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Management is Art or Science?

Management Art or Science

Management is a combination of activities which include planning, decision making and organizing, leading and controlling business activities to ensure that organizational effectiveness and efficiency can be achieved and it results in realizing overall business objectives. Looking more closely it could be suggested that management is both art and science which depends on objectivity and validation of elements pertaining business processes and also careful insight into the ways of integrating these elements translated in the businesses objectives. In the following supporting arguments are presented to provide reflection on the role of management as art and science.

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A manager is an individual who is responsible for carrying out the management process in any organization. He / she is responsible for ensuring that the efforts of individuals working for the company are coincided which help corporate strategies to achieve goals of the business. The imaginative approach of managers is likely to draw employees closer and develop a common approach between them for solving problems. This managerial process could be viewed as art of making employees more effective. This view has been suggested to focus on the personality of the manager who can lead employee leads employees achieve targets that would not be possible without the leadership and long sighted vision of the manager or owner. Nonako and Takeuchi (1995) were of the opinion that sharing of knowledge through socializing process can actually yield in technical skills considered necessary for the business. They also provided examples of Microsoft and GE and top down strategies implemented in these organizations which were lead by dynamic personalities of their CEO which actually enhanced this view of management as art.

Management viewed as science is mainly driven from different theories and their underlining principles and rules. These theories were suggested from time to time by scholars however, initiation of this view could be traced back to Taylor’s (1911) scientific management theories and Weber’s (1947) administration of social and economic organizations. Scientific approach to management anticipates the outcome of different ways which managers could implement to influence employees’ behavior. Managers often employ different scientific techniques; rely on their knowledge and experiences and even intuition to undertake decisions and solving problems. Management is therefore, an organized process which starts with identification of a problem or decision and arranges different elements within the organization and finally employs different scientific approaches to find solutions for problems in hand. This approach is therefore, systematic which is based on knowledge gained through continuous experiments and observations. The solutions adopted by management are logically driven (CHRM, 2009).

Thus, to conclude it is, hereby, agreed that management is a process which could be identified as both art and science. Considering management as art suggests that it focuses on effective management of employees whereas scientific view of management identifies different ways of achieving this. Moving away from individualistic view of management a holistic view of management is becoming acceptable more and more by researchers and analysts that clearly suggests management is both art and science. Management cannot be successful based only on imaginative approach but also requires from time to time a scientific approach to derive more focused and efficient decisions.


CHRM. (2009). Management: Art or Science? [online] Viewed from: Community of Human Resources Management. Web.

Nonaka, I. and Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company : how Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. New York: Oxford University Press.

Taylor, F. W. (1911). The Principles of Scientific Management. New York: Harper & Brothers.

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Weber, M. (1947). The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. (A. M. Henderson, and T. Parsons, Trans.) New York: The Free Press and the Falcon’s Bring Press.

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