Philosophy of Science: Management as a Discipline

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Management as a discipline should exist. This branch of knowledge is very important as it concerns practices of basic administration and principles which play a unique role in organizations (Cerović, 2015). The discipline indicates how an enterprise should be operated by managers and specifies how managers should conduct themselves. Nonetheless, some management scholars are of the view that management discipline should not exist as it is not a profession.

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Unlike lawyers and doctors, managers have a status that does not make them professional as this paper will analyze, Ajay and Sharma (2011) reiterate that managers’ core skills are only meant to integrate across circumstances, people, and functional areas and their roles are indefinable, variable and inherently general. Whether or not management is a discipline remains an issue of contention, and which this paper will critically explore.

Management as a discipline

Management is one of the many courses of study in colleges and universities. Students are issued with a diploma in management or a degree upon completion of a management course(Cerović, 2015). Indeed, management is a vital branch of knowledge. It qualifies as a discipline because, through research and publication, scholars and thinkers of management communicate relevant knowledge. Besides, it is a discipline because, through training and education programs, a formal impartation of knowledge occurs. Agreeably, management as a discipline meets the above standards.

The article by Inamete (2015) explains management as a career, a human activity, a discipline, and process managers direct and oversee procedures, and these roles are inextricably intertwined. The latter is a course of actions whose intention is to achieve a desirable outcome. In agreement, Inamete (2015) points out that management is a discipline because it is guided by a method of practice or rules of conduct(Cerović, 2015). The ability to harmonize business processes and roles in such a way that they are in line with an organization with strategic business dynamics and reflect on particularistic policy frameworks is the key to effective management discipline (Gemünden, 2014).

Today, management as a discipline is lauded for meeting organizational needs in the constantly changing business environment that dictates the mode of organizations’ operations. The latter is needed to achieve established objectives. Management discipline as Goel, Rana, and Rastogi (2010) suggest is an important platform for leveling organizations and tackling competitive challenges. This is achieved by aligning all business processes and directing activities as well as adopting key management frameworks.

The article by Cerović (2015) explores the profession of management and explains that it can be understood as a discipline that involves controlling resources, motivating workers, organizing and planning tasks purposely to achieve a goal (Cerović, 2015). In essence, from delivering, designing, and creating new systems of information management to constructing new buildings, every work effort businesses carry out is directed and overseen by a manager (Denis, 2015).

This also extends to projects. In an organization, projects can be used to effect change. Most managers in organizations use projects as primary methods of performing their tasks. This calls for discipline which entails careful selection of methods that are excellent and proven. As indicated, some common components of management discipline include change control, project environment quality, risk management, planning, and organization.

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Training for management roles

The definitions of a discipline vary and are of significant importance to a study (Gemünden, 2014). Opponents of the idea that management is a discipline and that managers have similar professional characteristics to doctors or lawyers argue that the profession lacks collaborative learning. As Cerović (2015) points out, business schools teach management but whether or not what they teach qualifies learners to become managers is yet to be seen.

The argument hinges on the notion that most people without MBAs are running the most successful businesses. This is also echoed by Denis (2015) in the article The collaborative discipline of daily quality compliance management that MBA students learn integration which is not taught in program modules, rather instilled in their minds (Cerović, 2015). Most importantly, students have wide and diverse experience, a consideration that calls for a highly collaborative business education that takes care of diverse careers.

However, whether or not it is a discipline in college or a business profession, management is a leadership role aimed at creating a unique product, service, or result. In college, management students are taught to produce collaborative products of high quality, be creative, innovative, and skillful (Cerović, 2015). As a matter of fact, college aids the learning of management students and provides them with an opportunity to plan and develop a disciplined methodology to use in imagining probable outcomes in solving a problem. Similar to a business setting, they achieve this by posting imagined, plausible, and informed alternatives to finding solutions.

