Theoretical scope

Mary Parker Follett (1868–1933), who wrote on the topic in the early twentieth century, defined management as "the art of getting things done through people". One can also think of management functionally, as the action of measuring a quantity on a regular basis and of adjusting some initial plan; or as the actions taken to reach one's intended goal. This applies even in situations where planning does not take place. From this perspective, Frenchman Henri Fayol considers management to consist of five functions:

-planning
-organizing
-leading
-co-ordinating
-controlling

Some people, however, find this definition, while useful, far too narrow. The phrase "management is what managers do" occurs widely, suggesting the difficulty of defining management, the shifting nature of definitions, and the connection of managerial practices with the existence of a managerial cadre or class.

One habit of thought regards management as equivalent to "business administration", although this then excludes management in places outside commerce, as for example in charities and in the public sector. Nonetheless, many people refer to university departments which teach management as "business schools." Some institutions (such as the Harvard Business School) use that name while others (such as the Yale School of Management) employ the more inclusive term "management."

Speakers of English may also use the term "management" or "the management" as a collective word describing the managers of an organization, for example of a corporation. Historically this use of the term was often contrasted with the term "Labor" referring to those being managed.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Management Skills. The Official Guide to Management Skills is Meryl Runion. Meryl Runion, CSP, is a Certified Speaking Professional and the author of four books on communication. Her books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide. She is the author of a weekly email newsletter called A PowerPhrase a Week, which boast thousands of subscribers. Her clients include IBM, who find her to be systematic, the IRS who particularly love her in April, and the FBI, who find her to be a person of interest.

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