Leadership and Management - the Differences and Overlap

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Distinction between leadership and management has for long been an interesting subject matter for academicians and industrialists alike. There has been a definite shift of focus from management to leadership in the context of business organizations. This shift can be attributed to the need of organizations to sustain their growth in the face of rapidly changing competitive landscape across the industries. The differences in leadership and management have been widely acknowledged but the matter of debate is about the overlap between the two and how these important organizational elements help in driving the business both now and in the future. Leadership an important managerial role or management an important leadership role In spite of efforts made to understand leadership as distinct from management, leadership is also studied as an essential element of management along with planning, organizing, staffing and controlling.

This view depicts leadership as an important function of management or to make it simpler, leadership is shown as an important managerial role. In this managerial function thrust is on creation of long term vision, development of values, culture and behaviours necessary for pursuing the vision and inspiring people for voluntary commitment to organizational cause. And yet at the same time it is leadership, which is responsible for designing and developing a suitable management system for the organization, to ensure systematic and orderly accomplishment of desired goals. The differences

Starting the debate from the basic purpose of leadership and management will certainly help us in better understanding the overlap among the two as it starts there.

In the organizational context leadership can be defined as a process through which an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Peter G. Northhouse, Leadership theory and practice). The function of management is to ensure fulfilment of organizational goals in a...
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