Pearce and Huang (2012) assert that while many managers are trained and qualified, management in itself cannot be termed as a profession. The question that seeks an answer is whether what students learn makes them fit for practice. Professional bodies are relied upon to certify learners on what they are supposed to know. What a good manager has learned from an institution alongside individual abilities is not sufficient for oversight roles. In agreement, Cerović (2015) indicates that management requires mastering a set of knowledge. Unfortunately, apart from integration skills, the latter is not provided for in business education.

Even so, management scholars are of the opinion that training is crucial in the incorporation of a set of knowledge managers need (Denis, 2015). Students of management must be trained and learning programs should be comprehensive to cover the required content. It is therefore imperative that constant training and modeling of management students be established in order to create an effective platform for nurturing new skills (Denis, 2015).

Besides, management discipline is an important imperative that allows management students to identify obstacles to achieving business objectives and for leveraging existing expertise. The aim of management discipline, therefore, should seek the integration of greater creativity and innovation in providing more unique leadership roles and adding value to a business (Gemünden, 2014).

Opponents of management discipline provide a better approach to understanding management and professionalism. Axson (2011) argues that the key to appreciating that management is not a discipline relies on grasping the aspect of integration and the reasons why it is hardly taught. Rather, it is learned. Integration is in the various elements of learning programs and this must be in MBA students’ minds. Today, business education is competitive. This should not be the case. It should be collaborative. As Mahaney and Lederer (2011) put it, business education covers everything neither does it qualify one to be a professional. Making management a profession obtained through formal training makes business school to be regarded as a professional school (Denis, 2015).

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Another reason why management is not a discipline or a profession is the lack of a code of ethics. Ewest (2010) observes that the determination as well as role of enforcing codes of ethics is done by a professional body. The fundamental relevance of this process is to develop trust. Management lacks well-defined codes of ethics. In other words, it does not have the mechanism to enforce any code of ethics (Gemünden, 2014). Unlike professions, management lacks monopoly control. It is indeed challenging considering the broad and undefined scope of management (Denis, 2015).

While management facilitates the establishment of the correct cultural environment, differentiating integration and teaching brings the entire management discipline analysis holistic because managers are directly involved in the running of business functions. Management training should therefore include a holistic learning process that identifies key weaknesses and how they can be improved. Most learning institutions as Gemünden (2014) asserts, often fail to effectively evaluate students’ performance. An evaluation is critical and of great importance to a company that practices management because it reveals the key potential that has not been tapped and presents a company in a better position to fight for a greater share in the highly competitive market (Denis, 2015).


In summing up, the role of management training in institutions should further be evaluated in such a way that students enhance individual productivity, hardiness, and the ability to conduct oversight roles. A better understanding of the role of management is essential at the university or college levels because management students have the ability to gather insights on the various requirements of effective management.


Ajay, S., & Sharma, V. (2011). Knowledge management antecedents and its impact on employee satisfaction. The Learning Organization, 18(2), 115-130.

Axson, D. (2011). Scenario planning: navigating through today’s uncertain world. Journal of Accountancy, 211(3), 22-27.

Cerović, Z. (2015). Marine buble — pioneer of the discipline of management in Croatia. Management: Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, 20(1), 79- 87.

Denis, R. (2015). The collaborative discipline of daily quality compliance management. Journal for Quality & Participation, 38(3), 28-31.

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Ewest, T. (2010). Knowledge management and organizational effectiveness: considering applications for leadership”, Journal of Business & Economics Research, 8(11), 137-140.

Gemünden, H. G. (2014). Project management as a behavioral discipline and as driver of productivity and innovations. Project Management Journal, 45(6), 2-6.

Goel, A., Rana, G., & Rastogi, R. (2010). Knowledge management as a process to develop sustainable competitive advantage. South Asian Journal of Management, vol. 17(3), 104-116.

Inamete, U. B. (2015). The academic discipline of management and the bologna process: the impacts on the united states in a globalizing world. Vision, 19(1), 49-57.

Mahaney, R. & Lederer, A. (2011). An agency theory explanation of project success, The Journal of Computer Information Systems, 51(4), 102-113.

Pearce, J. L., & Huang, L. (2012). The decreasing value of our research to management education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(2), 247-262.