What is Management? Definition, Features, Levels, Functions, Styles, and Importance

What is Management?

Management is the process of managing organizational activities in a way that enables the success rate of achieving organizational goals most efficiently and effectively. The main objective of management is to create a working environment where every organizational member best works and contributes their best effort to the overall organization’s well-being.

Management is the art and science of organizing, directing, and coordinating the activities and resources of a business to achieve its goals effectively and efficiently. It involves making informed decisions, planning for the future, creating a harmonious work environment, and ensuring that the organization’s resources are utilized optimally.

A successful manager guides and motivates employees sets clear objectives, and monitors progress towards those objectives. They create a structure that supports productivity and fosters collaboration among team members.

Management is not only about overseeing tasks but also about nurturing talent, facilitating communication, and adapting to a changing business landscape. Ultimately, management is about achieving desired outcomes by harnessing the potential of individuals and resources within an organization.

Objectives of Management

The main objective of management is to ensure the desired goal achievement of the organization. Let’s look at its other major objectives.

  • Optimize resources.
  • Maintain discipline and morale.
  • Ensure regular workflow.
  • Mobilize the best talent.
  • Minimize risk.
  • Improve performance.
  • Maintain quality.

Characteristics of Management

Management involves creating an inclusive work environment and letting everyone work at their best and ensuring the vision and mission of the organization are being met. Today, management is not just a single concept, it can be studied in the following categories.

Management As A Process

Management, as a process, involves the systematic and coordinated efforts of individuals to create, operate, and direct purposeful organizations. It is a social process that focuses on developing relationships among people and integrating human, physical, and financial resources to achieve organizational goals.

Furthermore, management is an ongoing and continuous process that involves identifying and resolving problems through proactive measures.

Management As An Activity

Management, as an activity, is about taking action and making decisions to achieve organizational goals. It involves planning, organizing, leading, and controlling resources to ensure efficient operations. Management is an ongoing process where individuals actively engage in tasks to drive success and bring about positive outcomes.

Management As A Discipline

Management, as a discipline, encompasses the study and application of principles, theories, and techniques for effective organization and leadership. It focuses on acquiring knowledge, skills, and expertise to manage people, resources, and processes in order to achieve desired goals and drive organizational success.

Management As A Science

Management, as a science, involves the systematic study and application of principles, theories, and methodologies to understand and improve the practice of managing organizations. It utilizes data, research, and evidence-based approaches to enhance decision-making, problem-solving, and performance in the pursuit of organizational objectives.

Management As An Art

Management, as an art, involves the creative and skillful application of knowledge, experience, and intuition to effectively lead and influence people and processes within an organization. It requires practical expertise, adaptability, and the ability to make informed decisions in dynamic and unpredictable situations to achieve desired outcomes.

Management As A Profession

Management, as a profession, entails the specialized occupation of individuals who possess expertise in organizing, leading, and coordinating activities within organizations. Professionals in management have acquired education, skills, and experience to effectively handle managerial responsibilities and contribute to the success of businesses and institutions.

Levels of Management

In organizations, there exist three levels of management. The 3 management levels – top, middle, and low – represent distinct positions within an organizational hierarchy, each with its own set of responsibilities and functions.

Top Management:

Top management consists of executives who hold the highest positions in the organization. They are responsible for setting the overall direction, vision, and strategic goals of the organization. Their role involves making important decisions, formulating policies, and establishing long-term plans. Top managers are focused on managing the organization as a whole, building external relationships, and ensuring the organization’s success.

Middle Management:

Middle management is composed of managers who serve as a bridge between top-level executives and lower-level employees. They translate the strategic objectives set by top management into actionable plans. Middle managers are responsible for implementing these plans, coordinating resources, and supervising lower-level managers. They play a vital role in communication, decision-making, and ensuring that organizational goals are effectively achieved.

Lower Management:

Lower management comprises supervisors, team leaders, and other frontline managers who directly oversee operational activities and employees. Their role involves organizing and assigning tasks, monitoring performance, and ensuring that daily operations run smoothly. Lower managers are responsible for providing guidance, support, and feedback to employees. They play a crucial role in maintaining discipline, motivating teams, and achieving specific targets.

Functions of a Manager (Management)

In the realm of management, the following are the five functions managers are entitled to do. Planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling are the five key functions of management.


Planning involves setting objectives and determining the best course of action to achieve them. It includes analyzing the current situation, forecasting future trends, and developing strategies and plans. Planning provides a roadmap for the organization, guiding decision-making and resource allocation.


Organizing focuses on structuring the organization to optimize performance. It involves designing the organizational structure, establishing departments and divisions, and allocating resources. Organizing ensures that tasks are divided, roles and responsibilities are defined, and coordination is facilitated for smooth workflow.


Staffing is about acquiring and maintaining a capable workforce. It includes activities such as recruitment, selection, training, and development of employees. Staffing ensures that the right people are in the right positions, with the necessary skills and competencies to perform their roles effectively.


Directing is the function of guiding and leading employees toward the accomplishment of organizational goals. It involves providing instructions, motivating employees, facilitating communication, and resolving conflicts. Directing ensures that employees understand their tasks, work collaboratively, and remain focused on achieving desired outcomes.


