In order to investigate the nature of Management, we must define what an art is and what a science is. An art is defined as a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice by the oxford dictionary. A science on the other hand is defined as an organized body of knowledge on a particular subject. Management can be placed in either of these definitions, however my theory is that management is more of an art as it is a skill which can have from birth with characteristics such as intelligence, initiative and innovative thoughts, these abilities can also be gained through experience practice.
The increasingly fast acceptance of globalisation and the enormous developments in information technology, has led to dramatic changes in the business environment. These changes have brought new challenges not only to business but also to business management. Business schools that prepare future managers in different disciplines are responsible for closing the gap between the skills acquired by its graduates and the required skills by the global markets. This gap is now being closed with new advancements in marketing and increasing efficiencies due to high competition in the global market. (2) This further proves management is an art as it requires a natural skill along with skills learned in order to respond best on global markets. If management were a science graduates would have all the skills needed to succeed in a global market place however we know this is not true with the ever changing markets.
Globalisation is a topic of interest in the business world of today, gaining lots of attention as imports and exports rise and fall with companies expanding across the global marketplace. In general terms, globalisation is an international integration of cultural ideas, perspectives, products/services, and technology. This has caused increasing interdependence between countries, as specialization allows for specific regions to utilise their natural resources more efficiently to produce specific products/services which can be traded to another country. This lowers cost and therefore increases global prosperity through lower living costs. This also leads to a more innovative and dynamic workforce as they can become increasingly productive.
The rapid adoption of globalisation has been credited to the advancements in communication, transportation and technology. These three form the central system of international exchange, allowing for worldwide trade with minimal time and investment costs. Management is tasked with ensuring these resources are available to employees and that they are properly utilized in order to optimize the business's profits and influence. To run an organization which spans multiple countries a “daily assessment of opportunities, risk and trends. Corporate leaders who ignore economic, political, or social changes will lead their companies towards failure. So too will those who overreact to change and perceived risk” (Schmidheiny, 1992, p1). From a managerial perspective developing a globally aware perspective that lends itself well to the specific geographic needs, values, and customs in which the business operates. Developing this global skill set is a powerful managerial skill, which in itself is an art as a certain finesse which cannot be simply learned. (3)
However a global economy is, in many ways, enforcing a global culture. This global culture is often criticized for taking the place of previously established domestic cultures. As a result, managers should carefully consider how to best adapt products to retain the cultural identity of the region. Another major criticisms of globalisation is the environmental impact of the increased production and the large quantities of carbon dioxide released in the transport of the increased production. In order to maintain a good brand image firms often implement CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policies in order to improve their public image, Gordan Jack et al believe “certain companies will flaunt CSR policies to deflect potentially restrictive governmental attention from their otherwise highly unethical and societally detrimental practices (Fooks et al., 2013)”. The use of CSR is an art as it requires the ability to know which CSR policy would be most effective in improving the firm's image and to allow them to continue production as it is.
Globalisation means a larger quantity of goods and services can be exchanged across the globe. As a direct result of globalisation, areas with limited resources can get goods they otherwise would not be able to obtain which greatly improves the standard if living in such areas. Another form of globalisation is global tourism which allows for people to experience cultures and see wonders from across the world sharing in its heritage and helping the local economy. Specialization comes along with globalisation, this allows for certain parts of goods to manufactured in different parts of the world depending on which country is most efficient at making each part. This assures products are being produced most efficiently. This would allow for certain parts for product to be purchased from firms in another country which may be able to produce that part more efficiently. This could be a good managerial decision as it could lower the firm's costs, allowing for larger margins to be made. Helping achieve the main aim of most firms and managers, to maximise profits.
There are two distinct management techniques a firm can choose to apply if they are active globally, this is whether to standardize across all countries or to localize in each induvial country. Standardization is providing the same product/service regardless of the market, this brings the advantages that come along with economies of scale, bringing down costs, allowing for greater profits. However standardization has its drawbacks too, as a cultural difference may mean your product/service is not as appealing to the local market. Localization is the other option in which firms tweak their product/service in order to further appeal to the cultural needs and wants of the region. Most global organizations make some effort to localize their offering yet this is a real challenge for management teams (Pudelko & Harzing, 2008). The best practice that a global manager can adopt is open-mindedness. Managers must be willing to examine the customers in each of their markets and develop products and services uniquely tailored for them. This is because a hybrid state, where customers believe they are getting a unique product however the product is mainly the same, is the most effective and profit maximising state for a firm. In the case of these two techniques, it could be argued that an ‘organized body of knowledge' would help in deciding which of these two techniques would be more beneficial to a certain firm. This would imply management must be a science. However the definition of an art can also apply here, ‘a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice'. One could argue that experience and practice could give a manager the skill to make the correct decision on which technique to use.
Whether globalisation as a whole is good or bad could also be disputed. Globalisation is often perceived as good due to the increased living standards and increased competitiveness in global markets, often leading to innovation and increased efficiencies. It also
An example of globalisation which has had controversial side effects throughout history has been global tourism. An early example of tourism leaving damaging effects on a region is the Crusades, obviously not entirely tourism motivated however the intention to regain “Holy Lands” was a religious act but the intent to remain there would bring many of the same issues found in tourism today. A more modern day example of tourism is in the Caribbean, a region where colonial and postcolonial histories have often structured economic investment. While average leakage is estimated at 55 per cent, the leakage for some Caribbean islands is as high as 80 per cent. Tourism firms claim to be helping their holiday's locations, however they seem to be taking more from these countries than the countries receive in economic benefit. Multinational hotel chains, airlines and tourist agencies tend to receive most of the profits, particularly in countries that are not particularly developed and require foreign investment, capital and materials required for tourism. Economic benefits may be minimal because of ‘leakage', whereby the income from tourism that flows back out of the destination country counteracts the ‘multiplier' effect in that country\'s economy. In addition to the lack of economic benefit, local business suffers due to large multinational companies such as Starbucks opening stores in the area to cash in on some of the cash in tourists pockets. Firms like this hurt local business (or in this case coffee shops) as local firms find it difficult to compete on price with these large companies who have the aid of large economies of scale. Even if price differences do not steal business from local firms the brand loyalties associated with some of these global brands would make it near impossible for local firms to thrive. Better managerial policies could be put in place by these firms
There are many different forms of management that work, but good management is much more. It cannot be learned by following a few techniques that worked for another manger. No two mangers are alike, you have to manage in a way that meets your personality using instinct, dedication and passion. Thus, management is an art based on principles.
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