Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Managing: Science Or Art?

The best response to the question of whether management is an art or a science is that it is both.  Managing, like all other practices (e.g., music composition, medicine, or even tennis) is an art. To manage effectively, peoples must have not only the necessary abilities to lead but also a set of critical skills acquired through time, experience, and practice. If we define art as a personal aptitude or skill, then management has certain artistic components.

On the other hand, the organized knowledge underlying the practice may be referred to as a science. To perform at high levels in a variety of situations, managers must be able to draw on the sciences - particularly economics, sociology, mathematics, political science, psychology, and political science - for assistance and guidance.

The tasks of modern managers require the use of techniques, practices, and skills. In this context science and art not mutually exclusive but complementary.