Two terms in corporate world that have been consistently and continuously confused with one another are leadership and management. The reason for this reasons for this are not particularly hard to point out. First, despite the fact that the two terms denote different notions in corporate world, it is not possible to succeed without the other.
The concepts of leadership and management draw in identifiable personal and organizational variables that congregate at ensuring achievement of set goals and objectives (Hosmer, 1995). Second, few people understand the underlying differences between leadership and management. However, there exist a number of similarities as well as differences in leadership and management styles.
Leadership and management Styles
Leadership refers to the setting of a new direction or vision within an organizational set-up (Goldman and Casey, 2010). As opposed to management, leadership does not take keen cognizance on how the objectives of the new direction are to be achieved.
It is primarily concerned with influencing people to take their tasks willingly and effectively. Management on the other hand refers to the efficient use of people and resources within values and principles that have been put in place (Adeniyi, 2007).
Charismatic leadership or management style refers to a style in which the leader or manager takes the position of a role model and seeks to influence people and resources through personal appeal. Participative on the order hand seeks the opinion or views of others before making a final decision. The latter allows people to feel like they are part of the process.
Autocratic approach of leadership and management on the other hand refers to an extreme style that does not offer any little room for suggestions or expression of opinions. Despite the fact that this style gives the manager or the leader first hand opportunity in making critical decisions and ensures that no time is wasted, it does not encourage shared creativity and experience amongst staff members.
Bureaucratic style is associated with strict adherence to set down procedures. Whereas it forms one effective approach in the achievement of objectivity, a number of limitations such as demoralization and reduction in the ability of an organization to adapt to changes and new working environments encompass it.
Laissez-Faire Leadership approach to leadership and management on the other takes a “leave it be” approach. This means that the leader or manager gives maximum freedom to his employees and does not interfere in the manners in which they undertake their tasks.
It is one of the most effective styles in enhancing creativity and best suited in environments where employees are best experienced. Furthermore, it serves best in situations in which minimum supervision is required. However, it generates laziness and inability to take responsibility on the part of managers.
From the above discussion, it is discerned that leadership is about setting new direction while management is controlling and directing resources within laid down procedures. The style or approach adopted in leadership or management depends on both internal and external factors in an organization. The similarities as well as the differences observed in leadership and management styles arise from combination of organizational beliefs, values and preferences.
Adeniyi, M.A. (2007). Effective Leadership Management: An Integration of Styles, Skills and Character for Today’s CEOs. London: Author House.
Goldman, E. F. and Casey, A. (2010). Building a culture that encourages strategic thinking. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 17(3):119-128.
Hosmer, L. T. (1995). Trust: The connecting link between organizational theory and philosophical ethics. Academy of Management Review, 20 (2): 379-403.