Difference between leadership and management?
Zaleznik, (1974, 1983 as cited by Hughes et al., 2006 p. 10) states that there are differences between leadership and management.
How are they different?
There is much disagreement today amongst researchers as to the true definition of a leader. The primary reason for this is because leadership is a complex phenomenon which involves the leader, follower, and a situation. There are some leadership researchers that have concentrated on personality, physical traits, and behaviour of leaders, while some have focused on the relationships between leaders and followers. There are also those who directed their effort on how various aspects of a situation affect the ways that leaders act. Some have taken the latter to the extreme, by suggesting that there is no such thing as a leader. Their view is that leaders are often falsely accused in terms of the successes and or failures of organizations, but they feel that the situation may have a far greater impact on how the organization functions, as oppose to an individual, including the leader. Several writers have attempted to define leadership. It is important to understand however, that there is no single correct definition for leadership (Meindl & Ehrlich, 1987 as cited by Hughes et al., 2006 pp. 6-7).
In considering leadership, it is common to think of the relationship between leadership and management. Many people view the word management in the context of efficiency, paperwork, procedures, control, planning, regulations, and consistency. On the other hand, leadership can be linked to words like creativity, risk taking, dynamic, change, and vision. Some people claim that leadership is a value-choosing and value-laden activity, whereas management is not. Managers are thought to do things the right way, while leaders are thought to do the right things (Bennis, 1985; Zaleznik, 1983 as cited by Hughes et al., 2006 p. 9).
Leadership is not a position, but rather a process. Even though a person may hold a title or position, it does not make them leaders, other than by name. Leadership involves something happening as a consequence of the interaction between a leader and follower (Hughes et al., 2006).
Some additional distinctions between leaders and managers are described by (Bennis, 1989 and cited by Hughes et al., 2006 pp. 9-10) which are: •
that managers administer; while leaders innovate.
Managers maintains; while leaders develop.
Managers have a short-term vision; while leaders have a long-term outlook. •
Managers ask how and when; while leaders ask what and why. •
Managers imitate; while leaders originate, and
Managers accept the status quo; while leaders challenge it.
According to Zaleznik (1974, 1983 as cited by Hughes et al. 2006 p. 10) the differences between leadership and management is that they are centered around personality types. He goes on to suggest that Leaders and managers are simply different kinds of people, in the context that some people are managers by nature, while others are leaders by nature. This is not suggesting that one is better than the other; he is only saying that they are different; considering that organizations require both functions. Not only that, but both functions must be performed well for the organization to be successful.
(teamtechnology.co.uk n.d.) also tells us that the basic difference between leadership and management is that: •
Leadership is about setting a new direction or vision for a group to follow. For instance: leaders are those that actually spearhead that new direction. •
Management refers to those who control, and or direct people/resources in a group according to the principles or values that have already been established. The difference between leadership and management can be illustrated by considering what happens when you have one without the other, as stated by teamtechnology.co.uk (n.d.). A good example of leadership versus management can...
References: Frazier, A. (2007) University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education (2007). Lecture notes from Business Leadership (BL) Seminar 1. Available from: University of Liverpool/Laureate Online education VLE (Accessed: 29 November 2007)
Hughes, R. L. et al. (2006) Leadership: enhancing the lessons of experience 5th Edition McGraw-Hill Irwin
teamtechnology.co.uk (n.d.) The difference between Leadership and Management [Online]. Available from:
(Accessed: 30 November 2007)
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