Leadership Vs Management

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Definition of Management and Leadership Practices and Responsibilities

The paper discusses the problem of interpretation of leadership and management, mainly from the managerial perspective. The paper outlines the definitions of both concepts and provides their basic characteristics, features and qualities in the comparison-contrast format. Moreover, the paper discusses the harm and threats of inappropriate functioning and differentiation of leadership and management and its influence on the organizational prosperity and welfare. The paper provides the real examples from such companies as Nike, Xerox and Leo Apotheker to prove the necessity to make a clear differentiation between the roles and functions of leadership and management. In addition, this paper analyzes the potential solutions to the current problems and ways of improvement of leadership and management skills and competences. The paper draws a conclusion that leadership and management should focus on various tasks but work in cooperation and integrity.

The concepts of management and leadership are often used together as the integral part of organization and facilitation of any event, business or company. On one hand, it is true that both management and leadership are crucial for the success of organizations and companies, and they often cooperate when it comes to presenting some important solutions and decisions. On the other hand, it is possible to determine many significant differences between the roles, functions and components of leadership and management. As a result, it is important to ascertain the basic differences between these two concepts for the sake of their appropriate and efficient implementation in practice. Currently, many organizational dilemmas and problems arise from inappropriate interpretation of management and leadership tasks and obligations. The aim of this paper is to outline the differences between management and leadership, identify problems that exist in this field, support them with the real-life facts, and provide potential solutions and suggestions for the improvement of the current situation. It is important to differentiate between leadership and management, as insufficient understanding of those roles leads to organizational malfunctioning and failures.

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Though leadership and management are often viewed as synonyms, there are many notable differences between these two notions. It does not mean that one of these issues is dominant or superior to the other. On the contrary, leadership and management are equally important for the prosperity and efficiency of any activity and performance (R?ducan & R?ducan, 2014). However, it is also true that they focus on various tasks and perform different functions within the organization. The most prominent differences in the definitions of leadership and management are described below.

To start with, the main objectives of management consist in the delegation of the authority, fair distribution of working tasks, and planning of the activities, which are essential for strong business performance. In other words, management includes control over planning, organization, preparation, facilitation, implementation and assessment of the planned activities and events (R?ducan & R?ducan, 2014). Therefore, management deals with the organizational and operational aspects of business performance and takes care of effective fulfillment of the necessary tasks by all involved parties.

By contrast, leadership does not directly participate in the preparation and organization of business activities or events. The responsibility of leadership is to outline the vision, mission, goals and results of business performance, set the deadlines and ideas for implementation (Solomon, Costea, & Nita, 2016). Commonly, the leaders communicate their visions and ideas to the managers and employees and motivate them for better performance. However, it is the task of managers to interpret the organizations vision to the employees and define the optimal and most suitable ways of its practical implementation (Solomon et al., 2016). From this point of view, it becomes obvious that leadership and management cannot exist separately or independently.

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The second important difference between leadership and management lies in the attitudes to the organizational and operational policies and regulations. Successful management requires a thorough understanding and knowledge of the companys policies, rules, guidelines, strategies, internal and external connections and all involved stakeholders (Solomon et al., 2016). This knowledge is essential for the proper organization of the working process and relevant consideration of companys values and vision. At the same time, leadership may apply exclusively to the subjective or innovative methods and forms of business in order to render their ideas and opinions. Therefore, leadership bears an informal and subjective character, while management highly relies on the accepted and outlined policies and methods of working. As a result, it is easier to measure and evaluate the results of managers work and performance due to the existence of formal criteria and measurements.

In addition, leadership is mainly concerns cooperation with people and encouragement of individual performance and potential at the workplace. The leadership job can be described as proactive and innovative, as many big tasks are connected with the introduction of changes, implementation of innovative vision and creativity (Solomon et al., 2016). All of these features indicate that leadership requires strong motivation, orientation on human cooperation and facilitation of innovations.

