techniques
2.5 The Systems Approach to Operational Management
2.6 Inputs and Stakeholders
2.7 The Transformation Process Associated With Managers
2.8 The Communications Process in Management
2.9 Outputs
3.0 Revitalizing the System
3.1 Managerial Functions
3.2 Planning
3.3 Organizing
3.4 Recruitment or Staffing
3.5 Controlling
3.6 Leading
3.7 Summary
1.1 Introduction
Managing is a crucial human activity. Objectives that people cannot not achieve
single-handedly they endeavour to achieve the same through collaborative efforts
using management techniques. As communities have become increasingly reliant
on team efforts and several structured groups have burgeoned, the indispensability
of managers have only increased. The aim of this compendium is to uphold the
efficacy of all organizational employees, particularly managers and budding
1.2 Defining Management: Its Nature and Purpose
Management purports to create and sustain an environment where individuals
working in close co-operation achieve meticulously chosen ends. This is the
fundamental tenet of management that can be further elucidated:
1. Individuals functioning as managers are responsible for carrying out
managerial tasks like staffing, systemizing, planning, regulating and
2. Management is applicable to any type of business establishment or
organization and relevant at all hierarchical levels in an enterprise.
3. All managers have more or less the same objective which is to generate a
4. Management is essentially concerned with enhancing the efficacy and
effectiveness of production.
1.3 Functions of Management
Most managers and researchers agree that a lucid structuring of information helps
in management analysis. The concepts, theories, tenets, and strategies are
formulated around the fundamental canons of management like planning, leading,
recruitment, controlling, and organizing and define the framework for further
review or analysis.
This structure has been in vogue for a long time now. Though there are numerous
ways of structuring and processing managerial information, most authors have
generally taken up the eponymous framework despite trying out other options.
Though this article lays stress on the managerial responsibility of building an
internal work environment for improving performance, the fact that managers also
have to function in the environment that lies outside the organization should also
be taken into consideration. Towards that end, managers can perform efficiently if
they can identify and comprehend the different aspects related to the exterior
environment that have an economic, social, political, and ethical bearing on their
1.4 Management is essential to any entity or organization
Managers are entrusted with the task of preparing strategies that’ll enable all
employees to contribute in an optimum manner for accomplishing group
objectives. Management thus becomes imperative in any type of establishment or
organization big or small, be it a profitable, charitable or not-for-profit enterprise.
The entity could be a hospital, corporate house, government department, college,
school or any non-profit or commercial environment. Almost anybody operating
at the supervisory or managerial level, for instance the bishop, the corporate CEO,
the soccer coach, medical superintendent or the university lecturer has to
effectively implement the managerial functions associated with his or her job
1.5 Management at Different Organizational Levels
Almost all managers are responsible for devising techniques that will facilitate all
individuals to contribute optimally for the achievement of team goals. However, a
specific situation may not be of the same nature at different hierarchical levels in
an organization and it might also vary from establishment to establishment.
Furthermore, all managers may not be empowered to the same extent to carry out
the tasks according to his discretion and the nature of problems might vary as
But the fundamental aim-to create an environment for accomplishing group
objectives-remains unchanged. Though all managers are responsible for
discharging managerial tasks, the time devoted towards every function and the
approach might differ. Managers at the topmost hierarchical level devote more
time towards organizing and planning whereas first line managers have to spend
more time leading their subordinates and dealing with their problems.
1.6 All Efficient Managers Perform Essential Functions
Though all managers are concerned with planning, recruitment, organizing,
controlling and leading, the actual time devoted towards any function and the
competence needed by managers belonging to the different organizational tiers,
might vary. Managers, nevertheless have to accomplish their tasks by getting the
same done by their subordinates. Although the concepts, theories, and principles
of management have universal usefulness, their implementation is no doubt an art
and carrying them out successfully is invariably dependant on the circumstances.
Thus management is more of an art in practice and scientific in theory. This
peculiarity is often referred to as the universality of management where managers
are responsible for carrying out similar functions irrespective of their rank or
stature in the organizational hierarchy or the nature of the establishment where
they are employed.
1.7 Managerial Skills and Organizational Hierarchy
Robert L. Katz typified three distinct
types of skills for managers and
supervisors. A fourth skill might be added to the existing set and that is the
‘competence or skill to devise solutions’.
1. Technical skill has to do with finesse in carrying out activities that requires
knowledge of processes and procedures. In other words, it involves the use
of certain tools and specific set of strategies. For instance, doctors,
engineers, accountants, architects, and other professionals all have their
specific specialization techniques for carrying out their prescribed tasks.
