December 5, 2011

The concepts of Leadership and Management

Management texts contain leadership as a chapter. Actually, leading is an important function of management and it is mentioned as one of the five functions of management by Koontz and O'Donnel (Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Leading (Directing) and Control). Now-a-days there are many trainers who claim to develop leaders not managers. Even business schools claim they develop leaders not managers. For people who learned management through books on management, this looks quite odd that suddenly people say you should have learnt leadership and not management. On some platforms there were serious arguments on this issue.

Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard gave better explanation of the difference between the two. These two are different concepts with overlap. Leadership is not a concept exclusive to or within management. It is a broader concept on its own. According to them, management is thought of as a special kind of leadership in which the accomplishment of organizational goals is paramount.

Leadership is influencing the behavior of someone.

Management is planning an objective and achieving that objective.

Leadership requires a follower and a leader has to figure out how to influence the follower.

Manager has to figure out an objective and theoretically he may do the job himself and manage the objective. But in practice, the people who are called managers have large number of people under them and they have to lead to them to do the work assigned them as part of the organization’s plan to achieve the objectives.

While one can accept leadership as a concept which has utility as a concept separate from management, there is no reason for business schools and their faculty to talk of leaders not managers. They are unnecessarily creating entropy in the system by downgrading an established concept.

Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard, Management of Organizational Behavior, Prentice Hall Inc., 1982, 4th Edition, p.106.

Originally posted in the-concepts-of-leadership-and-management
Knol Number 52

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