MANAGEMENT is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; LEADERSHIP determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall - Stephen Covey

Monday, December 19, 2005

Management - Art or Science?

I have wondered many a times as to whether Management is an art or science and haven't found an exact answer to this question...well is there any ONE answer??? NO! There is no 'yes or no' answer to this question (I bet this can't be a box-ticking exercise!).

Management as an Art is a practice that has been followed for ages (donkey’s years!) by many noble-beings (were they called managers in the early era??) and has been unremitting since then...maybe the style has changed but the objective hasn't. Being an art, its practice to perfection was one of the most essential feature (sine-qua-non) that everyone was looking at. However, due to efflux of time, many realized that it wasn't important to be perfect BUT necessary to be excellent. If you aren't excellent, u better take a jump!

Management as a Science always had (and continues to have) a 'Cause & Effect' relationship that has been practiced (did I say preached?) for time immemorial (well, still being very well practiced and preached in many companies!) inorder to enable people to perform better (hopefully!) and understand the quantification (many-a-times distorted!) behind their performance. I guess, time has come for us to realize the importance of management BOTH as an art and science and to appreciate its co-existence within an organization. I truly believe that it is in the best interest of the organization to have a mix of both (art & science) in right proportions and at the right stage of the organizations' cycle inorder to derive immense benefits from the use of managerial tools, techniques, practices, philosophies, processes & disciplines AND at the same time KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!).


Blogger Trevor Gay said...

Hi Sriram

Funnily enough I posted something about this same subject on Simplicity Blog today!!! - What do you think?

Leadership - An Art or a Science?

I have always been interested in the different views of leadership.

Some people believe leadership is a science and some believe it is an art. My view has always been that it is a balance of the two though I believe it is more of an art than a science.

Over the weekend whilst reading the excellent ‘Searching Issues’ by Nicky Gumbel I came across a nice and simple rule of thumb to help us differentiate between the objective (the science) and the subjective (the art). Although the book is not about leadership I think this rule can be applied to the leadership debate.

He says the scientific (objective) is about; The How? and the When?

He says the art (subjective) is about; The Why? and the Who?

I like it and if you think about it this says it all really in four words.

6:55 PM

Blogger Sriram said...


Whadda coincidence!! Well, leadership or management, I guess the principles are similar (not same because Leaders are different from Managers!). I believe leadership involves a fantastic amalgam of both science & art. The skill-sets (artistic & scientific) of an effective leader-manager should be judiciously used at appropriate times diligently, meticulously and with due care. It is extremely important for leaders to set the right example and be a ‘father-figure’ for every subordinate to emulate. Ethically too, leaders have to inspire their legion by assuming responsibility for all their acts (including acts of ignorance!) and ensure good governance within their organizations. In this context, I am dumbstruck by a famous quote by Robert Mc.Namara (former Ford Motor Company president) where he said “The boss should be more catholic than the Pope”. WOW! Terrific! Isn’t it?

10:03 AM

Blogger Charlie said...

you just gave me an insight into what I have been trying to research about. Thanks for this!

8:07 PM


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