Management in all business areas and organizational activities are the acts of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal. Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.
Because organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action, including design, to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system. This view opens the opportunity to 'manage' oneself, a pre-requisite to attempting to manage others
Mary Parker Follett (1868–1933), who wrote on the topic in the early twentieth century, defined management as "the art of getting things done through people". She also described management as philosophy. One can also think of management functionally, as the action of measuring a quantity on a regular basis and of adjusting some initial plan; or as the actions taken to reach one's intended goal. This applies even in situations where planning does not take place. From this perspective, Frenchman Henri Fayol considers management to consist of seven functions:
Some people, however, find this definition, while useful, far too narrow. The phrase "management is what managers do" occurs widely, suggesting the difficulty of defining management, the shifting nature of definitions, and the connection of managerial practices with the existence of a managerial cadre or class.
One habit of thought regards management as equivalent to "business administration" and thus excludes management in places outside commerce, as for example in charities and in the public sector. More realistically, however, every organization must manage its work, people, processes, technology, etc. in order to maximize its effectiveness. Nonetheless, many people refer to university departments which teach management as "business schools." Some institutions (such as the Harvard Business School) use that name while others (such as the Yale School of Management) employ the more inclusive term "management."
English speakers may also use the term "management" or "the management" as a collective word describing the managers of an organization, for example of a corporation. Historically this use of the term was often contrasted with the term "Labor" referring to those being managed.