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Management ([ 'mænɪdʒmənt ]; Latin manus , "hand" and Latin agere , "lead", "lead by the hand") is an Anglicism for every goal-oriented and economic principle -oriented human behavior of management , organization and planning in all areas of life .


Management is therefore not only limited to companies or other associations of persons (e.g. authorities ), but also affects parts of the lifestyle in private households ( e.g. time management ). The central content of management is the organization , preparation and implementation of decisions in a complex environment under the conditions of perfect information . Anyone who is entrusted with management tasks in work and action systems is called a manager . He needed especially management skills , while managers, particularly on leadership skills must have.

Management is both an institution and a function in organizations. An institution is understood to be a group of managers who are grouped together in an organizational unit (from the board of directors to foremen or foremen). In addition, management is also a function that managers, as executives, perform management tasks. In Anglo-Saxon countries, however, the manager is not usually a manager with personnel responsibility, but a - possibly with technical supervision authority entrusted - line manager . In Germany, too, the term manager is now used to refer to people without personnel responsibility (“facility manager” is a caretaker , “sales manager” is a salesperson , “account manager” is a customer service representative , “risk manager” is a financial analyst ).


The etymological root of the word management is not fully understood. The English verb for "handle, accomplish, master, guide, lead" ( English to manage ) probably comes from the Italian "practice a horse in all gaits" or "lead a horse in the arena" ( Italian maneggiare ). Possible root meanings are the Latin manus agere 'to lead by the hand' or the Latin mansionem agere ' to order the house (for the owner) , to keep house'. The etymological origin suggests that with a person Management Procedures set in motion, control and can direct. The use in the narrower sense 'to lead something, to lead' is a narrowing of the meaning of the young German loan word .

In antiquity , there were early systematic approaches to economic struggle, as described by Hesiod , Xenophon or Plato . A first systematic economic theory comes from Aristotle , who considered purposeful action in the economy ( Greek οίκος oikos , "house", "property"; Greek νόμος nomos , "law"; " operate according to laws") to be legitimate. He distinguished between the use of material means for the good life ( Greek oikonomiké ) and the acquisition of these means (natural or non-natural) ( Greek chrematistik é ). The main contours of his economic theory can be found in his works Politics and Nicomachean Ethics .

Even the Middle Ages already knew some management functions in religious, political or military projects. For example, the popes or bishops have always performed leadership tasks in the church , in politics the statesmen or even princes and in the military the military superiors ( generals ).

The "natural order" ( French ordre naturel ) of the Physiocrats was characterized by freedom , competition and private property , which is best described in their slogan "let go and let happen" ( French laissez-faire , laissez-passer ), coined by Vincent de Gournay in 1751. was expressed. This catchphrase represents the opposite of management, which even has to intervene and control.

Management as a function was first introduced by Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1911 when he left planning to management and execution to workers . His book, published in Germany in 1913 under the title The Principles of Scientific Management , clearly differentiated between management, which exercises leadership skills , while the executing staff are entrusted with implementation skills . Management theory developed from these thoughts as a sub-discipline of business administration . The French Henri Fayol refined this functional concept of management in 1916 by defining the basic functions of forecasting and planning ( French prévoir ), organization ( French organizer ), management ( French commander ), coordination ( French coordonner ) and control ( French contrôler ) as a management sequence. Fayol pointed out that management can be taught.

For the business economist Erich Gutenberg , management in 1951 meant planning as an organizing act. In 1952, Konrad Mellerowicz pointed out that Taylorism was only a “small part” of business administration.


The leadership tasks of management and a manager include organization , planning , goal setting , decision-making , delegation , coordination , information , employee evaluation and control . In business administration, these activities are summarized under the dispositive factor . For Konrad Mellerowicz, only one person is allowed to take on a management role ( unipersonal management ) because the entrepreneur "has ultimate responsibility for the entire company". By this, however, he means that only substantial business decisions are reserved for the entrepreneur, because he also transfers management tasks and management responsibility to the subordinate organizational units of middle and lower management by way of delegation .


