28 May 2006


What is management?

Management comes from the French word "menagement" meaning "the art of conducting, directing", and also Latin "manuagere" meaning "to lead by the hand".

In The Practice of Management, Peter Drucker defines management as "an economic organ. The first function is to put economic performance first. The second function is to make a productive enterprise out of human and material resources. The final function is to manage workers and work."

First function - Economic performance is important, but social contribution should not be ignored. Charles Handy said in Harvard Business Review (December 2002) that "the purpose of business is not to make a profit, full stop. It is to make a profit so that the business can do something more or better." But Bill Gates thinks otherwise. "Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."

Second function - This is about allocation of resources, but how to allocate. The allocation should be based on the priority of critical success factors, if any.

Third function - Management is really about managing people. When people are managed well, then the right deliverables will be produced. Information is the bridge between the two.

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