Is Management a Science?

Management as a Science:

Science is the body of systematized knowledge generated through logical consistency, critical evaluation and experimental study.

Thus, science has following features

Systematized Body of Knowledge:

Science is systematized body of knowledge.

Principles of science are based on definite cause-effect relationship, that is, a particular factor has been caused by what factor can be explained in a definite way.

For example, if you throw a ball up, after going upward the ball will ultimately come back on the ground because of earth’s gravitational force.

In a management, there is lack of such a cause-effect relationship; cause-effect relationship is defined in a flexible way, not in definite way. Thus, management is not a true science.

Principles based on Experimentation:

In science, principles are evolved on the basis of experiments conducted in laboratories. Such principles are tested rigourously for final approval.

In management, this is not done in all cases. In many cases management practices are based on personal observations and experiences.

In some cases, experiments in managements are conducted under controlled conditions but their findings are not tested like science.

From this point of view, management is not a true science.

Verifiable Principles:

Principles of science can be verified by any one. Such verifications will give the same results again and again. Management principles are not verifiable in many cases.

In fact, in many cases, it is difficult to appreciate the bases on which management principles has been evolved.

Thus, management is not a true science.

Universal Application:

Principles of science have universal application, that is, they remain true irrespective of the condition in which these are applied.

As against this, management principles are situation bound.

It implies that a management principle which works well in one country may not work equally in another country.

This is because of situational differences between the two countries. Further, a management principle which works well in one organisation may not work well in another organisation of the same country.

Similarly a management principle which has worked well in an organisation in the past may not work well in the present because of changed situations. Thus, management can’t be called ‘true science’.

The above discussion shows that management is not a true science. Therefore, management is called an ‘inexact science’ or ‘pseudo-science’.



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