An organization chart for the United States Coast Guard shows the hierarchy of managerial roles in that organization.

Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body. Management includes the activities of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the efforts of its employees (or of volunteers) to accomplish its objectives through the application of available resources, such as financial, natural, technological, and human resources. The term "management" may also refer to those people who manage an organization.

Social scientists study management as an academic discipline, investigating areas such as social organization and organizational leadership.[1] Some people study management at colleges or universities; major degrees in management include the Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA.) Master of Business Administration (MBA.) and, for the public sector, the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. Individuals who aim to become management specialists or experts, management researchers, or professors may complete the Doctor of Management (DM), the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), or the PhD in Business Administration or Management.

Larger organizations generally have three levels of managers, which are typically organized[by whom?] in a hierarchical, pyramid structure:

  • Senior managers, such as members of a Board of Directors and a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or a President of an organization. They set the strategic goals of the organization and make decisions on how the overall organization will operate. Senior managers are generally executive-level professionals, and provide direction to middle management who directly or indirectly report to them.
  • Middle managers, examples of these would include branch managers, regional managers, department managers and section managers, who provide direction to front-line managers. Middle managers communicate the strategic goals of senior management to the front-line managers.
  • Lower managers, such as supervisors and front-line team leaders, oversee the work of regular employees (or volunteers, in some voluntary organizations) and provide direction on their work.

In smaller organizations, an individual manager may have a much wider scope. A single manager may perform several roles or even all of the roles commonly observed in a large organization.


Views on the definition and scope of management include:

  • According to Henri Fayol, "to manage is to forecast and to plan, to organise, to command, to co-ordinate and to control."[2]
  • Fredmund Malik defines it as "the transformation of resources into utility."
  • Management included as one of the factors of production – along with machines, materials and money.
  • Ghislain Deslandes defines it as “a vulnerable force, under pressure to achieve results and endowed with the triple power of constraint, imitation and imagination, operating on subjective, interpersonal, institutional and environmental levels”.[3]
  • Peter Drucker (1909–2005) saw the basic task of management as twofold: marketing and innovation. Nevertheless, innovation is also linked to marketing (product innovation is a central strategic marketing issue). Peter Drucker identifies marketing as a key essence for business success, but management and marketing are generally understood[by whom?] as two different branches of business administration knowledge.

Theoretical scope

Management involves identifying the mission, objective, procedures, rules and manipulation[4] of the human capital of an enterprise to contribute to the success of the enterprise.[citation needed] This implies effective communication: an enterprise environment (as opposed to a physical or mechanical mechanism) implies human motivation and implies some sort of successful progress or system outcome.[citation needed] As such, management is not the manipulation of a mechanism (machine or automated program), not the herding of animals, and can occur either in a legal or in an illegal enterprise or environment. From an individual's perspective, management does not need to be seen solely from an enterprise point of view, because management is an essential function to improve one's life and relationships.[citation needed] Management is therefore everywhere[citation needed] and it has a wider range of application.[clarification needed] Based on this, management must have humans. Communication and a positive endeavor are two main aspects of it either through enterprise or independent pursuit.[citation needed] Plans, measurements, motivational psychological tools, goals, and economic measures (profit, etc.) may or may not be necessary components for there to be management. At first, one views management functionally, such as measuring quantity, adjusting plans, meeting goals.[citation needed] This applies even in situations where planning does not take place. From this perspective, Henri Fayol (1841–1925)[5][page needed] considers management to consist of five functions:

  1. planning (forecasting)
  2. organizing
  3. commanding
  4. coordinating
  5. controlling

In another way of thinking, Mary Parker Follett (1868–1933), allegedly defined management as "the art of getting things done through people".[6] She described management as philosophy.[7][need quotation to verify]

Critics[which?], however, find this definition useful but far too narrow. The phrase "management is what managers do" occurs widely,[8] suggesting the difficulty of defining management without circularity, the shifting nature of definitions[citation needed] and the connection of managerial practices with the existence of a managerial cadre or of a class.

One habit of thought regards management as equivalent to "business administration" and thus excludes management in places outside commerce, as for example in charities and in the public sector. More broadly, every organization must "manage" its work, people, processes, technology, etc. to maximize effectiveness.[citation needed] Nonetheless, many people refer to university departments that teach management as "business schools". Some such institutions (such as the Harvard Business School) use that name, while others (such as the Yale School of Management) employ the broader term "management".

English-speakers may also use the term "management" or "the management" as a collective word describing the managers of an organization, for example of a corporation.[9] Historically this use of the term often contrasted with the term "labor" – referring to those being managed.[10]

But in the present era[when?] the concept of management is identified[by whom?] in the wide areas[which?] and its frontiers have been pushed to a broader range.[citation needed] Apart from profitable organizations even non-profitable organizations (NGOs) apply management concepts. The concept and its uses are not constrained[by whom?]. Management on the whole is the process of planning, organizing, coordinating, leading and controlling.

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