The etymological definition It is the most usual form of nominal definition. Moreover, it is the explanation of the origin of the word which we study. It is classified by means of the phonetic elements which form it.
Thus, we are are able to find the true meaning of the word and the concept expressed in it.
The word administration is formed from the prefix ad, towards, and from ministration. This last word also comes from minister, a compound word from minus, which is an inferiority comparative, and the suffix ter, which functions as a term for comparison as well.
The etymology of minister is entirely the opposite of magister; from magis, a superiority comparison, and from ter.
As a result, magister indicates an authority function. Minister expresses precisely the opposite; subordination or he who performs a function under the command of other(s). It is one who renders a service to other(s).
Etymology gives us the idea that administration refers to a function that is developed under the command of another, for a service given.
However, administration can be defined in several different ways; the same as many other areas of human knowledge. It is possible to define it for an easy comprehension and including its most important aspects through the analysis and synthesis by specialists in the subject:
Brook Adams. The capability of skillfuly coordinating several social energies, frequently conflictive, into a single organism so that they can operate as one.
Koontz & O'Donnell. The management of a social organism and its effectiveness in achieving its objectives, based in the management ability of its members.
George Terry. Administration consists in achieving a specific objective through an external effort.
Henry Fayol. Administrating is preventing, organizing, managing, coordinating and controlling.
Wilburg Jiménez Castro. In "The key to success", based in the previous concepts and making use of its common foundation, the following definition is proposed:
"The process of preventing, planning organizing, integrating, managing and controlling the work of the elements of the organization and using the resources available to achieve the objectives previously established".
¿Which is the importance of administration?
The same purposes and concepts analyzed for the structuring of a definition for administration give us the basics to determine its importance.
The conditions that rule this time of crisis, as well as the necessity of team work, require an efficient application of this discipline, which will be reflected in the productivity and efficiency of the institution or enterprise that requires it.
To demonstrate the above mentioned, we can take the following facts as a foundation:
- Administration can be present wherever a social organism exists, and depending on its complexity, it will be more necessary.
- A social organism depends on the success of a good administration, since only through it you can achieve good use of the different resources; human, physical, material, etc., with which that organism counts.
- It is in big enterprises where administration truly manifests itself. Due to its size and complexity, scientific or technical administration is essential. Without it, they wouldn't be able to function.
- For the small and average size enterprises, administration is also important. When optimized, a higher level of competitiveness is achieved since its elements are better coordinated: machinery, labor, work force, the market, etc.
- An increase in productivity, in the social-economic field, is always a concerning issue. However, with the appropriate administration, the scenery changes, affecting not only the enterprise but the entire society as well.
- For every country, improving administration quality is an important requirement. You need to coordinate every element involved in it to be able to create the essential foundations for development, such as: capital acquisition, worker and employee assessment, etc.
¿Which are the characteristics of administration?
It has been indicated that administration gives us the basic principles, which through their applications, being successful becomes feasible when managing organized individuals in a formal group that have common objectives.
It is necessary now to add the characteristics of administration to such concepts. These are:
- Its universal characteristic. The administrative phenomenon is found wherever there is a social organism since there always needs to be a systematic coordination of means.Thus, administration is present in the State, in the army, in a company, in educational institutes, in a religious community, etc.
- Its specific characteristic. In spite of administration being always linked to phenomenons of different sources, the administrative element is specific and different to the other phenomenos which accompany it. You may well be an excellent engineer, but a lousy administrator.
- Its temporary unity. Even though stages, phases and element of the administrative phenomenon are different, it is unique and, as a result, all or the majority of the administrative elements are latent in every moment of the operation of an organization, in a large or small proportion. Thus, when planning, you don't stop leading, controling, organizing, etc. Moreover, it can be stated that it is a dynamic and interactive process.
- Its hierarchic unity. Everyone posessess manager traits in a social organism. They participate in different degrees and modalities in such administration. Consecquently, this forms a single administrative body within the organization, from the President, to the last supervisor.