In this tutorial, we will learn about management as a science that is well tested and experimented with principles of control.
Some authors describe management as an art because more practice required in a command, and some authors consider that management is going towards the paths of the profession.
Management is an inexact science which deals with complex human behavior. It is also a developing science. Science is a systematic body of knowledge about a specific field of study that contains general facts that explain a phenomenon. It establishes a cause and effect relationship between two or more variables and underlines the principles governing their relationship. These principles were developed through the scientific method of observation and verification through testing.
The following main features characterize science:
Universally acceptance principles –
Scientific principles represent the fundamental truth about a particular field of inquiry. These principles may apply in all situations, at all times & all places. eg., the law of gravitation, which can use in all countries irrespective of the time. Management also contains some fundamental principles which can be applied universally like the Principle of Unity of Command, i.e., one man, one boss. This principle applies to all types of organization business or nonbusiness.
Experimentation & Observation –
Scientific principles are derived through scientific investigation and researching, i.e., they are based on logic. E.g., the law that earth goes round the sun has been scientifically proved. Management principles are based on scientific inquiry and observation and not only on the opinion of Henry Fayol. They have developed through experiments & practical experiences of a large no. of managers. E.g., it observed that fair remuneration to personal helps in creating a satisfied workforce.
Cause & Effect Relationship –
Principles of science lay down the cause and effect relationship between various variables. E.g., when metals are heated, they are expanded. The cause is heating & the result is expansion. The same is true for management; therefore, it also establishes cause and effect relationships. E.g., lack of parity (balance) between authority & responsibility will lead to ineffectiveness. If you know the cause, i.e., lack of balance, the effect can be ascertained quickly, i.e., ineffectiveness. Similarly, if workers give bonuses and fair wages, they will work hard but, when not treated in a fair and just manner, reduce the productivity of an organization.
Test of Validity & Predictability –
The validity of scientific principles can test at any time, i.e., they stand the test of time. Each time these tests will give the same result. Moreover, future events can predict with reasonable accuracy by using scientific principles. E.g., H2 & O2 will always give H2O. Principles of management can also test for validity. E.g., the law of the unity of command can check by comparing two persons, one having a single boss and having two bosses. The performance of 1st person will be better than the 2nd.
It cannot deny that management has a systematic body of knowledge. Still, it is not as exact as that of other physical sciences like biology, physics, and chemistry. The main reason for the inexactness of management science is that it deals with human beings, and it is complicated to predict their behavior accurately. Since it is a social process, therefore it falls in the area of social sciences. It is a flexible science, which is why its theories and principles may produce different results at different times; therefore, it is a behavior science. Ernest Dale has called it as a Soft Science.