Management is Universal Process and Phenomenon (Explained)

Management is Universal Process and PhenomenonManaging is necessary whenever one needs to get things done.

It may be called the practice of consciously and continually shaping organizations.

Every organization has people who are assigned the responsibility of serving the organization to achieve its goals.

Those people are called managers.

No organization can carry on its business without management, which is in turn supervised by managers.

Management is a universal phenomenon in the sense that it is a common and essential element in all enterprises. Every group effort requires setting objectives, making plans, handling people, co-coordinating and controlling activities, achieving goals and evaluating performance directed towards organizational goals.

These activities relate to the utilization of 4 types of inputs or resources from the environment—human, monetary, physical, and informational.

Human resources include managerial talent, labor, and so forth. Monetary resources are the financial capital the organization uses to finance both ongoing and long-term operations.

Physical resources include raw materials, office and production facilities, and equipment. Information resources are data and other kinds of information utilized by the organization.

The job of the manager is to combine and coordinate these resources to achieve the organization’s goals.

If we see our society closely, we will found management practices are being used everywhere, our praying place, social parties, transport system, schools and.

Why Management is Universal Process and Phenomenon

The concept of universality of management has several implications.

  1. First, managerial skills are transferable from one person to another.
  2. Secondly, management skills can be transferred from one organization to another.
  3. Thirdly, managerial skills can be important and exported from one country to another.
  4. Fourthly, this principle of universality serves as the basis of a general theory of management -a set of common principles.

Some experts support the universality of management on the group that whatever the situation and whatever the level of management, the management function is common.

Any manager must, one time or the other, perform the same managerial functions.

A set of common principles or a general theory of management underlies all organizations F.W. Taylor said that the fundamental principles of scientific management apply to all human activities from our simplest individual acts to work of our great corporations.

According to Koontz and O’Donnell,” Management fundamentals have universal application in every kind of enterprise and at every level of the enterprise.”

According to Fayol,” Acting in their managerial capacity, president, college deans, bishops, and head of government agencies, all do the same things.”

But, on the other hand, many other experts oppose the universality of management.

According to Peter Drucker “The skills, the competence, the experience of management cannot, as such, be transferred and applied to the organization and running of other institutions. A career in management is, by itself, not preparation for major political office or leadership in the armed force, the church or a university.”

According to C.Mc Millan and R.W. Gonzalez,” Management philosophy is culture-bound and it is not universally applicable. External forces affect management philosophy.”

Similarly, in a study of 3600 managers in fourteen countries, it was found that variations in managerial behavior patterns were due to identifiable cultural differences.

Reasons Why Management is Universal

Emphasis on Management Process

Management is required in all organizations.

The managerial function of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling are found in any enterprise.

According to Koontz and O’ Donell,” as a manager, each must at one time or another, carry out all the duties characteristic of managers. This is the principle of universality of the managerial function.”

The distinction between Management Fundamentals and Management Techniques

Management fundamentals should be distinguished from management techniques.

A specific technique or approach of management may differ from culture to culture or from country to country but management fundamentals are universally applicable.

According to Koontz and O’Donnell, identical concepts, theories, and principles apply with equal force in widely different environments. Variation in culture may affect the application of management fundamentals but the fundamentals are having the universality of application.

The distinction between Management Fundamentals and Management Practices

Management theory and principles must be distinguished from management practices. The practices may vary but fundamentals are always the same.

For example, an automobile designed for use in deserts or jungles will be different from that designed for the high-speed superhighway.

But the principles and theories of physical science used for designing both the types of automobiles remain the same.

Managers shift from one industry to another. Such a shift indicates that the skills and principles of management are universal, only practices change.

Transferability of Management Principles and Skills

The principal, concept, and skills of management are universal because managers may shift from one country to another, from one industry to another, and from one type of organization to another.

He has regarded that such a shift in an indication of this fact that the general skills and principles of management are at work.

Arguments Against the Universality Management

Differences in objectives

The objectives of business enterprises differ from those of religious, political and educational institutions. Therefore, an efficient business executive cannot necessarily be a good vice-chancellor.

No individual can be an equally successful manager in academic, military and business organizations because the objectives that underlie each are different.

Differences in philosophies

The business organization has a different philosophy than non-business organizations. even two business concerns may have different philosophies.

For example, one may seek quick gains while the other may aim at long-term growth. These differences in philosophy exert significant influences on organization structure, communication patterns, and employees’ morale.

As a result, a different type of management is required in each case.

Management is Culter-bound

The applicability of management principles is limited by a particular cultural situation.

Winston Oberg feels that if the ground rules under which the manager operates are different in different cultures (countries) then it is useless to search for a common set of strategies of management.

Farmer and Richman have concluded through their study on comparative management that if a country has a strong traditional, religious and cultural bias towards non-scientific behavior, it will be difficult to introduce modern management methods which are based on the same type of predictive and the rational view of the world as are the more purely technical devices.


An analysis of the arguments for and against the universality concept explains that the science of management and its principles and function are universally applicable.

Irrespective of differences in the types of organization, objectives, goals, philosophies, and culture; management is a universal process.

Hence managerial skills are transferable and universally acceptable.

The concept of universality of management is also applicable to all levels of managers within an organization who participates in the coordination of resources and the enterprise of one or all of the managerial functions.

The concept of universality implies that management and activities are transferable from one organization to another.

This mainly happens in the case of military people who often join the industry after retirement. There is, of course, an instance where such transfers have not been successful.

At last, no doubt, management is universals because its basic function is acceptable to all and applicable anywhere.

For example, my father makes a plan, my teacher makes a plan, a captain of a sports team makes a plan, a businessman makes a plan, an entrepreneur makes a plan, a professional (doctor, chartered accountant.etc) makes a plan, and even you and I make plans.

All of the above use other managerial functions as planning time to time to achieve their desired goals.

Now, it is clear that the functions and principles of management are universal, but according to the nature, size and another background of organizations, their application will differ according to circumstances.

So, no doubt that management is universal. But the practice of it is different in situations, positions, society.

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