2. Human skill entails the capability to work with others as a team and also
work towards creating atmosphere where everybody can work freely and
express their viewpoints without any inhibitions.
3. Conceptual Skill imparts one with the sagaciousness to see things in
advance and perceive things that are not ordinarily identifiable by others.
4. Design Skill means having the competence of not only identifying the
problems or threats that an organization faces but also having the efficacy
to find solutions for those problems. Merely recognizing problems does
not make one a good manager. He should be able to come up with
solutions that will ultimately prove beneficial for the organization.
The comparative significance of these competencies will of course vary
from one hierarchical level to another in any establishment.
1.8 The Objectives of all Managers
Most executives are of the opinion that managers have a single point
agenda-to enable an organization to earn a profit or a surplus. Judged from
that standpoint, a manager then would not have any role in an
establishment that does not operate with a profit motive, say a police
department or a charitable trust. However, seen from a wider perspective,
managers irrespective of whether they work in a commercial or noncommercial entity should be responsible for generating surplus (that may
not always be monetary) using the minimal amount of resources (time,
materials, human resources, and personal differences).
1.9 Productivity, Effectiveness, and Efficiency
That managers should be creative or productive is another way of defining
their ultimate end. Today all spheres of human activities feel the need for
making strides in productivity.
Defining productivity. Profitable organizations are able to build a surplus
via productive functions. There is no unanimity on the actual meaning of
productivity but it is usually defined as the proportion of output to input
within a specific timeframe with due accordance to quality. Therefore,
productivity could be enhanced by decreasing inputs keeping outputs the
same; increasing outputs keeping inputs the same or by increasing the
output and decreasing the inputs. Previously, only workers used to be
involved with productivity enhancement schedules but gradually the upper
echelons in an organization began to be targeted for such programs as
Defining Effectiveness and Efficiency. Productivity has to do with
effectiveness and efficiency both in personal and organizational
performance. Effectiveness means accomplishing the desired ends.
Efficiency means accomplishing those ends utilizing the minimal quantity
of resources.
Check your progress 1
i) How do you describe function of management in some words?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ii) Define Management in brief.
2.0 Managing: Science or Art
The discipline of management is to a considerable extent an art like the
fields of painting, sculpture, accountancy or medical science but is based
Management therefore is the art of taking decisions based on management
principles that have a scientific basis. In other words, the organized
knowledge of management (which have a scientific orientation) when
applied in real life becomes an art. Judged from this perspective, science
and art complement each other.
As strides or development are made in the various scientific disciplines,
the efficiency with which managers can apply the managerial principles
also increases. Architects without the benefits of science would be nothing
more than masons. Practitioners of management hone their skills through
trial and error and keep learning from experience. As they gain experience,
the efficiency and efficacy with which they perform their tasks also
increases accordingly. The errors managers commit while carrying out
their tasks serve as lessons for their subordinates as they can avoid making
the same mistakes when they perform those chores.
2.1 The Facets of Science
Science stands on the bedrock of scientific information or knowledge. No
matter whichever branch of science you look at-physics, chemistry,
metaphysics, nuclear physics or astronomy, all the concepts, theories,
principals, tenets and hypotheses pertaining to any branch have a scientific
basis. A hypothesis or theory in any discipline of science postulated by a
scientist, researcher or scholar will not be universally accepted if the same
does not fulfil specific parameters or yardsticks. Newton’s gravitational
laws or Faraday’s laws of electrolysis are two prime instances. Therefore
science is characterized by having crystal clear concepts, theories and
postulates that have undergone thorough experimentation and also have
been analysed on a threadbare basis before they were incorporated into the
specific branch of science.
2.2 The Scientific Approach
The scientific approach calls for having precise concepts that are formed
by summarising or generalizing day to day observations. Scientific terms
and expressions used should be exactly representative of the observations
and facts being analysed. Determining and establishing observed facts
after careful analysis is the essence of the scientific method.
After the facts have been evaluated and scrutinized, scientists and
researchers attempt to find out the correlation or interrelation between and
amongst the analyzed facts. The observed facts that are structured into
hypotheses or theories are then subjected to scrutiny for ascertaining their
exactness. If these hypotheses successfully pass the tests, they become
principles that are unanimously accepted by the entire scientific
Theory can be defined as a methodical clustering or grouping of mutually
dependent principles and concepts that shapes the structure for a
momentous or conspicuous mass of information or knowledge. Data that is
discrete and scattered and not organized in an appropriate manner cannot
be regarded as information until and unless the scientist or scholar can
satisfactorily exemplify that they regarded as principles.
