Management and Leadership Terms Differences


Management and leadership are two terms that have led arguments to place them on opposite extreme ends. Spurgeon and Cragg state that ‘management is viewed to be awful while leadership is seen as an excellent thing’ (n.d, p.124). This implies that management is seen to be controlling and dictating and thus opposed by many, while leadership triggers morale and enthusiasm and therefore, is accepted by the majority. It is therefore evident that management and leadership surface a lot of differences. According to the writer, leadership and management should be a prerequisite to a healthy organizational culture. However, the section below highlights the differences between the two.

Differences between management and leadership

The differences are as follows (Spurgeon and Cragg n.d, pp.124-5);

  • Management focus influences the present happenings of an organization as compared to leadership, whose capability is ahead of the current happenings and establishment of a long-term apparition is incorporated.
  • In management, roles are prearranged and limited to certain specifications while in leadership, roles are not contained within a certain parameter, and rather outside contribution is allowed.
  • In leadership, events keep on changing the course to stay up front and successful while in management, the tasks are structured and performance is within the boundaries.
  • In management, the surroundings of duties are steady while in leadership, the surroundings are unstable and characterized by swift changes.
  • Management focuses on competence while leadership focuses on involving people in the activities.
  • Leadership enhances enthusiasm and encouragement in performing a particular job while management sets its demarcations and the duty is performed within a given parameter.
  • Management provides for development towards success while leadership ensures the means towards success are properly laid down.
  • Managers seek comfort as they come from steady home surroundings while leaders seek risks.
  • Managers have subordinates as they are characterized with authority and control while leaders have followers or devotees as devotion is always deliberate activity.

The above are some of the things that differentiate between management and leadership. In addition, to generate and uphold a healthy organizational culture, the roles a leader plays are critical.

Roles and responsibilities of a leader

Rudnick (2007, p. 36) defines some of the leaders of the task ought to adopt to create and maintain a healthy organizational culture. One role of a leader is to help people achieve their objectives. This helps in enhancing conduct between employees in an organization. Secondly, leaders are obliged to promote manners and postulations that endorse employees’ devotion towards the company’s mission and vision. Another role a leader should play to create and maintain a healthy organizational culture is being a role model. A leader should set up standards that gear the employee to have high expectations by first becoming a role model. As a result, moral behavior is instilled within the employees and hence a healthy culture is achieved. Leaders ought to instigate their devotees by availing essential resources, allowing transparency in the authority channel, and informing them about the long-term plans of the company.

In addition, the leader has the responsibility of enhancing growth to his devotees through the provision of the right means and they may be; training demarcated anticipation and accessibility to the leaders. An organization remains successful and at the lead if it incorporates innovation. This cannot happen if the leader of an organization does not consider innovation. A good leader carries responsibility for generating a culture that recognizes innovation and its importance. Lastly, a leader also has a responsibility of instilling corporate social responsibility to the employees. The way an organization is perceived in society depends on the measures taken by the leader to promote social responsibility. The aspect of social responsibility breaks or makes a company. Therefore it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure there is a healthy organizational culture in terms of social responsibility.

The roles leaders adopt to generate and uphold healthy organizational cultures are dynamic, though the writer highlights two recommendations to achieve that. To achieve healthy organizational culture there must be an effective leader. The effective leader is therefore recommended to scrutinize the position of a certain event and base his decision on that particular event (Bateman & Snell 2009, p. 446). For example, in a certain hospital, a particular nurse wanted to do a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but the lead nurse knew someone else within the group could do it better. Therefore without taking chances she summoned another nurse to resuscitate the patient (Bateman and Snell 2009, p. 448). In this scenario, the head nurse evaluated the matter and saw that it was a life and death issue. Thus her decision was based on that particular event so that life could be saved.

The second recommendation is that employees should be trained regularly, they should be provided with the necessary resources and they should be rewarded according to their performances. This enables employees to gain more knowledge, and gain morale to work. For instance, a friend is working with an international audit firm. The audit firm frequently offers training on different aspects of the audit industry. Further, they are provided with all the resources they require. If the team leader does not have a car, a taxi is hired for them to necessitate movement to the client. Also, they are encouraged to work harder through bonuses they receive at the end of the year. In addition, incentives like holiday trips and parties boost their morale. All this is meant to encourage them and preserve their loyalty to the firm. From a broader perspective, the recommendation will help maintain a healthy organizational culture.


To conclude, management and leadership are two divergent terms and they should be treated with utmost importance as they both have a role in an organization. Despite both (management and leadership) being important in an organization, leadership carries more weight. A leader should have good qualities to take up the challenge of bearing the roles and responsibilities to lead people. The roles are dynamic and they run from a leader being a role model to instilling corporate social responsibility to the devotees among others. Recommendations like; empowering the capacity of the employees and analysis of a situation by the leader before taking action, are critical in achieving a healthy organizational culture. Thus leaders should be vigilant in bringing change and dynamism in an organization as leadership is more accepted than management. To avoid detriment to any organization, both management and leadership should be applied concurrently.


Bateman, T. S. & Snell, S. A. (2009). Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World. 8th Ed. (pp.446-8) Irwin: McGraw-Hill.

Rudnick, J. (2007). Transformational Leadership. (p. 36).

Spurgeon, p. & Cragg, R. (n.d). Is It Management or Leadership? (pp. 124-5).

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