According to the hierarchy level, a distinction is made between top management ( English top management : corporate management like board of directors , executive management ), middle management ( English middle management : department head , operations manager ) and lower management ( English lower management : group leader , team leader , master , foreman ). In the literature of management concept undergoes a narrower sometimes connotation , once only to the top management is limited.

Depending on the area of work, there are mainly important operational functions :

Other areas and areas of application of management

The management techniques (such as management by objectives ) include the management concept. In addition, there are u. a. following areas of management application:

Algorithmic management

With ERP systems and data analysis , more and more management decisions are now being prepared and substantiated. The organization and its processes are thereby more algorithmic , i. H. Organizational processes and decisions are algorithmically coded and potentially triggered and controlled by computing power. This also changes the distribution of power between management and computer systems: Decisions are prepared through data analysis in such a way that they are actually made before the decision-makers discuss them. Initially, this often only affected the operational decisions of lower and middle management, through which simple work is controlled. In the future, strategic decisions are likely to be increasingly pre-structured by algorithms, as is already the case today with financial service providers, investment funds or venture capital companies.

Thus, the venture developed capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures in Hong Kong , which operates in the field of Life Sciences and Artificial Intelligence, a tool called VITAL ( Validating Investment Tool for Advancing Life Sciences ), the scientific and financial data analyzed to determine the decisions of their partners and to support their board of directors. Its US subsidiary, Transplanetary, developed the SPOCK ( Space Program Ontologically Computed Knowledge ) system, which is intended to analyze investment strategies in the space sector.

Web links

Wiktionary: Management  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fritz Neske: Management . In: derselbe / Markus Wiener (Hrsg.): Management-Lexikon . Volume II. 1985, p. 760 f.
  2. Wolfgang H. Staehle : Management: A behavioral perspective . 8th edition. 1999, p. 192
  3. ^ Erich Gutenberg: Management - Organization and decisions . 1962, p. 20
  4. Maximilian Lackner: Talent Management Special , 2014, p. 12
  5. Wolfgang H. Staehle: Management: A behavioral perspective . 8th edition. 1999, ISBN 3-8006-2344-7 , p. 71
  6. Fritz Söllner: The history of economic thinking 2001, p. 3
  7. Frederick Winslow Taylor: The principles of scientific management . 1911, p. 38
  8. Frederick Winslow Taylor, Rudolf Roesler: The principles of scientific management , 1913, p. 6
  9. ^ Henri Fayol: Administration Industrielle et Générale . 1916, p. 13
  10. ^ Henri Fayol: Administration Industrielle et Générale . 1916, p. 138
  11. Erich Gutenberg: Fundamentals of business administration . Volume 1: The Production . 1951, p. 148
  12. Konrad Mellerowicz: General Business Administration . 1952, p. 23
  13. Klaus Altfelder, Hans G. Bartels, Joachim-Hans Horn, Heinrich-Theodor Metze: Lexicon of corporate management . 1973, p. 83
  14. Konrad Mellerowicz: corporate policy . Volume 1. 1963, p. 31
  15. Reinhard Höhn , Gisela Böhme: Management Brevier der Wirtschaft . 1974, p. 9 f.
  16. ^ Fritz Neske: Management . In: ders. / Markus Wiener (Hrsg.): Management-Lexikon . Volume II. 1985, p. 761
  17. Erich Frese: Management . In: Wolfgang Lück: Lexicon of business administration . 1983, p. 746 f.
  18. ^ Armin Beverungen: Algorithmic Management. In: Timon Beyes, Jörg Metelmann, Claus Pias (eds.): After the revolution. A breviary of digital cultures. Haniel Foundation, 2017, pp. 52–63.
  19. ^ T. Conradi, F. Hoof, RF Nohr: media of decision. Münster 2016.
  20. Deep Knowledge Ventures to Fund Transplanetary for AI, Space Program on, September 15, 2014.