Management as Science
Science is a systematized body of knowledge pertaining to a specific field of study and contains general facts that explain a phenomenon. It establishes the cause and effect relationship between two or more factors and ascertains the underlying principles governing the relationship. These principles are developed through the scientific methods of observation of events and verification through testing. The principles are absolute facts having universal application. As such, science is characterized by four main features.
(1) Existence of systematized body of knowledge: Science is systematized in the sense that it is based on cause and effect relationship. Scientific knowledge consists of principles and theories which explain past events and may be used to predict the outcome of specific actions.
(2) Use of scientific methods of observation: the methods of observation in scientific study are not influenced by the personal likes and dislikes of the scientist.
(3) Principles based on experiments: the principles are evolved by observing and later by testing their validity and truth through experimentation. Once an observation is confirmed by repeated experimentation and testing. It becomes a principle.
(4) Universal validity of principles: the principles of science have universal validity and application. That is the principles never fail if given conditions are satisfied. Examination of the discipline of management using these features of science as criteria reveals that, while management has some of these features, it does not have others. For instance, management has a systematized body of knowledge. Also, principles of management are evolved on the basis of observation and repeated experimentation in various types of organizations. But the methods of observation followed by management are not cent per cent objective, because the subjects are human beings whose behavior cannot be predicted with absolute accuracy. Despite these limitations, however, management scholars have been able to identify general principles of management and managing. Management is both a Science and an Art It is evident from the above discussion that management combines the features of both science and art. In this context, Koontz and O' Donnell say, ''essentially managing is the art of doing and management is the body of knowledge that underlies that art. ''Effective management is the result of judicious blend of art as well as science. Science provides the principles, while the way principles are to be applied is a matter of art. The body of management knowledge provides necessary principles for managing, such as how to inspire employees to work hard, but different mangers use it differently. The principle of management which have been scientifically developed, reduce the manager's reliance on intuition. But these principles are to be practiced over time for managers to become effective in the art of management. Management as a science has provided a systematized body of knowledge to be learnt by the prospective and the working managers. That is why the old saying that 'managers are born' has been rejected in favor of; managers are made'. Because management has emerged as a science and people can be trained to be managers. But the fact that management is an art also, mere training in management is not sufficient to ensure that the person will become a successful manager. Theoretical knowledge provided by management science must be supplemented by practice and personal creativity.