From the earliest recorded history, people joined forces to achieve common goals, especially when they could accomplish together what they couldn’t accomplish by themselves. To get people with different personalities and skills to work together, there must coordination of their activities. This was management in it’s simplest form. As communities developed and groups became larger, the role of coordinator became more important and more complex.
Although the practice of management is almost as old as mankind, efforts to analyse and describe it only started in the 1770’s. Writers used different approaches depending on their areas of expertise. As a result different definitions of management have been established.
Here are some definitions
Management can be defined as the planning, organizing, activating and checking done by someone in a leadership position to get people to work together in the most effective manner in order to achieve certain objectives (Louis Allen)
Management can be defined as the process to design and maintain an environment in which people work together in groups to effectively achieve elected objectives (Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich)
Management is the process where people in a leadership position use human and other resources as efficiently as possible to deliver certain products and/or services in order to meet specific needs and achieve company objectives (FW Marx)
Most of these definitions put emphasis on the fact that management aims to get people to work together effectively to achieve a set of objectives. The emphasis is on increased performance and an expected end result.
Hannes Kruger, Management training manual. Written for the Meat Board, Chapter 1