Is Management a Science or an Art or both?


By nature of the management we imply here whether management can be regarded as a science or as an art or both.

Management as a Science

Science is the systemized body of knowledge pertaining to a particular field of inquiry. Such a systemized body —of – knowledge contains concepts, hypotheses, theories experimentation, and principles. Being systematic means being orderly and unbiased. The attempt to gain knowledge must be without taint of personal or other prejudgments. The various concepts and principles developed through deductive and inductive approaches. Under deductive approach, generalizations are made from a universal truth on the basis of logical reasoning and sequential extension of that logication of events facts and verifying these facts through continued observations. The approaches are mutual Iy complimentary because scientists look for casual relationship of a particular phenomenon. When the generalizations or hypotheses are tested for accuracy they become useful in predicting what will happen in a given situation. Such generalizations are called principles. Science is also cumulative in that what is discovered is added to that which has been found before. We leam from past mistakes and obtain guides for the future. On the basis of the above definition ofscience we may presume that management is also a science. Management science has thus following features—

(i) It is not an exact science because human behavior cannot be put to precise experimentation, it attempts to evolve improved-methods in business planning, execution, control, and human motivation.
(ii) It is largely a behavioural science. It seeks to- und&stand, analyze and generalize about the environment and human interactions. It studies why and how people work collectively to realize common aims. (iii) Management principles and theories are situation bound because of which their applicability does not necessarily lead to the same results every time. That’s why Ernest dale has called management a ‘Soft- science’. It is a social science like economics, sociology, etc. because there cannot be rigid rules to guide, predict and regulate business operations carried out by the different persons. But it emphasizes the need for taking decisions, administrative measures in a scientific manner though not with the same exactitude of science like physics, chemistry, etc. (iv) It is a dynamic science. Business is the theories of quick scenes of change and innovations. Hence manager has to adjust his tools to the changing trends.

Management as an Art

Art is concerned with the understanding of how a particular work can be accomplished. Art is the best way of doing things. Management is also the art of getting the work done through and with people in dynamic and mostly non-repetitive situations. Management is one of the most creative arts as it requires a vast knowledge and certain innovating, initiating, implementing and integrating skills in relation to goals, resources, techniques, and results in Welding and molding the attitudes and behavior of people at work towards achievements of certain goals in a changing environment is an art Of the highest order. As an art, management calls for a corpus of abilities, intuition, and judgment and a continuous practice of management theories and principle The manager is an artist. He has to constantly analyze the existing situation, determine the objectives, seek alternatives’ implements, coordinate, control, and evaluate information and make decisions. Every manager has his individual approach and technique in solving problems Knowledge of management theory and principles is indeed a valuable aid and kit of the manager but it cannot replace his other managerial skill and qualifies. In this sense, management is an art. It is like the art ofa musician or the art ofa painter who seeks to achieve the desired effect with color or instruments, but mainly with his own skill.


From the above discussion, we can say that it is both a science and an art. It is considered to be a science because it has a body of knowledge which contains certain universal truths. lt is called an art because managing requires certain skills which are the personal possession of the managers. Science teaches us the knowledge about certain things and art deals with the application of knowledge and skills. A manager to, be successful in his profession must acquire the knowledge of the science of management and learn to apply this knowledge. A manager should be an applied scientist. He should possess not only specialized knowledge of management but also the skill to put his knowledge into practice. Just as a doctor uses his knowledge to cure his patients, a manager should use his knowledge to solve the organizational problems. Somebody has very aptly said that “Business is the oldest of
the arts and youngest of sciences.”


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