An analysis of the various definitions of management indicates that management has certain characteristics. The following are the salient characteristics of management.
1. Management aims at reaping rich results in economic terms
Manager’s primary task is to secure the productive performance through planning, direction and control. It is expected of the management to bring into being the desired results. Rational utilization of available resources to maximize the profit is the economic function of a manager. Professional manager can prove his administrative talent only by economizing the resources and enhancing profit. According to Kimball – “management is the art of applying the economic principles that underlie the control of men and materials in the enterprise under consideration”
2. Management also implies skill and experience in getting things done through people
Management involves doing the job through people. The economic function of earning profitable return cannot be performed without enlisting co-operation and securing positive response from “people”. Getting the suitable type of people to execute the operations is the significant aspect of management. In the words of Koontz and O’Donnell – “Management is the art of getting things done through people in formally organized groups”.
3. Management is a process
Management is a process, function or activity. This process continues till the objectives set by administration are actually achieved. “Management is a social process involving co-ordination of human and material resources through the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling in order to accomplish stated objectives”.
4. Management is a universal activity
Management is not applicable to business undertakings only. It is applicable to political, social, religious and educational institutions also. Management is necessary when group effort is required.
5. Management is a Science as well as an Art
Management is an art because there are definite principles of management. It is also a science because by the application of these principles predetermined objectives can be achieved.
6. Management is a Profession
Management is gradually becoming a profession because there are established principles of management which are being applied in practice, and it involves specialized training and is governed by ethical code arising out of its social obligations.
7. Management is an endeavor to achieve pre-determined objectives
Management is concerned with directing and controlling of the various activities of the organization to attain the pre-determined objectives. Every managerial activity has certain objectives. In fact, management deals particularly with the actual directing of human efforts.
8. Management is a group activity
Management comes into existence only when there is an group activity towards a common objective. Management is always concerned with group efforts and not individual efforts. To achieve the goals of an organization management plans, organizes, co-ordinates, directs and controls the group effort.
9. Management is a system of authority
Authority means power to make others act in a predetermined manner. Management formalizes a standard set of rules and procedure to be followed by the subordinates and ensures their compliance with the rules and regulations. Since management is a process of directing men to perform a task, authority to extract the work from others is implied in the very concept of management.
10. Management involves decision-making
Management implies making decisions regarding the organization and operation of business in its different dimensions. The success or failure of an organization can be judged by the quality of decisions taken by the managers. Therefore, decisions are the key to the performance of a manager.
11. Management implies good leadership
A manager must have the ability to lead and get the desired course of action from the subordinates. According to R. C. Davis – “management is the function of executive leadership everywhere”. Management of the high order implies the capacity of managers to influence the behavior of their subordinates.
12. Management is dynamic and not static
The principles of management are dynamic and not static. It has to adopt itself according to social changes.
13. Management draws ideas and concepts from various disciplines
Management is an interdisciplinary study. It draws ideas and concepts from various disciplines like economics, statistics, mathematics, psychology, sociology, anthropology etc.
14. Management is Goal Oriented
Management is a purposeful activity. It is concerned with the achievement of pre-determined objectives of an organization.
15. Different Levels of Management
Management is needed at different levels of an organization namely top level, middle level and lower level.
16. Need of organization
There is the need of an organization for the success of management. Management uses the organization for achieving pre-determined objectives.
17. Management need not be owners
It is not necessary that managers are owners of the enterprise. In joint stock companies, management and owners (capital) are different entities.
18. Management is intangible
It cannot be seen with the eyes. It is evidenced only by the quality of the organization and the results i.e., profits, increased productivity etc.