Management Definition

1.      The planning and synchronization of resources for the achievement of a goal.  The resources can include people, machinery, materials, as well as capital.

2.       The course of changing resources into something useful.

3.       Utilization and connection of responsibilities to organize, plan, control, and direct as necessary for goal attainment.


Origination of the term manage stems from the Italian word Maneggiare meaning, “to handle” in the 1560’s.  Using this term occurs generally with horsemanship.  This term was expanded in the 1570’s to include objects or business.  In the 1650s, the term was slang for “get by.”

Historical Development

The historical development of management began with Frederick Taylor and scientific management.  Scientific management consists of careful consideration toward the development of a job description accompanied by job responsibilities.  Once the job expectations are clear, the manager could incentive an individual to enhance performance.

Another development important to management is the administrative approach by Jules Henri Fayol.  According to his view, management is necessary in occupations.  The basic functions of a manager consist of planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling.  This perspective opens the door to learning the necessary skills to be a manager.

Max Weber introduced the bureaucratic approach to management.  Bureaucratic approach is the perspective that divisions and hierarchies are necessary to establish authority.  Different positions possess different levels of control and require different decision-making capabilities based on importance.

A significant approach toward management is the human relations movement brought forth by Elton Mayo.  His focus was on understanding motivation from the individual perspective.  His research was on the connection between emotion and productivity.  This approach shifted energy from job requirements to helping individuals appreciate their work and obtain more involvement and connection with the outcome of their efforts.


Nature of Work

There are a couple of similar themes found in managerial work.  First, a manager will have a set of regular duties they typically fulfill each day.  However as new information comes to light, which is typically the case, they must adjust their plans accordingly.  Second, work is usually brief as they delegate responsibilities and there is variety to the workday as problems or concerns arise.  The skills necessary for managerial work consists of interpersonal skills, knowledge management, and decision-making.

Different people have conceptualized the management roles in different formats.  Some of the influential people in this area include Mintzberg and R. L. Katz.

Mintzberg’s list of managerial roles:

Interpersonal Roles

A)    Figurehead

B)    Leadership

C)    Liaison

Informational Roles

A)    Recipient

B)    Disseminator

C)    Spokesperson

Decision Roles

A)    Entrepreneurial

B)    Disturbance-handler

C)    Resource Allocator

D)    Negotiator

Three different skill sets that managers need to be successful according to R. L. Katz:



Conceptual and Design

Both models of managerial roles include planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.  Planning consists of the formulation of a strategy to achieve a set objective.  Organizing involves acquiring the necessary resources including people and materials.  As necessary a manager will recruit, select, train, and develop people under the category of staffing.  To ensure the requirements of the job are being met the manager must serve as a leader.  Finally, the manager needs to evaluate progress and take corrective action by controlling the process.

Acquiring Skills

An individual can acquire management skills while attending a college or university.  The curriculum pertains to technical, human, and conceptual skills to enhance competency.  The American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) encourages schools to offer courses in leadership, self-objectivity, analytics, behavior, communication, and tolerance.

Management Levels

There are three different levels of management.  Top-level managers focus on organizational oversight.  An example of top-level

Management Levels photo
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manager is a CEO.  Middle-level managers implement executive directions according to organizational policy.  A general manager would be an example of a middle-level manager.  Lastly, low-level managers should concern themselves with controlling and directing direct reports.  A low-level manager would have a title such as supervisor or lead.