More On Management

Management is More an Art than a Science

In most academic institutions, management is taught as a science, using concepts like financial/economic analysis, complex qualitative models, accountancy, marketing, sales, HR, etc, as a basis for specialisation in a particular skill. However, management is more about generalisation than specialisation, ie a broad range of knowledge on many topics rather than an expert in one particular area.

While economic issues, like profitability, cost minimisation, research and development, etc are important, they alone are insufficient as management is more than dealing with numbers and quantitative analysis. It is about dealing with people, with all their idiosyncrasies, unconscious biases, irrational decision-making, etc.
In fact, management is an art, ie

"...Effective management cannot be accomplished solely by crunching numbers to make decisions or deciding on a course of action..."
William Cohen, 2021

Educators, like Peter Drucker (regarded as the founder of modern management) and Henry Mintzberg (McGill University, Canada), regarded management as an art as it deals with the 4 fundamentals of knowledge, self-knowledge, wisdom and leadership (including their practice and application). Of these fundamentals, leadership has been regarded as the most important. (more details see elsewhere in this Knowledge Base)

In some ways management is where

"... Art, science and craft meet..."
Henry Mintzberg as quoted by William Cohen, 2021

In change you need both leadership and management, ie

"...the separation of management from leadership is dangerous......as management without leadership encourages an uninspired style, which deadens activities. Leadership without management encourages a disconnected style, which promotes hubris. And we all know the destructive power of hubris in organisations..."
Jonathan Gosling et al, 2003

 

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