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Essay: Why Management is Both an Art and a Science in Today's Business Environment

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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The current world as we know has become more advanced than ever with the constant development of technologies. Robots has taken over low skilled work such as in factories and sometimes artificial intelligence for solving algorithms. However, such technologies still needed guidance to be allocated and manage properly to do the job effectively. Managers with leadership and analytical skills are needed to manage programs and to lead or guide both human workforce and the technologies helping to do the work. Not only the low skilled workers are being substituted by machineries, the human work force nowadays become a lot more focused on medium to high skilled work. These kinds of work require creativity and specific knowledge about the field of work because of an increasing number of competitors in the human resource

market. That is why management skills can be called both an art and science. A shift in the business environment pushes managers to adapt by changing the form of management itself, by leaning more towards arts than science. This essay will discuss about why management is called both art and science, also how does it react to the modern business conditions.

Management can be called both art and science because it uses principles from both worlds. Art is about applying skills and knowledge to reach an objective. A manager would not succeed if they have the knowledge but do not know how to use it or apply various principles in real life condition and situations (Juneja, n.d.). There are theories in which some managers will base on, but how they apply it will be unique due to their personal skills and how they personalized. Like a piece of an artist’s painting, every art is personalized and made differently while some uses the same canvas materials and paints. Theoretical and knowledge itself is not enough for managers to depend on (iEduNote.com, 2017). Managers needs creativity to be able to improve or adapt to situations in which they are unable to predict. The ability to adapt is critical for a leadership to be effective. Nowadays, the business environment becomes very unpredictable, with new technologies being invented, such as new medical purpose machineries. Doctors or someone who is in charge to manage it is required to be able to adapt quickly using the new technology in order to use it effectively. Managers who stands out in leadership characteristic are able to balance realism with optimism (Bielaszka-DaVernay, 2008). Furthermore, every manager will learn through an art of trial and error over the years they have work through. By going through mistakes and bad decisions, they will able to learn from it and improve. Because all of them have a goal to achieve a particular result, in which they must use resources such as labour, money, raw materials, and technology using methods they’ve learn and acknowledge it to promote a positive achievement in the organization (Juneja, n.d.). These skills and characters needed to form a manager in which they can survive and excel in the current days where situations are unpredictable and technology advancement are in speed. However, there are still some scientific methods related to how they can manage and make good decisions.

Scientific principles represent the basics about a specific area of study which can be use universally. Such as the principle of unity of command which is one man, one boss. Sometimes, experimentation and observation are needed in prior of setting a long-term decision, in which it relates to the cause and effect between variables linked. Such as the lack of support from the manager, the employees or machineries would not work effectively. Although it is not as precise as other natural sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics; because management works with humans and it is usually unpredictable, it still relates to the world of science (Juneja, n.d.). In this modern era, even management as a science need to evolve and adapt to the current situations. In the past, traditional science in which old managers referred to emphasizes on predictions from analysis of past decisions and controlling the variables. However, the new science focuses more in chaos and complexity in order to survive the current days. Scientists are establishing compelling descriptions of the ways complex systems to stand effectively with the unstable and speedy change (Freedman, 1992). A complex system view accepts that context awareness is ambiguous and as such deciding what to do is not as easy as doing exactly like before, because every situation will usually be different. In another case, the decision chose by the majority might often be the better choice. This kind of approach will naturally trigger creativity and enables the manager to widen their knowledge of a particular context before deciding on something (Richardson, 2008). These methods will support a manager in becoming a better person in management.

In conclusion, management consist of different points and characteristic that comes from both science and art perspectives. Management is mostly based on the physiological of human and society which makes it unpredictable and cannot be a science fully. Art such as creativity is needed to solve problems and make decisions in which it can adapt to the fast changing of business environment. Leadership is an art in which a person must not only know the theories, but also how to apply it in the real life. Just like driving, someone won’t be able to drive just by reading and understanding manuals of how to drive, it needs practice to succeed. However, practicing without concrete theory and methods of how to do or decide something properly is useless. Science is needed to set a standard in which decisions are to be made. Management works with guiding and allocating human, technologies, and other resources; without the knowledge of how everything works, a person is unable decide effectively. Managers should have the basic theory and time to practice in order to excel in managing an organization. In addition, science is also needed to set long term decisions in which it will be based on past analysis and set future goals to be achieved.

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