Professions like accountancy, law, medicine all have CBOK(Common body of knowledge), Code of Conduct, professional standards and continuing professional education(CPE).In contrast, management has the following gaps in this idea of profession
- Absence of requisite skill-for example not being aware of relevant amendments, statutory laws, latest research in management field etc. I agree that not even CPE is enough for ensuring updation, but atleast it is something. Management does not even have that.
- No ethical standards:-Though I personally feel that professional ethics standards are more of locking the stable after the horse has bolted, or limiting competition, atleast it does make the public aware of what minimum to expect from their professionals, and gives them liberty to sue for malpractice/breach of trust if not met. Again, this need to adhere to a code of ethics is not imposed by the organization but is usually employer specific.
- No prescribed training:-Though some may debate the relative merits of apprenticeship versus on the full tome job training(say ICAEW vs CIMA models), some structured guild like training is helpful to learn a profession. Validity of this is not yet proven for management, so while it may be superior to any profession, it cannot be classed as one.
- No explicit fiduciary relationship:-Code of ethics etc exists in part due to the fiduiciary relationship between professional and client, which is nebulous when it comes to the relationship between a manager, business entity and its owners!
So the next time people liken management to a professional, excuse me for differing!