2.3 The Role of Management Theory
The fundamental role of theory as far as the segment of management is
concerned, is to furnish ways of categorizing or organizing important and
relevant management knowledge. While designing the framework or
structure of an organization, managers come to rely on a set of
interconnected principles that also have an extrapolative significance for
them. Now there are various classifications or orders of principles in
management including principles that lay emphasis on how to entrust
authority, principles that stress on parity in responsibility and powers, and
so on.
So, as far as the discipline of management is concerned, principles
elucidate the correlation or interrelation between a set of two variables
(sometimes there could be more variables) one of which is independent
and the other dependent on it. Principles do not set any benchmarks or
standards that one must follow but are mere generalization of observed
facts and can also be prognostic in nature.
To take an instance, one of Newton’s gravitational laws which states that
‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ does not necessarily
imply that if you hit someone, he’ll or she’ll surely hit back. The law only
scientifically generalizes that if you hit or slap somebody or carry out any
particular act towards an individual, he or she might probably act in a
reciprocal manner. Hence it can be inferred that managers should not just
blindly apply principles in their areas of operation. They should have the
wisdom and the acumen to blend and optimize these principles in their job
situations at workplaces.
2.4 Management Techniques
Techniques are best defined as procedures or processes of carrying out a
specific set of functions or activities to accomplish or attain desired goals
or objectives. From that perspective, techniques are also termed as
‘strategies’, ‘methods’, ‘practices’ or ‘modus operandi’ that managers and
all other specialists undertake to achieve their short-term and long-term
goals. Techniques are indispensable to any field or area of specialization
viz. engineering, medical sciences, accountancy, archaeology,
anthropology, information technology and so on.
Techniques are germane to the discipline of management as well though
the number of techniques that are generally harnessed by managers can be
counted on one’s hand. Techniques that are popularly put into practice by
managers include but not limited to critical path method (CPM), cost
accounting, budgeting, network planning, return on investment (ROI), total
quality management (TQM) and so on. Techniques usually mirror theory
and aid managers in fulfilling their responsibilities in an efficient manner.
2.5 The Systems Approach to Operational Management
Organizations and establishments in real life do not operate in a void, cutoff from the environment they belong to. In fact, a business or nonbusiness entity is inevitably and inextricably dependent on the external
environment for its growth and development. Being a unit of the industry
or society or the economy, an organization obtains inputs from the
environment, processes them and dispenses the outputs to the same
This is the rudimentary or basic ‘Systems Approach’ that quite simply yet
succinctly describes how an organization functions at the most elementary
level within its environment. Nevertheless, this approach can be broadened
or extended to accommodate an organized approach of operational
management that embodies the manner in which inputs are processed
exploiting the managerial functionalities of recruitment, leading,
organizing, controlling and planning. Evidently, the Systems Approach
amply defines the functioning of any commercial or industrial enterprise
by describing the interfaces of the organization with the external
2.6 Inputs and Stakeholders
The inputs that an establishment obtains from the environment invariably
includes land, human resources, capital, technical and managerial acumen
or expertise, production procedures and processes. An establishment uses
these inputs (inter-alia) in the most prudent and judicious manner possible
to produce outputs that are delivered back to the same environment. The
organization has to deal with different categories of stakeholders or
claimants that have a stake in the processing of the inputs. So it follows
that these groups of stakeholders can stake a claim on the outputs or on the
proceeds that the outputs generate.
The first group of stakeholders who can make the most legitimate claims
are the employees or workers who make the highest level or amount of
contribution by offering their labour. So, they can make a justifiable claim
for a higher remuneration, better incentives, job security, bonuses, and
superannuation benefits.
Then again, clients are undoubtedly the most crucial group of stakeholders
in the external environment who’ll always desire to have products and
services that are of a standard quality and safe and also fairly priced at the
same time. Then you’ve got the group of suppliers comprising wholesalers
and retailers who want to make sure that the organizations outputs
(finished goods and services) will be marketable and saleable.
Governments at all levels (either the federal, state or local level) derive
their revenues from the various taxes, levies, and surcharges they levy on
the organization. They’ll also want that the establishment carry out its day
to day business activities by remaining within the precincts of the laws of
the land. The investing public (read shareholders) that purchases different
stock options offered by the company will expect the organization to pay
high dividends on their investments.