Controlling involves monitoring performance, comparing it with set standards, and taking corrective actions when necessary. It includes measuring progress, identifying deviations, and implementing adjustments to keep activities on track. Controlling ensures that actual performance aligns with planned objectives and helps in maintaining organizational effectiveness.

Styles of Management

Management style refers to the approach or manner in which a manager interacts with and leads their team. It encompasses the behaviors, attitudes, and decision-making methods that a manager employs in their role, influencing how they communicate, delegate, motivate, and make decisions. The five most common styles of management are:

  1. Authoritative: These leaders make decisions without seeking input from others. This style is effective in time-sensitive situations but can result in turnover and limited innovation if overused.
  2. Coaching: Managers adopting a coaching style see their role as helping employees grow and reach their potential. It builds strong teams and fosters experimentation, but employees who need more direction may feel neglected.
  3. Democratic: This style values employee input in decision-making, emphasizing the importance of multiple ideas. It empowers employees and boosts motivation but can be time-consuming when consensus is required.
  4. Transformational: Transformational leaders prioritize innovation and growth, inspiring employees to reach their full potential. While this style fosters dedication and happiness, employees must be adaptable to sudden changes.
  5. Visionary: Visionary leaders ensure everyone understands the company’s vision and works towards a common goal. They excel at communication and provide autonomy as long as the vision is executed effectively.

Principles of Management

Although many scholars have presented the various management principles, but the principles provided by French Engineer, Henri Fayol are most applicable in management practice. They include:

  1. Division of Work: Assign tasks based on specialization and expertise.
  2. Authority and Responsibility: Ensure authority is matched with corresponding responsibility.
  3. Discipline: Establish rules and expectations for a disciplined work environment.
  4. Unity of Command: Each employee should have only one direct supervisor.
  5. Unity of Direction: Align activities towards common goals and objectives.
  6. Subordination of Individual Interest: Place organizational interests above personal interests.
  7. Remuneration: Provide fair compensation to motivate and retain employees.
  8. Centralization and Decentralization: Determine the appropriate balance of decision-making authority.
  9. Scalar Chain: Maintain a clear hierarchy of authority for effective communication.
  10. Order: Arrange resources and activities in a systematic and efficient manner.
  11. Equity: Treat all employees fairly and impartially.
  12. Stability and Tenure: Foster a stable work environment to minimize turnover.
  13. Initiative: Encourage employees to take initiative and contribute innovative ideas.
  14. Esprit de Corps: Promote teamwork, collaboration, and positive work culture.

Importance of Management To Business

Management is key to ensuring everything is in the right place and working properly. It ensures the placement of organizational resources and employees in the right place.

It is what enables every organization’s mechanisms including men, machines, methods, money, and materials are work properly or not. Nonetheless, management’s importance can be pointed out below:

Ensures Goal Achievement

Management ensures that organizational goals are defined and translated into actionable plans. It helps align efforts and resources toward achieving these goals. Like a conductor of an orchestra, managers coordinate and guide individuals to work together harmoniously towards a common objective.

Resource Optimization

Effective management ensures efficient utilization of resources such as human capital, finances, materials, and technology. It involves strategic planning, organizing, and controlling to make the most of available resources, minimize waste, and maximize productivity.


Managers are responsible for making critical decisions that impact the organization. They analyze information, assess risks, and choose the best course of action. Their decisions influence all levels of the organization, from strategic choices to day-to-day operations, driving growth and success.

Adaptability and Innovation

In today’s dynamic business landscape, adaptability and innovation are crucial for survival. Managers play a key role in identifying market trends, embracing change, and fostering a culture of innovation. They encourage employees to think creatively, experiment with new ideas, and adapt to evolving customer needs.

Team Development and Engagement

Effective management fosters a positive work environment where employees feel motivated, engaged, and valued. Managers support employee development, provide guidance, and offer opportunities for growth. They build strong teams, promote collaboration, and nurture a culture of trust, leading to higher job satisfaction and employee retention.

Read Next: What is Chain of Command?

Management: FAQs

Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about management.

What is Management?

Management is the means of managing all the mechanisms (employees and resources) of the organization and ensuring desired goals are met.

What are the Objectives of Management?

Objectives of management include the following: Ensure Goal Achievement, Optimize resources, Maintain discipline and morale, Ensure regular workflow, Mobilize the best talent, Minimize risk, Improve performance, and Maintain quality.

What are the Levels of Management?

Levels of management include – top-level, middle-level, and lower-level.

What are the Characteristics of Management?

Characteristics of management include – a process, discipline, profession, art, science, and activity.

What are the Functions of Management?

Functions of management include – planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.

What are the Styles of Management?

Common styles of management include – authoritative, democratic, visionary, transformational, and coaching styles.

Why Management is Important?

Reasons, why management is important, include – Ensuring goal Achievement, Resource Optimization, Decision-Making, Adaptability and innovation, Team Development, and Engagement.

What is a Manager?

A manager is a professional who oversees all the activities of the organization and ensures the desired goals and objectives of the organization are being met.

What is an Employee?

An employee is an individual who works under the employer and gets paid in exchange for his/her contribution.

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