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The people who administer a company, create policies, and provide the support necessary to implement the owners' business objectives.


1. The persons or institutions that administer a company. That is, management has the responsibility to direct employees, set and enforce policies, and generally ensure that the company fulfills its goals (which management itself often sets). Management is responsible to the board of directors (of a publicly-traded company) and ultimately to the company's owners. In small companies, owners and managers are often the same people.

2. See: Asset management.


The process of organizing and directing human and physical resources within an ORGANIZATION so as to meet defined objectives. The key management roles are:
  1. planning how to carry out the various activities which are required to achieve the objective. This involves establishing an action programme (see BUSINESS PLAN) and an appropriate organization structure within which tasks can be subdivided (for example into production, personnel, marketing and finance); RESPONSIBILITY for them delegated; and PAY and reward systems instituted (see JOB DESIGN AND REDESIGN, WORK ORGANIZATION);
  2. CONTROL, by comparing current performance with that planned in order to monitor progress of the work. Such comparisons reveal where additional resources may be needed to achieve desired performance or when plans may need to be modified in the light of experience;
  3. COORDINATION of the tasks being undertaken, which involves synchronizing and balancing work loads and ensuring effective collaboration between the various DEPARTMENTS and GROUPS within the organization;
  4. MOTIVATION of the members of the organization, encouraging them to work effectively in performing their assigned task.

CLASSICAL MANAGEMENT THEORY portrayed management as a rational activity largely concerned with establishing routines and procedures for administering the work. More recently this emphasis has been questioned in a number of respects. Research has shown that much of the manager's working day is spent on tasks other than those suggested in this approach, for example attending retirement presentations, responding to telephone enquiries etc. Much of the manager's job involves ad hoc reactions to events. Other research has shown that managers ‘muddle through’, aiming at achieving satisfactory rather than optimum outcomes (see SATISFICING).

Recent writing on management has emphasized the LEADERSHIP aspect of the managerial function. The key issue here concerns the means by which managers can achieve effective performance from their subordinates. Two basic approaches are identified in the literature (on MANAGEMENT STYLE):

  1. task orientation, where managers' relationship with their subordinates is essentially directive, being primarily focused on getting the job done;
  2. people orientation, where managers show a greater concern for their subordinates' well-being, on the grounds that a contented workforce performs effectively.

Some believe that good leaders are born with certain personal qualities whilst others believe that these can be instilled through MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT. Whatever perspective is taken it should be remembered that leadership involves more than a leader: it also involves subordinates and a context. Good leadership is that which produces appropriate behaviour from others in particular situations. See ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS, BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

References in periodicals archive ?
In working with staff proposing new ideas, upper management should be objective, point out the good aspects of the staff person's analysis, and acknowledge the huge hurdles they have successfully negotiated.
Without upper management support, projects don't get the things they need, like sufficient funding.
This gets upper management involved and making decisions about safety and health.
A common problem with presentations to upper management is the presenter's failure to understand the appropriate scope and length for the presentation.
Second, the leadership within the tax profession has been highly successful in influencing upper management in corporate America to recognize the value of including tax on the front-end of transactions.
He was able to persuade Shell's upper management to divert the needed resources to this venture.
For example, in the case of corporate videos, invariably upper management gets involved before or after the arduous brainstorming objective-setting process.
According to Brown, the goal of the IRS Forum is to eliminate IRS abuses and misconduct as they become visible to the public, the media, Congress and upper management of the IRS.
Although project leaders are honor-bound to behave according to the agency standards of conduct, experience has shown that it is best for upper management to verify as well as to trust.
The parks system reorganized middle and upper management and consolidated 23 statewide park districts down to 18 to save rent, lease, electricity and other overhead costs.
Breakout sessions will be designed for emerging leaders, as well as middle and upper management.
Once you secure a job, target an individual in upper management whom you feel has the respect of his or her peers and exemplifies a business model you'd like to follow.