Again, the society or community in which the organization functions will
expect the same to fulfil its ‘corporate social responsibility’. That in
essence means that the establishment will contribute to the cause of the
economically deprived and socially marginalized sections of the society. It
could also imply that the enterprise will provide employment to the local
youths and that its business or commercial activities do not pollute the
Apart from the above mentioned groups of claimants, there could be other
categories of stakeholders as well like banks, insurance firms, labour
unions, and so on. The demands or claims that all these diverse groups of
stakeholders make on the enterprises are varied and unrelated as well.
However, the organization will surely run out of steam in trying to satisfy
the demands of all these claimant groups if specialists or experts do not
come to its rescue. And who are these experts, by the way? Whenever we
ask ourselves this question, we are instantly reminded of managers. A
consummate manager should be able to incorporate the discrete claims of
the different groupings in a justifiable and feasible manner.
2.7 The Transformation Process Associated With Managers
All managers find themselves inextricably linked with the transformation
process that essentially has to do with converting inputs into outputs.
However, the level or extent of involvement (in the transformation
procedure) might differ from one organization to another. The level of
engagement generally depends upon the nature or type of organization. A
manager working in a manufacturing unit will of course have a different
scale and extent of involvement from his counterpart engaged in a
financial institution.
This is so because the modus operandi and character of the actual
transformation process is not the same in all the enterprises or
establishments. The process might even differ from department to
department if you take a typically large organization into account. In other
words, the departments of finance, marketing, personnel, operations,
logistics, IT, and administration in an organization may have different
transformation processes.
Therefore, an academic or a management expert might find it vexing to
evaluate a transformation process that is applicable to all managers given
the innumerable types of conversion procedures. Hence, the best approach
for describing the transformation process is to assess the same in the light
of the core managerial functions of organizing, staffing, controlling,
leading, and planning.
2.8 The Communications Process in Management
The tasks that a manager is entrusted with carrying out in an organization
would be rendered ineffective if the enterprise lacked an effective
communications system. Communication is critical at any stage of the
managerial procedure. It is through effective communication that an
enterprise connects to the external environment.
The system of communication in any organization at the most elementary
level is made up of three distinct components. The first constituent is the
information deliverers or suppliers, the second component being the
information receivers and the final cog being the links or methods that are
used as conduits for transferring the info or data from the supplier to the
Communication is the key to achieving the managerial goals or objectives.
The core or fundamental functions of a manager (that have been
enumerated several times in this article) cannot be accomplished in the
absence of effective communication between and amongst all the
hierarchical levels of an establishment. Communication is also necessary
for managers to lead from the front in an efficient manner.
It is via effective communication that managers are successful in creating a
work environment or setting that will encourage all his subordinates to be
at their productive best. The communication process also has a pivotal
role to play in linking up the organisation with its external environment.
This role or function of the communication process is perhaps the most
critical as this function helps the organization to acclimatize with the
external environment where most of the stakeholders are to be found.
Though it is beyond the capacity of managers to change or influence the
outer environment, he can always positively react to it for attaining his
goals. For instance, it is through an efficient communication system that
managers are able to recognize and fulfil the needs of the clients who are
virtually the raison d’être of all organizations and establishments. The
communication system also helps an organization to make a SWOT
(strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.
2.9 Outputs
One of the core functions of all managers is planning. It is through this
function that managers source the inputs from the external environment
and thereafter make use of their other functions to transform the inputs into
outputs. Though the outputs that are ultimately produced may differ from
one organization to the other, they generally comprise a mix of tangibles
and intangibles like products, services, profits, revenues, earnings,
contentment or fulfilment, and goal incorporation of the different groups
of stakeholders.
As far as the intangible output of contentment is concerned, it essentially
has two distinct aspects. First comes the aspect of consumer satisfactionconsumers of the organization should be content with its product(s) or
service(s) so that they continue to keep using the same on a regular basis.
The issue of employees’ satisfaction comes up next. For a member of the
organization to keep on contributing in a productive manner, his or her
basic materialistic requirements must be met satisfactorily. After the
worldly needs have been adequately met, the necessity of fulfilling the
psychological needs arise.
The materialistic needs essentially pertain to job security, housing or
shelter, salary to pay for food, clothing, and other vital or unavoidable
needs. The psychological needs pertain to aspects of job satisfaction,
recognition and incentives for tasks accomplished. One derives the highest
level of contentment when one’s self-actualization needs are fulfilled that
have best enunciated by Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’.
