Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objective using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises of planning, organization, staffing, leadership and control of an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.
Since organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action, including design, to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system.
One could view management functionally, such as measuring quantity, adjusting plans, meeting goals. This applies even in situations where planning does not take place. From this perspective, Henry Fayol (1841–1925) considers management to consist of six functions: forecasting, planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling. He was one of the most influential contributors to modern concepts of management.
Another way of thinking, Mary Parker Follet (1868–1933), defined management as "the art of getting things done through people". She described management as philosophy.
Some people, however, find this definition useful but far too narrow. The phrase "management is what managers do" occurs widely, suggesting the difficulty of defining management, the shifting nature of definitions and the connection of managerial practices with the existence of a managerial cadre.
One habit of thought regards management as equivalent to "business administration" and thus excludes management in places outside commerce such as public sector or charities. More realistically, however, every organization must manage its work, people, processes, technology, etc. to maximize effectiveness. Nonetheless, many people refer to university departments that teach management as "business schools."
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.
As the general recognition of managers as a class solidified during the 20th century and gave perceived practitioners of the art/science of management a certain amount of prestige, so the way opened for popular management ideas. In this context many management trenda may have had more to do with popular psychology than with scientific theories of management.
Towards the end of the 20th century, business management came to consist of six separate branches, namely:
- Human resource management
- Operations management or production management
- Strategic management
- Marketing management
- Financial management
- Information technology management responsible for management information systems