Management as a Profession
Over a large few decades, factors such as growing size of business unit, separation of ownership from management, growing competition etc have led to an increased demand for professionally qualified managers. The task of manager has been quite specialized. As a result of these developments the management has reached a stage where everything is to be managed professionally.
A profession may be defined as an occupation that requires specialized knowledge and intensive academic preparations to which entry is regulated by a representative body. The essentials of a profession are:
- Specialized Knowledge - A profession must have a systematic body of knowledge that can be used for development of professionals. Every professional must make deliberate efforts to acquire expertise in the principles and techniques. Similarly a manager must have devotion and involvement to acquire expertise in the science of management.
- Formal Education & Training - There are no. of institutes and universities to impart education & training for a profession. No one can practice a profession without going through a prescribed course. Many institutes of management have been set up for imparting education and training. For example, a CA cannot audit the A/Cs unless he has acquired a degree or diploma for the same but no minimum qualifications and a course of study has been prescribed for managers by law. For example, MBA may be preferred but not necessary.
- Social Obligations - Profession is a source of livelihood but professionals are primarily motivated by the desire to serve the society. Their actions are influenced by social norms and values. Similarly a manager is responsible not only to its owners but also to the society and therefore he is expected to provide quality goods at reasonable prices to the society.
- Code of Conduct - Members of a profession have to abide by a code of conduct which contains certain rules and regulations, norms of honesty, integrity and special ethics. A code of conduct is enforced by a representative association to ensure self discipline among its members. Any member violating the code of conduct can be punished and his membership can be withdrawn. The AIMA has prescribed a code of conduct for managers but it has no right to take legal action against any manager who violates it.
- Representative Association - For the regulation of profession, existance of a representative body is a must. For example, an institute of Charted Accountants of India establishes and administers standards of competence for the auditors but the AIMA however does not have any statuary powers to regulate the activities of managers.
From above discussion, it is quite clear that management fulfills several essentials of a profession, even then it is not a full fledged profession because: -
- It does not restrict the entry in managerial jobs for account of one standard or other.
- No minimum qualifications have been prescribed for managers.
- No management association has the authority to grant a certificate of practice to various managers.
- All managers are supposed to abide by the code formulated by AIMA,
- Competent education and training facilities do not exist.
- Managers are responsible to many groups such as shareholders, employees and society. A regulatory code may curtail their freedom.
- Managers are known by their performance and not mere degrees.
- The ultimate goal of business is to maximize profit and not social welfare. That is why Haymes has rightly remarked, The slogan for management is becoming - He who serves best, also profits most.