Is Management a Profession?
Today, the challenge of management has become intense and critical. With the growth of industry and the emergence of large corporations and the consequent separation of control and ownership, the process of management is gradually assuming professional importance during the last three decades.
A profession, to be denoted as such, must have certain special attributes and only those occupations which strictly satisfy those conditions can be regarded as a profession.
The principal attributes of a profession can be outlined as follows:
1. Substantial Body of knowledge
A profession presupposes the existence of an organized and systematic body of knowledge. From this point of view, we can rightly conclude that the modern management is certainly a profession because there is already a vast body of knowledge derived from the experience of men in the management over the years.
2. Compulsory Acquisition of Knowledge
Secondly, anybody who wants to practice a profession must compulsorily acquire the required knowledge and skill through established institutions. From this stand point also, business management deserves to be designated as a profession. In this modern age of advanced technology and the complexities of business, acquisition of the fundamental principles of management has almost become compulsory. Various institutions were also established in the recent past to educate the principles to those who want to study management.
3. Honesty and Integrity
Honesty and integrity are the twin characteristics of a profession and should prevail in all dealings in conformity with the ethical standards of the profession. These two characteristics are fundamental to management. The social responsibility of modern management also stresses the importance of these two attributes.
4. Service Motive
The principal motive of any profession must be service. This does not mean that lawyers or surgeons or other professionals should not receive any reward for their services from their clients. They are entitled to receive remuneration for their services, but the greed of remuneration should not be taken as the ultimate motive of a profession.
The modern thinkers of management also give priority to service i.e., service to the customers in the form of lower cost, better quality and guaranteed supply, etc. Profit, of course, is the life giving element in every business. But this only motive should not dominate the other motives and undermine them.
5. Professional Associations
For every profession, there is an association in almost all the countries to regulate the code of conduct of the professionals. For instance, in India, the Bar Council of India, All India Medical Practitioners Association and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India are regulating the legal, medical and accounting professions respectively. Just like these professional bodies, Business Management Associations are also being established in many countries to promote the spread of knowledge in all the areas of management.
To conclude, it may be remarked that modern business management is gradually assuming the status of a profession. But like other professions, it does not require for the licensing of managers nor it does restrict the entry of people into managerial jobs with special academic degrees. Yet the management has been identified as a crucial activity by many and varied studies of human behaviour.