Distinction Between Leadership and Management

Topics: Leadership, Management, Strategic management Pages: 16 (5060 words) Published: January 16, 2013
The simple question on the distinction between management and leadership is common, yet there are so many different answers that create confusion by academic research. In my research, I use Kotter’s definition because I find it clear and consistent with the definition by most researches that I will discuss later in the paper. Management is to provide order, consistency and stability so mangers are task oriented. On the other hand, leadership is to produce change and movement, seeking adaptive and constructive changes, so leaders set direction, motivate and inspire people (Kotter, 1990, pp. 3-8). Firstly, I will look at what are the definitions and meanings by researches on leadership and management practiced by leaders and managers.

Then, I will outline how leadership and management are distinct yet leaders and managers role are interconnected, and how much they are connected depends on the context, situation, environment and time. This paper will project my view on how the meaning of leadership and management has continued to evolve as expectation of society and organization changes. Managers are expect to step up from the traditional roles and guidelines where their duty is to give proposals, facilitate meetings, set budgets and monitor progress to maintain equilibrium and control. In the 21st century, managers need to adapt and adjust to the dynamic changes in environment. They need to inspire, motivate and be people oriented. Managers are stepping into the world of leaders. Thirdly, I will show how a manager can be a leader and a leader can be a manager too. The same person can be both a leader and manager because it is not an intrinsic or a fixed attribution. People are shape by their experience, background and environment, and this continues to change as the clock ticks. Both management and leadership are required for a successful organization and can be practice simultaneously by an individual, yet both are distinct.

Lastly, I will argue on contradicting arguments on the existence of leadership and shared leadership where opposing views state that leadership and management are the same thing or leadership do not actually exist because it is based on the follower’s perception. This paper concludes that leadership and management are distinctive, leaders and managers are not the same but are interconnected and interdependent, and the degree of integration varies according to the context, situation, environment and time.

Definitions, Meanings and Roles by Researches
Research of leadership started since Aristotle time, an old age concept around for centuries. On the other hand, the role of management was created only later in the 20th century during the industrialized society to maintain order for the chaotic situation. Managers are responsible to ensure organizations run efficiently and effectively (Northouse, 2010, p. 9). Distinctions between leadership and management, leaders and managers have been support by many researches such as below.

Bennis and Nanus quote: “Managers are people who do the things right and leaders are people who do the right things”. They claim “to manage” means to complete task and master routines while “to lead” means to create vision for change and influence others (Bennis W. N., 1985, p. 221).

Rost finds that leadership is multidirectional influence relationship and management is unilateral authority relationship (Rost, 1991, pp. 149-152). Streaker stated managers have subordinates and practice more authoritarian and transactional style. They inform subordinates what they need to do with their position and authority and subordinates follow instructions because they are paid a salary or reward. Managers are task oriented and tell people what to do. Leaders are people oriented and inspire followers to follow their cause, bringing them to the next level of growth despite the leadership style adopted. Managers seek comfort, are more conservative and risk averse, they want to...
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