There are many ways to define the term ‘Management’. It is one of the most basic and important concepts in any academic and non-academic disciplines. There is no standard definition for the term. Different renowned authors have defined the term in their own respective ways. Some of the important definitions are;
According to E.F.L. Brech – “Management is a social process entailing responsibility for the effective and economical planning and regulation of the operations of an enterprise, in fulfilment of a given purpose or task.” Here, responsibility involves:
- Judgement and decision in determining plans and in using data to control performance, and progress against plans
- Guidance, integration, motivation and supervision of the personnel composing the enterprise and carrying out its operations“.
According to Henry Fayol – “To manage is to forecast and to plan, to organize, to command, to co-ordinate and to control”.
In the words of Joseph Massie, Management is the process by which a cooperative group directs action towards common goals.
George R Terry has defined Management as a distinct process consisting of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish the objectives by the use of people and resources.
In the words of James L Lundy – “Management is principally the task of planning, coordinating, motivating and controlling the efforts of others towards a specific objective”.
Management is a coordinated and integrated approach of working towards certain objectives through the productive use of material resources. It refers to the process of mobilizing physical, human, and financial resources and arranging their use for corporate operations in order to achieve the set goals. It is continuous process of distributing inputs of an organization through conventional managerial functions i.e. planning, organizing, directing, and controlling, for the purpose of accomplishing specified objectives, namely – output of goods and services demanded by its consumers”.
Management occurs in all organized social and economic activity. It is not limited to a factory, shop, or office. In management process, work is carried out by and through the organization’s personnel. It is a driving force in all complex organizations attempting to attain some specified goals. Management is required for all the businesses, government and non-governmental enterprise, education and health sector, military organizations, trade groups, and every other organizations.
Emerging Challenges for modern Management
One of the major emerging challenge for management is the globalization of business. The notion of globalization started in 1955 A.D. After this, every individual is a global villager and is capable of connecting one corner of the planet to another. Trade has become borderless and organizations have begun businesses all across the world. Any corporation, regardless of size or nature, can no longer ignore the presence of globalization of business. Globalization entails easy trade in goods and services, providing clients with a diverse range of options throughout a borderless world. Globalization constantly pressurize firms around the world for improving quality, cutting prices, and/or producing new and improved goods in response to client needs and expectations.
Aside from that, the regional agreement and World Trade Organization (WTO) have increased market competition and added complexity to the manager’s task. As a result, managers must grasp the globalization process and the competition it creates for them, and they must act effectively and efficiently to overcome such obstacles.
Another problem for management is figuring out how to use innovative and complex technologies. Over the century, technology has advanced far beyond anyone’s expectations. Technological horizon has changed the mode of operation of any function of an organization. Manufacturing and distribution heavily rely on the technological assets.
Newer and ever-changing technical innovations characterize modern business era. This demands a technology viewpoint in management. The human factor of management must be aware of and anticipate technological advances. Technological developments are changing the products and services.
Such developments also affect the way goods and services are produced and promoted. The nature of work has also been shifted as a result of technological innovation. Most jobs that were previously performed by unskilled and semi-skilled laborers are now performed by skilled laborers. The number of white collar employment is growing while the number of blue collar is seen drastically falling. So the employees must remain updated regarding new technology. There’s no way any organization can compete with other competitors without adopting modern technology.
Therefore, the modern manager must have a thorough understanding of these facets of the technical setting to survive on this evolving business market.
Innovation and Change
Today, there is an increment in the innovation of new concepts in order to meet the expectations of stakeholders. Change has become a part of life for everyone involved in corporate operations. Managing change is currently a significant task for managers. Change in the attitudes and behaviors of stakeholders is possible. Managers bear a significant amount of responsibility for dealing with such changes in a scientific and behavioral manner. To meet the changing needs of clients, they must increase the quality of their products and services.
Furthermore, managers can use a range of techniques to harmonize the organizational working environment, such as the adoption of a reward system, the growth of entrepreneurship, and corporate culture.
Ethics and responsibility
The moral principles or standards that define whether our actions are right or wrong are the focus of ethics. Businesses must adhere to ethical principles in their policies and procedures. However, one of the most difficult tasks for modern managers is determining if a certain employee’s behavior or activity is ethical or not. Managers must therefore comprehend ethical norms and principles and act accordingly. Therefore, managers must adhere to ethical standards while also taking into account their societal duties. Ethics is the basis for various managerial decisions. However, in today’s business environment, ethics is on the decline. As a result, many commercial groups engage in immoral behavior and such unethical practices in some commercial firms affect their brand name and basic operation.
Management must also understand how to fulfill its social responsibilities. Social responsibilities refers to a company’s responsibilities to the society, community, people, shareholders, and so on. It is a concept that has evolved with time and is a major challenge to the modern managers. Some of the social responsibilities of commercial enterprises are to supply excellent products at reasonable prices, to provide more and more job possibilities, to carry out various development activities in society, and to prevent pollution.
Quality assurance and productivity
The ability to please the consumer is quality assurance. However, as human desires expand, supplying goods and services to meet those demands becomes a greater task for today’s management. The product and services must exceed the customer’s expectations in terms of price, time, and quality. To increase quality, most organizations adapt Total Quality Management (TQM), which focuses on continuous improvement initiatives that incorporate all stakeholders, including suppliers and customers. In addition to this, productivity is becoming a big concern for today’s organizations. Due to intense competition, managers are working on decreasing waste in terms of materials, time, and effort, thereby increasing productivity.
Workforce diversity refers to the mix of people from various backgrounds such as gender, race, ethnicity, and so on. Because of shifting demographic dynamics, the participation of women and minorities in different parts of organization has increased and such changes in the workforce can have a variety of impacts on a business. From one perspective, it can be a source of cost advantage, a source of resource acquisition, marketing, innovation, problem-solving, and a flexible system. From another perspective, it could be a source of contention inside a company. As a result, a manager’s challenge is to accommodate these broad groups of people by addressing differing lifestyles, family demands, and work styles.
Delegating power to staff is a big difficulty for managers in today’s environment. People seek flexibility in their workplaces; they want to be involved in decision-making and to be able to express themselves creatively within organizations. It is easier to achieve corporate goals when managers and employees share the same values and aims. However, improper delegation can demotivate staff and lead to employee turnover, disengagement, and job stagnation.
Employees are the most important aspect of an organization’s internal environment. It is necessary to transfer decision-making authority to subordinate level employees in order to maintain a mutual relationship between managers and employees, which is a difficult task. Therefore. managers should establish self-managed teams or autonomous work groups to empower employees.
Article By: Saurav Giri