What is Business Management
/ Business Administration?
Business Management or Administration: an introduction
Management is one of the most important human
activities. Since human beings started forming groups in order to
achieve goals they couldn't reach individually, management has been
essential to assure the coordination of individual efforts. While
society has trusted more and more on group effort and many organized
groups have become big, the tasks of managers have gained more and
Business Management: reaching a definition
According to the dictionary management is the
action and effect of managing, is the application of something to
a goal. At the same time, managing is governing, ruling, handling,
caring businesses or interests, public or private, of our own or another's.
Although this definition allows us to reach
a general notion of the term, when we start studying an essentially
technical subject as the one we will analyze, we necessarily must
apply to what those who have written about management say the concept
of management embraces.
Trying to find a universally accepted definition
could result to be a complex task. Therefore, we will follow what
has been proposed by Henri Fayol, who, in 1916, published his book
"Industrial and General Management" telling us that:
"The group of operations that businesses
accomplish can be divided in six groups, which are:
1- Technical operations (production, manufacturing,
2- Commercial operations (buying, selling, trading);
3- Financial operations (searching and managing
4- Security operations (protection of utilities
5- Accounting operations (inventory, balance,
cost price, statistics);
6- Management operations (prevision, organization,
commanding, coordination and control)
These six groups of essential operations or
functions always exist in every business, whether it is simple or
complex, small or big.
The five first groups are well known, a few
words would be enough to delimit their respective influence areas.
The management group requires a broader explanation"
Definition of Management:
"Managing is foreseeing, organizing, commanding,
coordinating and controlling"
Foreseeing (and preventing) is scrutinizing
the future and creating the action program.
Organizing is establishing the double organism,
material and social, of the business.
Commanding is directing the personal.
Coordinating is bonding, uniting, and armonizing
every act and effort
Controlling is watching over in order for everything
to happen according to the established rules and the given orders.
"Understood this way, management is not an exclusive privilege
or a personal load for the chief or the business managers; it is a
shared function, like the other essential functions, between the head
and the other parts of the social body"
Management: The importance of the human factor
Take as an example the work of Mrs. Mary Parker Follett.
"The management is the art of achieving
that certain things are done through people"
Mary P. Follett
Mrs. Follett had the profession of social worker which affected the
fact that her works, which included the contact with the businesses
managers, were of humanist character. Merrill explains that "...her
ideas, expressed in her books and conferences, conducted many business
men to look for her advice about problems which would imply personal
and group relationships, the area in which she provided her most important
contribution to the managerial thought.