Is management a profession or not how

Introduction to management according to Malik, part 1: Management as a profession

In the days off between 2011 and 2012 I finally got around to reading »Leading, Performing, Living« by Fredmund Malik (Amazon partner links), one of the »100 best business books of all time«, a »classic of management literature« ( - and actually the book thrilled and inspired me. In it, Malik explains how important correct and good management is for modern societies and states that management is a profession that almost all people can practice once they have learned to perform the necessary tasks, use tools correctly and adapt to certain things To adhere to principles. All of this is the subject of the book and this series of articles in which I summarize the main ideas of the book in four parts.

This article is not an introduction to management per se, but only reflects Malik's approach. Every now and then I add my own mustard. I look forward to additional literature suggestions and interesting discussions in the comments.

What is management

Malik defines management as that shaping, controlling and guiding function of a society. Management makes all types of organization effective, companies, authorities, interest groups or sports clubs. And it is the management part of every profession that affects the people within the organizations be effective and get results leaves.

The etymological root of the term "management" is not fully understood. According to Wikipedia, it is probably derived from the Latin "manus agere" ("to lead by the hand"), or "mansionem agere" (to order the house).

One of the most important professions in today's society

It depends on the right and good decisions of management whether organizations are productive, unproductive or even counterproductive; whether they are turning to new and innovative projects or becoming obsolete. It is up to management whether a company is doing better or worse than comparable companies in the same industry. If they manufacture similar products, trade in similar articles or provide similar services, perhaps even use similar manufacturing processes or the same raw materials, then how the company is run is decisive for success or failure.

Today's society is an "organized society" or rather a "society of organizations". More and more people are taking on leadership and thus management tasks, depending on the economic sector, 5 to 25 percent of the working population. According to the Federal Statistical Office, Germany has around 40 million employees; work with it in Germany between 2 and 10 million executives. The more modern the area, the more managers there are, in this respect the ascending trend. More and more people need at least basic management skills if they are to be successful.

Management can be learned and taught like any other profession

The tasks of correct and good management and its principles are the same worldwide and for all types of organizations. In this respect, management hardly differs, if at all, from all other professions.

  • On the one hand, every profession is characterized by the fact that people who practice this profession are specific tasks must meet. They have learned how to perform them competently at some point and - assuming didactic skills and patience - they could also teach other people.
  • Come in every profession Tools are used, which usually do not require any special talents, but a certain amount of training. You can show other people how the tools work and how to use them.
  • Principles - Principles, norms and standards - regulate the quality of task performance and the use of tools in every profession.

Most people can work in the management profession and achieve at least average professionalism. Almost everyone can learn to perform the necessary tasks, use the tools correctly and adhere to the principles - you can certainly do so too! The following parts of this series of articles will get you started.

Keywords:Lead life, Malik