The manager is the dynamic, life giving element in every business. Without his leadership the ‘resources of production’ remain resources and never become production. In a competitive economy, above all, the quality and performance of the managers determine the success and survival of a business. For the quality and performance of its managers their leadership quality and dynamism (initiative) are the effective advantages for an enterprise in a competitive economy.
Management is also mean a distinct and a leading group in Industrial society. We no longer talk of ‘capital’ and ‘labor’ we talk of management and ‘labor’. The ‘responsibilities of capital’ have disappeared from our vocabulary together with the ‘rights of capital’ instead we hear of the ‘responsibilities of management, and (a singularly hapless phrase) of the ‘prerogatives of management’. We are building up a comprehensive and distinct system of education for management. And when the Eisenhower Administration was formed in 1952, it was formed consciously as a Management Administration.
The emergence of management as an essential a distinct and a leading institution is a pivotal event in social history. Rarely, if ever has a new basic institution a new leading group emerged as fast as has management since the turn of this century. Rarely in human history has a new institution proven indispensable so quickly; ad even less often has a new institution arrived with so little opposition so little disturbance so little controversy.
Management will remain a basic and dominant institution perhaps as long as Western civilization itself survives. For management is not only grounded in the nature of the modern industrial system and in needs of the modern business enterprise to which an industrial system must entrust its productive resources both human and material. Management also expresses basic beliefs of modern Western society. It expresses the belief in the possibility of controlling man’s livelihood through systematic organization of economic resources. It expresses the belief that economic change can be made into the most powerful engine for human betterment and social justice – that, as Jonathan Swift first overstated it two hundred and fifty years ago, whoever makes two blades of grass where only one grew before deserves better of mankind than any speculative philosopher or metaphysical system builder.
This belief that the material can and should be used to advance the human spirit is not just the age-old human heresy ‘materialism’. In fact, it is incompatible with materialism as the term has always been understood. It is something new, distinctly modern, distinctly Western and outside of the modern West, resources have always been considered a limit of man’s activities a restriction on his control over environment rather than an opportunity and a tool of his control over nature. They have always been considered God-given and unchangeable. Indeed all societies, except the modern West have looked upon economic change as a danger to society and individual alike, and have considered it the first responsibility of government to keep the economy unchangeable.
Management which is the organ of society specifically charged with making resources productive, that is with the responsibility for organized economic advance, therefore reflects the basic spirit of the modern age. It is in fact indispensable and this explains why once begotten, it grew so fast and with so little.