Management in some form or another is an integral part of living and is essential wherever human efforts are to be undertaken to achieve desired objectives. The basic ingredients of management are always at play whether we manage our lives or our business. For example, let us look at the managerial role of a simple housewife and how she uses the managerial ingredients in managing the home. First of all, she appraises her household and its needs.
She forecasts the needs of the household for period of a week or a month or longer. She takes stock of her resources and any constraints on these resources. She plans and organizes her resources so as to obtain the maximum benefits out of these resources. She monitors and controls the household budget and expenses and other activities. In a large household, she divides the work among other members and coordinates their activities.
She encourages and motivates them to do their best in completing their activities. She is always in search for improvements in goals, resources and in means to attain these goals. These ingredients, generally, are the basic functions of management. The concept of management is as old as the human race itself. The concept of “family” itself required that life be organized and resources of food be apportioned in a manner so as to maximize the utility of such resources. Taking proper steps to safeguard the family from attacks by wild animals, planning on where to go fishing and hunting and whom to go with, organizing these groups into “chiefs” and hunting and fishing bands where chiefs gave directions and so on, are all subtle ingredients of management and organization. A study of various people around the world shows good examples of organizational structures and organizational evolution over the years. A village open market in a tribe and a large department store in a modern city serve the same needs in a similar fashion, which is putting things together that people need.
While the tribal organization was simple in nature, the modern organization is much more sophisticated and complex with many technological innovations. However, the basic form of management and organizational structure seem to have existed since the beginning of organized human activity. Even the recorded history shows the application of some current management techniques as far back as 5000 B.C. when the ancient Sumerians used written records in assisting governmental operations. The Egyptian pyramids, built as early as 3000 B.C.
required the organized efforts of over 100,000 workers. It would be natural to assume that all functions of modern management, namely, planning, organizing, directing and controlling played a significant role in the construction of these monuments. Similarly, the early civilization of India bears witness to organized living.
Around 500 B.C., Menciusdeclared: “Whoever pursues a business in this world must have a system. A business which has attained success without a system does not exist. From ministers and generals down to the hundreds of craftsmen, every one of them has a system. The craftsman employs the ruler to make a square and the compass to make a circle. All of them, both skilled and unskilled, use this system. The skilled may at times accomplish a circle and a square by their own dexterity.
But with a system, even the unskilled may achieve the same result, though dexterity they have none. Hence, every craftsman possesses a system as a model. Now, if we govern the empire, or a large state without a system a model, are we not even less intelligent than a common craftsman?” Management, as a system, is not only an essential element of an organized society but also an integral part of life when we talk about managing our lives. Managing “life” is not much different from managing an organization and this “art” of management has been with us from time immemorial.
Just as a well-managed life is much better organized, goal oriented and successful, “good” management of an organization makes the difference between the success and the failure of the organization. Perhaps, the importance of management was highlighted by the late President of United States, John F. Kennedy when he said that, and “the role of management in our society is critical in human progress. It serves to identify a great need of our time: to improve standards of living for all people through effective utilization of human and material sources.
” Similarly, Peter F. Drucker, a noted management authority has emphasized the importance of management to social living. He proclaimed nearly 25 years ago that, “effective management was becoming the main resource of developed nations and that it was the most needed resource for developing nations.” A manager’s job is highly crucial to the success of any .organization.
The more complex the organization, the more crucial is the manager’s role in it. A good manager makes things happen. The importance of management in any organization was emphasized by Professor Leonard R. Saylesin his address to a group of management development specialists, as follows: “We must find ways of convincing society as a whole, and those who train managers in particular, that the real leadership problems of our institutions- the getting things done, the implementation, the evolving of a consensus, the making of the right decisions at the right time with the right people- is where the action is. Although we as a society haven’t learned to give much credit to managers, I hope we can move toward recognizing that managerial and leadership jobs are among the most critical tasks of our society. As such, they deserve the professional status that we give to more traditional fields of knowledge.”