Goal integration is another intangible output that managers have to
confront with. It has been explained above there are diverse groups of
claimants or stakeholders who have valid claims to make on an
organization. Now these ‘claims’ or ‘demands’ are dissimilar and
incongruent and it falls upon the manager to integrate and incorporate
these. While trying to integrate these contrasting demands, managers have
to deal with various disagreements and conflicts which they have to find
ways to sort out.
Check your progress 2
i) What all you learn about management technique?
What you understand about output?
3.0 Revitalizing the System
The Systems Model of Operational Management is typified by a very
significant attribute. According to this model, a few outputs are
reprocessed back into inputs. For instance, the profits that an enterprise
earns through the sale of its goods or services are channelled back into the
system. For instance, the surplus revenues are used for purchasing capital
goods including plant and machinery, raw materials, buildings or
deposited as cash in the organization’s bank accounts.
3.1 Managerial Functions
Managerial functions form the basis for putting in order management
knowledge or information. The key functions of all managers are planning,
organizing, conscription (recruitment), controlling, and leading.
3.2 Planning
Planning primarily has to do with chalking out the missions and visions of
an organization or enterprise and thrashing out an action plan for
accomplishing the same. Therefore the function of planning entails
decisions making by managers. To put it more precisely, planning require
managers to scrupulously review the pros and cons of all possible action
plans or courses that are available to them and then select the one that
would be most conducive for their respective organizations.
Planning might involve taking decisions about the organizational
objectives and goals as a whole or it might also entail making decision on
a routine or usual task. An action plan can be said to become viable or
feasible after the manager has taken a decision to engage human resources
or inventory in the transformation process for converting the inputs into
3.3 Organizing
Individuals form groups with the sole aim of achieving prescribed
objectives. In a similar vein, employees in organizations forming closelyknit and cohesive groups have some organizational goals to attain. So,
every individual in the group has a role to enact. Now this role can be
unorganized, random, and chaotic or can be well-defined and organized.
The employees or workers in all present day organizations and enterprises
have their specific job roles or profiles cut out for them. The job profile of
a typical employee in any enterprise has to be prearranged or organized in
a way that gels with the group’s or organization’s objectives.
It is through organizing that managers are able to assign roles or tasks to
their subordinates that have a clear cut structure. Organizing also let
managers explain the tasks assigned to individuals working under them so
that they understand it fully and are able to carry it out in the prescribed
manner. Therefore, organizing helps in creating an optimal working
environment where all the members in an organization are able to
contribute to the maximum However, managers must see to it that the roles
for each member should be framed keeping in mind the member’s abilities
and limitations and the motivational levels.
3.4 Recruitment or Staffing
Recruitment or staffing has to do with employing individuals (human
resources) for different job positions in the various hierarchical levels of
an organization. Identifying and sourcing the worthy or job-ready
candidates for the different job or positions in the organization is the main
function of all human resource managers vis-a-vis staffing. The concept of
staffing can be further elaborated to include the functions of identifying
the different work positions in an organization, holding interviews to
establish the worthiness of candidates, placements, transfers, promotions,
career planning, working out compensations, and making arrangements for
3.5 Controlling
Controlling pertains to reviewing, correcting or modifying the activities of
staff working under the manager just to make sure that they’re working in
conformity with the prescribed course of action or work plan. Controlling
means carrying out performance appraisals in relation to the organizational
objectives, helping the subordinate see and realise if he or she is veering
off from the prescribed course. The manager also recommends corrective
strategies to be taken so that the subordinate is back on track. Suggesting
remedial course of action also ascertains that the organizational goals
remain within sight and achievable. Control activities to be very specific
imply quantifying one’s accomplishments.
3.6 Leading
Leading as the function clearly indicates, is about leadership. Managers
should be able to influence, motivate, encourage and lead their
subordinates in such a way so as to able them to contribute positively
towards group or organizational objectives. Managers are unanimous in
their opinions that most of the problems they have to confront during the
course of their work are people related. Managers have to deal with
individual aspirations of their subordinates, their attitudes and their
temperaments that group dynamics brings out. Managers should bear in
mind that as leaders they should be willing to follow when required.
People will be only prepared to follow those managers who can lead in a
humane manner and also give them the opportunity to realise their career
objectives and satisfy their personal needs.
Check your progress 3
i) What you learn about recruiting or staffing?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ii) What you understand about controlling from management perspective?
3.7 Summary
Management hence we see is the procedure of creating and sustaining an
environment where people operating in groups are able to achieve
prescribed group or organizational goals. In this respect, managers are
primarily responsible for designing an appropriate action plan and then
carrying it out perfectly so that the organizational goals are accomplished.