Is Management an Art or a Science?

Is Management an Art or a Science?

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Chanchal
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 19:26 IST

We see lots of controversy about the nature of management, whether it is an art or science. Management experts on the nature of management have given various viewpoints. This blog will cover the pointers that will make you understand is management an art or a science.

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Management is not physically present however, it has become an essential part of everyone’s life. Whether you are making a strategy to crack a competitive exam like CAT or planning to buy a new car. The first step towards accomplishing your goal begins with managing related aspects. 

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For instance, managing your time to clear the CAT examination or your expenses to procure funds for a car. So, we can see that everyone practises management everywhere for continuous and necessary life improvement. 

This blog will talk about the nature of management and provide an answer to whether management is an art or science. Let’s find out.

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Table of Content

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Management as a Science

When we talk about science, it deals with lots of principles and universally accepted truths. It is a systematic body of knowledge that deals with observations and experimentation. Science consists of the following parameters:

1. Application of Principles

Scientific methods show the truth about the particular field of study. These principles are applied all over the world to all places and times. Just like science, management is a systematic body of knowledge available in the form of principles and concepts. Its theories have developed over the period, and like other organized activities, management has its vocabulary in terms of definitions and concepts. 

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2. Cause and Effect Relationship

Just like science has caused an effect on relationships between its theories and principles, the same is applicable in the case of management. For instance, a dual boss system will lead to confusion. Similarly, when the efforts of the workers and subordinates are recognized. They feel motivated and give extra effort to achieve their goals. Hence, management as a science shows cause-and-effect relationships for various theories and principles. 

3. Validity and Predictability Testing

When we test valid and predicted principles, the result remains the same. Despite the place and time, you will get the same results every time you test these principles. For instance, you will get water when you add hydrogen to oxygen. Similarly, principles of management can be tested for validity. We can take the example of the division of work here. When an individual’s workload is divided, the quality of work can improve drastically. It will also enhance the employees’ productivity, speed, accuracy, and efforts. 

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Note: Management is more like a natural or exact science than a behavioural science. In the case of natural sciences, it is possible to study the effect of one factor on another by keeping other factors constant. But in the case of management, it involves the study of individuals. For instance, it is impossible to understand monetary incentives’ effect on employee productivity. Various other factors can affect an employee’s productivity, such as targets, leadership, motivation, recognition, work environment, etc. Hence, management is acknowledged more as a behavioural science than a natural science. 

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Management as an Art

Art implies the practical implementation of knowledge and skills to accomplish the required targets. The theoretical knowledge can be achieved via educational courses, research, or practice. Art involves using this knowledge in real-life using a person’s own creativity and innovation. Art has the following characteristics: 

1. Practical Knowledge

Art requires its implementation in practical terms. For instance: if you want to be a good cricket player, only theoretical knowledge about its related terms is insufficient. You must practice cricket on the ground to become good at it. Similarly, the skills that make a good manager go beyond theoretical knowledge and degrees. One needs to practice management principles in real-life situations and analyze the outputs.

2. Based on Personal Experiences

The implementation of art by an individual differs from person to person. For example, many students learn music from the same institute, but how they implement and present it differs. Similarly, the books and courses teaching management are the same, but how one practice is different. Everyone has their way and approach to doing their job and practising it. Management as an art involves personalization as well. 

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3. Perfection through Practice

The more you practice your art, the better artist you become. This general statement is also true in the case of management. It becomes easier to manage your things the more time you invest in them. The managers learn from the strategies and approaches they implement. One method may or may not work or show the desired results, so they may hit another method to see if it works. Thus, management is an art that tests the creativity and innovation of the individual.

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What is Management an Art or a Science?

Management comprises both the features of science and art. From the above pointers, we can clearly say that management is an art, science and both. It is considered a science as it has an organized body of knowledge comprising various universal truths. Management requires a specific skill set that needs the personal possession of managers, which is why it is also an art. 

Science gives knowledge, while art is the application of that knowledge and skills. As a result, the answer to Is Management an Art or Science? Management is an art and science both because in order to achieve the desired result, traits of both science and art are equally essential. 

For example- If you want to become a good cricketer, you first need to understand various aspects and terminologies related to cricket. Additionally, applying those theories and strategies in actuality is necessary for one to become a cricket player.

Similarly, the manager must know about management principles and use them in real-life situations to solve various managerial problems. This is why management as a science and art complement each other and go hand in hand. Science teaches you to “know,” whereas art tells you how to “do.” Here one of the old sayings gets changed, “Managers are born” with “Managers are Made.” 

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Conclusion

From the above discussion, none of the two views on whether management is an art or science can ultimately be denied. Management shows the attributes of both science and art. It involves principles like science which shows almost the same results when tested under particular situations. 

Moreover, just like art requires practical implementation, management also needs real-time use of its principles and theories. So, we can conclude that management is both an art and science. 

FAQs

Is management considered an art or a science?

Management is considered both an art and a science. It involves the application of artistic skills and creative thinking as well as the use of scientific principles and techniques.

What does it mean for management to be considered an art?

When management is considered an art, it means that it requires certain skills, intuition, creativity, and personal judgment to make decisions and solve problems. Managers need to possess qualities such as leadership, communication, and strategic thinking, which are considered artistic in nature.

What does it mean for management to be considered a science?

When management is considered a science, it means that it is based on systematic knowledge, research, and principles. Scientific methods, data analysis, and evidence-based practices are used to study and understand management processes, organizational behavior, and human psychology.

How does the art aspect of management contribute to its effectiveness?

The art aspect of management allows managers to bring their personal flair, creativity, and intuition into decision-making processes. It helps managers adapt to unique situations, think outside the box, motivate employees, and foster innovation, leading to effective and dynamic management practices.

How does the science aspect of management contribute to its effectiveness?

The science aspect of management provides managers with a structured approach, tools, and techniques to analyze data, predict outcomes, and make informed decisions. Scientific research and evidence-based practices help managers understand the complexities of organizational behavior, identify trends, and implement strategies that can lead to improved performance and productivity.

About the Author
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Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content

Chanchal is a creative and enthusiastic content creator who enjoys writing research-driven, audience-specific and engaging content. Her curiosity for learning and exploring makes her a suitable writer for a variety ... Read Full Bio

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