“Is management science” or art?: what can we learn from this misunderstanding?

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Pedro Lincoln C. L. de Mattos


In classes and lectures of introduction to administration, when the question “What do you think: Is administration science or art?” is asked, the audience is always curious. We face here an interesting and discussion-stimulating dictum. This article has two goals: to disclose the question ambiguity – maybe one of the reasons for its survival – and from there, analyze how appropriate it is to discuss “scientificity” in our knowledge system, an important question for academic routes in that area. For the first – more modest – goal, we will use language pragmatic and semantic analysis; for the second, concentrating most of the text, theories about science nature and the intended distinction between science and non-science. Evidences arise, then, that the dictum contains a misunderstanding.


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MATTOS, P. L. C. L. de. “Is management science” or art?: what can we learn from this misunderstanding?. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 49, n. 3, p. 349–360, 2009. Disponível em: https://periodicos.fgv.br/rae/article/view/36359. Acesso em: 24 jul. 2024.