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Concepts of ‘leadership’ and ‘management’

There are many different kinds of organizations nowadays, and organizations scoring success are really different from those opposing them because they have not only a more dynamic, but also a more effective management. Both concepts of ‘leadership’ and ‘management’ are not always identical, but the essence of their differences many people understand in a wrong way. Thus, it is necessary to find the main difference between these two concepts, dwelling on their functions, strategies and values in the body of this paper.

First of all, observing the difference between management and leadership it is necessary to mention that there is nothing mystical and mysterious in both concepts. Ahmed, Shields, White & Wilbert (2010) proved that each of them has its own nature and one does not replace another. Into the acknowledgement of these words Darling & Heller (2009) stated that “Management and leadership thereby complement each other, and both are vital to successful organizational development”. According to Denning (2011), it is important to remember that the manager uses and relies on an official base of power and its main sources in his influence on the effective work of subordinates and building various kinds of relationships with them, while leadership, as a specific type of relationship, is based more completely on the process of social influence, or different kinds of interactions in the organization. In such a way, this process is much more complex and even hard, requiring a high level of interdependence of its main members. Leadership, in contrast to management, assumes that the organization needs followers, but not subordinates in general sense.

In fact, leadership and management in the company are two separate, complementary systems of action. Each system has its own function and characteristic of its activities. For instance, thinking about basic functions of management and leadership, according to Bateman & Snell (2007), it becomes obvious that skillful management contributes a certain amount of order and consistency to the key activities of many companies, such as quality and profitability of products; as for leadership, it is primarily associated with the ability to adequately cope with changes. In other words, the leader inspires, while the manager checks and solves the problem. It allows to say that one of the main functions of the leader is to be an ‘agent of change’, and one of the main functions of the manager is to control, it means that the manager often compares the actual state of the company and takes corrective actions.

Thinking about meaningful strategies of each successful managerial leader, according to Darling & Heller (2009), it is important to mention four of them: “attention through vision, meaning through communication, trust through positioning, and confidence through respect”. It is impossible to say that one of them is more important than other one, because only their combination may help to be effective in the work. For instance, attention through vision helps to create an overall focus for the organization, while meaning through communication helps to create positive perspectives and to inspire people.

Dwelling on values, it seems that managerial leaders should achieve optimal combination of various values such as joy and hope, charity and peace, but the most meaningful for me are values of joy and hope because the implementation of the grandiose plans always requires a special rush of energy.Thus, taking everything into consideration it is possible to summarize that both concepts of management and leadership are different in their essence, functions and strategies of development. Contemporary era of socioeconomic change forces companies to find a way equally to train competent managers and to educate talented leaders. In conclusion, people who need to realize own potential in career should try to master both management and leadership strategies for the purpose of to be successful in today’s increasingly complex and rapidly changing business world.


Ahmed, Z., Shields, F., White, R., & Wilbert, J. (2010). Managerial communication: The link between frontline leadership and organizational performance. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 14(1), 107-120.
Bateman, T. S. & Snell, S. (2007). Management: Leading and collaborating in a competitive world. (7th ed.). McGraw Hill.
Darling, J. & Heller, V. (2009). Organizational development in an era of socioeconomic change: a focus on the key to successful management leadership. Organization Development Journal, 27(2), 9-27.
Denning, S. (2011). The reinvention of management. Strategy & Leadership, 39(2), 9-17.