Management as a science, art, and technique - GovtVacancy.Net

Management as a science, art, and technique - GovtVacancy.Net
Posted on 02-11-2022

Management, science, art, and technique

Management contains elements of science, art, and technique, it is not exclusively one of them, but rather a conjunction of the three. In principle, it is observed that it has properties of the social sciences such as the application of a scientifically studied method, for example.

Likewise, it contains attributes of the arts such as creativity and intuition, to name a few. In addition, only through its practical application is the trade and administrative technique learned.

Management as a science

For Frederick W. Taylor, scientific management consisted fundamentally of certain broad general principles, a certain philosophy that can be applied in many ways; and any description of what an individual or group of individuals considers to be the best mechanism for applying these general principles.

More than a science as such, management can be understood as an academic discipline or a field of study represented in a set of theories and principles whose implementation does not provide absolute certainty about the results that will be obtained, since, among other variables, there is no it can accurately predict the behavior of the human component on which it acts; unlike the exact sciences, whose universal laws (the law of gravity in physics, for example) do allow for totally precise calculations, hence its name.

However, it meets the characteristics of the social sciences. Through observation and the scientific method, it seeks to find the different variables, techniques, principles, and theories that make up the administrative facts (those related to the organization, and its object of study) and that allow organizations to grow, develop and achieve their objectives consistently. as a result of the application of a process scientifically studied and applied following a methodology designed for it.

Management is a science, whose field of study is the behavior of the organization. Their knowledge and the use of administrative techniques allow formal groups to be led toward the achievement of planned objectives, in an environment in which all people, working together, contribute their greatest efforts in accordance with pre-established actions. (Paniagua, p. 20)

Management as an art

Management has been defined as the art of achieving results through the efforts of third parties. It has also been said that some indeterminate fraction of its application corresponds to attributes of the arts such as inventiveness, creativity, and intuition.

The image of management as an art implies that management skills are a matter of intuition, natural ingenuity, and personality. Managing implies those indefinable and therefore unteachable qualities associated with the idea of leadership, whose skills can be developed, but not acquired. This position assumes that the artist (administrator) has innate talents.

Analyzing this position, it is understood that it is not convenient to classify the management only as art, since the result of the arts is a work that is directed to the senses with the purpose of generating a reaction, an emotion, or even a feeling in those who appreciate or experience and this is not the purpose of the management, as will be seen later.

Management as an art implies inventiveness rather than mere conformity, practice rather than simple formulas, and wisdom rather than sheer knowledge. Watching an effective manager in action is like watching an artist at work. (Shaw et al., p. 195)

Management as a technique

As a technique, management is appreciated from two perspectives. The first observe it as an organizational function consisting of the execution of a continuous process. The second sees it as a practice that can only be properly learned through experience.

Management as a function

Henri Fayol, who gave rise to the classical theory of management, indicated that management is one of the six functional areas of any organization. This function is carried out through a process that consists of the interrelation of the functions of anticipating, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling.

To foresee is to scrutinize the future and draw up a program of action. To organize is to constitute the double organism, material and social, of the company. To command is to direct the staff. To coordinate is to unite and harmonize all acts and all efforts. To control is to monitor so that everything happens according to the established rules and the given orders.

As a process, management has certain implications:

  • It involves the interaction of people, and groups of people, who work together in pursuit of shared goals, which makes it a social process.
  • It amalgamates the effort of different types of resources, human, physical, and financial. It is an integrating process.
  • New problems are constantly being solved and certain actions and functions are repeated until the objectives are achieved. It is a continuous process.
  • The administrative functions, planning, organization, direction, and control, are contained in each other. It is an interrelated process.

Management is the process of controlling and making decisions about an organization, as well as supervising others to ensure that activities are carried out efficiently and effectively. (Dansby and Sobak, p. 17)

Management as Practice

Henry Mintzberg, probably the most acute observer of administrative work, has indicated in his texts that, according to his research, management is a practice that is more an art and a trade than a science or profession.

He explains that this practice is based on intuition, like the arts, and learning through experience, like the trades. It does not seek the systematic development of knowledge, like science, nor does it have codified knowledge that can be learned in a formal way, rather it does so with tacit knowledge that is not easily accessible, which is why it is necessary to learn it in the work through direct experience.

As illustrated in the following figure (Mintzberg, p. 13), administrative practice can be conceived as occurring within a triangle where art, craft, and the use of science meet. Art contributes with ideas and integration; craft makes the connections, drawing on tangible experiences, and science provides order through the systematic analysis of knowledge.


Management as a practical profession

Peter F. Drucker, considered by many to be the greatest pioneer of modern management thought, mentioned in some of his writings that for him management is an activity specifically dedicated to the business enterprise achieving optimal performance. This activity was assimilated to an organ that is described and defined according to its functions, these being:

  1. economic realization. Management must always, in every decision and action, put economic performance first.
  2. Convert human and material resources into a productive company. It is about building a management that acts on the resources available to it so that its product is greater than the sum of its parts.
  3. Direct the workers and their work. It implies considering the human being as a resource and the human resource as a full human being.

He also argued that the tasks of those who manage  are:

  • Establish the objectives of the organization.
  • Organize and coordinate the necessary resources to achieve those objectives.
  • Motivate staff to achieve them.
  • Monitor staff performance in relation to goals.
  • Optimize performance through continuous development of those who make up the organization.
  • Define what the business of the company is.

Management is a practice that is primarily learned on the job, is rooted in experience, and can only be successfully practiced with a thorough understanding of the particular context. (Mintzberg, 2009)

In the following video, Professor Daniel García defines with absolute clarity what management is, in addition, he precisely illustrates why it can be said that management is a fusion of science, art, and technique:


Management is science, art, and technique. Management is a science that studies organizations and their behavior. It is also an art that involves creativity, practice, and skill. In addition, it is a technique developed through the administrative process. Finally, it is considered a practical trade that is learned through work, it is not possible to be a good administrator without experiencing the work on a day-to-day basis.


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