Unit 1: Basic Concept of Management

Dear Learner, You are welcome to unit one of Laboratory Management and Safety. This unit takes you through the Basic Concepts of Management.

Basic Concepts of Management


Management is required in all kinds of organizations whether they are manufacturing computers or handlooms, trading in consumer goods or providing saloon services, and even in non-business organizations. No matter what the organization is or what its goals might be, they all have something in common management and managers. Successful organizations achieve their goals by following a deliberate process called ‘management. Management consists of a series of interrelated functions that are performed by all managers. In simple words, Management is the art of getting things done through people. Let’s understand the concept of management.

Concept of Management

Some of the common definition of management given by famous writers and thinkers are:

• According to Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich, Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims.

• According to Robert L. Trewelly and M. Gene Newport, Management is defined as the process of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling an organization’s operations in order to achieve coordination of the human and material resources essential in the effective and efficient attainment of objectives.

• According to Kreitner, “Management is the process of working with and through others to effectively achieve organizational objectives by efficiently using limited resources in the changing environment.

• According to George R Terry, Management consists of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling, performed to determine and accomplish the objectives by the use of people and resources.

So, Management can be defined as a process of getting things done with the aim of achieving goals effectively and efficiently. Some important terms in this definition are:

1. Process: Process means the primary functions or activities that management performs to get things done. These functions are planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.

2. Effectiveness: Effectiveness is concerned with the end result. It basically means finishing the given task. Thus, Effectiveness in management is

1 concerned with doing the right task, completing activities and achieving goals 3. Efficient: Efficiency means doing the task correctly and with minimum cost. Management is concerned with the efficient use of input resources which ultimately reduce costs and lead to higher profits.

it is important for management to achieve goals (effectiveness) with minimum resources i.e., as efficiently as possible while maintaining a balance between effectiveness and efficiency.

Characteristics of Management

Basic characteristics of management are:

1. Management is a goal-oriented process: An organization has a set of basic

goals which are the basic reason for its existence. Management unites the

efforts of different individuals in the organization towards achieving these


2. Management is all-pervasive: The activities involved in managing an enterprise are common to all organizations whether economic, social or political.

3. Management is multidimensional: Management is a complex activity that has three main dimensions:

i. Management of work: All organizations exist for the performance of some work. Management translates this work in terms of goals to be achieved and assigns the means to achieve it.

ii. Management of people: Human resources or people are an organization’s greatest asset. Managing people has two dimensions:

• it implies dealing with employees as individuals with diverse needs and behavior;

• it also means dealing with individuals as a group of people The task of management is to make people work towards achieving the organization’s goals, by making their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.

iii. Management of operations: It requires a production process that entails the flow of input material and the technology for transforming this input into the desired output for consumption

4. Management of operations: It requires a production process that entails the flow of input material and the technology for transforming this input into the desired output for consumption

5. Management is a continuous process: The process of management is a series of continuous, composite, but separate functions (planning, organizing, directing, staffing and controlling). These functions are simultaneously performed by all managers all the time.

6. Management is a group activity: An organization is a collection of diverse individuals with different needs. Management should enable all its members to grow and develop as needs and opportunities change

7. Management is a dynamic function: Management is a dynamic function and has to adapt itself to the changing environment. In order to be successful, an organization must change itself and its goals according to the needs of the environment.

8. Management is an intangible force: Management is an intangible force that cannot be seen but its presence can be felt in the way the organization functions.

Basic Functions of Management

Originally identified by Henri Fayol as five elements, there are now four commonly accepted functions of management that encompass these necessary skills: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Consider what each of these functions entails, as well as how each may look in action.


One main role of a manager is creating a plan to meet company goals and objectives. This involves allocating employee resources and delegating responsibilities, as well as setting realistic timelines and standards for completion. Planning requires those in management roles to continuously check on team progress in order to make small adjustments when necessary, while still maintaining a clear picture of a company’s larger aims and goals.

Much of one’s planning function consists of working independently to determine what responsibilities must be given to which employees, setting priority levels for certain tasks, and creating timelines. However, communication also plays an important role. For example, managers deal with planning when they meet with company leadership to discuss short and long-term goals, and when they communicate the specifics of a new project to their team or check-in periodically to ensure individual objectives are being met on time.


Along with planning, a manager’s organizational skills can help to ensure a company or departmental unit runs smoothly. From establishing internal processes and structures to knowing which employees or teams are best suited for specific tasks, keeping everyone and everything organized throughout daily operations are important functions of management.

The organization isn’t just about delegating tasks efficiently and making sure employees have what they need to accomplish their tasks, however. Managers also need to be able to reorganize in response to new challenges. This could come into practice in the form of slightly adjusting the timeline for a project or reallocating tasks from one team to another. Or, it could mean significantly altering a team’s internal structure and roles in response to company growth.


Managers should be comfortable and confident in commanding their team members’ daily tasks as well as during periods of significant change or challenge. This involves projecting a strong sense of direction and leadership when setting goals and communicating new processes, products and services, or internal policy.

Leadership can manifest itself in a number of ways, including recognizing when employees need an extra boost of reinforcement and praise to handling conflicts between team members fairly and decisively. Often, managers may function as leaders even during small personal interactions by modeling supportive, encouraging, and motivational qualities.


To ensure all of the above functions are working toward the success of a company, managers should consistently monitor employee performance, quality of work, and the efficiency and reliability of completed projects. Control (and quality control) in management is about making sure the ultimate goals of the business are being adequately met, as well as making any necessary changes when they aren’t.

This video gives an overview of Instructional Design


Broad Objectives of Management

Proper Utilization of Resources:

The main objective of management is to use various resources of the enterprise in the most economic way. The proper use of men, materials, machines and money will help a business to earn sufficient profits to satisfy various interests. The proprietors will want more returns on their investments while employees, customers and the public will expect a fair deal from the management. All these

interests will be satisfied only when the physical resources of the business are properly utilized.

Improving Performance:

Management should aim at improving the performance of each and every factor of production. The environment should be so congenial that workers are able to give their maximum to the enterprise. The fixing of objectives of various factors of production will help them in improving their performance.

Mobilizing Best Talent:

The management should try to employ persons in various fields so that better results are possible. The employment of specialists in various fields will be increasing the efficiency of various factors of production. There should be a proper environment which should encourage good persons to join the enterprise. The better pay scales, proper amenities, future growth potentialities will attract more people to joining a concern.

Planning for Future:

Another important objective of management is to prepare plans. No management should feel satisfied with today’s work if it has not thought of tomorrow. Future plans should take into consideration what is to be done next. Future performance will depend upon present planning. So, planning for the future is essential to help the concern.


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