At the same time, it is possible to state that managers also perform many of the above-mentioned tasks. For instance, management is also oriented on work with people, stimulation of individual performance and work with innovations and risks. However, apart from this, managers also deal with formal procedures, working operations and organizational aspects of the companys performance (Solomon et al., 2016). Therefore, management seems to be a mixture of various tasks and obligations.

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Finally, it is essential to state that both management and leadership share many common features and characteristics. For example, they both are responsible for business organization, companys success and relevant implementation of business strategies. Still, inappropriate interpretation of management and leadership and neglect of the differences lead to significant complications and problems in the business environment. Thus, one of the effective strategies is the sufficient and appropriate differentiation between management and leadership roles and their corresponding utilization in practice.

Problems Connected with Inappropriate Differentiation of Leadership and Management

The major problems that arise from inappropriate consideration of the leadership and management roles consist in inefficient execution and government of the organizational purposes and duties. For example, one of the major problems is insufficient competence and qualities of the candidates for the positions of the leaders and managers. Thus, in 2009, the German pharmaceutical company and distributor Leo Apotheker invited a new individual for the position of the CEO (Word, 2009). The new candidate, Henning Kagermann, had experience in execution and government, though he has never been a part of this company. Correspondingly, he did not know all the peculiarities of the assigned position and the companys demands in successful planning cultural reorganization and implementation of new strategies of business growth (Word, 2009). This example shows that inappropriate treatment of leadership and neglect of its roles in the business may deteriorate the companys performance and prosperity.

Another problem is the decrease in the companys turnover and profit due to insufficient leading or managing performance. Such a case happened to Xerox when it attempted to introduce an organizational change (Exley, 2007). To start with, organizational changes require deep management knowledge, understanding of the companys structure and components, and demand for innovations. Moreover, it requires the knowledge of risk management, budget estimation and facilitation of the changes. Evidently, such responsibilities are common for management positions, which take care of the organizational and operational welfare of the company. However, Xerox hired Rick Thoman, an ex-IBM executive, to implement the organizational change and provide a fresh view on innovations (Exley, 2007). However, due to the lack of managing responsibilities, the new CEO failed to introduce the needed innovations and increase the companys turnover. As a result, Xerox had to recruit new individuals for both leadership and management positions.

Furthermore, it is important to discuss the case of the Nike Company. Phil was elected as the CEO of Nike three times due to his unique capacities to improve the companys business strategies and expand market audience and facilities. However, after his execution, a new CEO, William D. Perez, has been assigned for this position (Citrin & Ogden, 2010). Complete lack of cooperation and communication between leadership and management could explain the problems that arose afterwards. The newly elected CEO did not provide any specific guidelines to the management and did not communicate his strategies and vision of the companys development and growth (Citrin & Ogden, 2010). Thus, another common problem is the lack of integration and collaboration between leadership and management. Though these two occupations perform different tasks and duties, it is crucial to ensure sufficient cooperation between them.

Correspondingly, mistreatment of leadership and management as well as their misinterpretation can lead to devastating consequences for business performance and activities. Therefore, there is an urgent need to produce a set of solutions for such cases.

Potential Solutions for the Existing Problems

One of the major solutions for the problems deriving from the false consideration of management and leadership consists in the relevant, opportune and sufficient education. If educational institutions clearly identify differences between management and leadership and various expectations and requirements to these roles, it will be possible to avoid misunderstanding of the tasks and responsibilities of managers and leaders (Hechanova & Cementina-Olpoc, 2013). Therefore, laying emphasis on the differences between management and leadership in the system of formal education is a powerful tool for elimination of the existing problems.

Secondly, the companies and organizations can suggest a system of special trainings, courses and workshops with the purpose of increasing the leadership and management potential. The main objective of such internal trainings is the explanation of different requirements to the leaders and managers positions and various obligations and responsibilities expected from these two roles (Hechanova & Cementina-Olpoc, 2013). A great attention should be also paid to the recruitment and selection processes, as they will also help to identify the suitability of individuals to the position of either a leader or a manager. Thus, application forms, interviews and internships should also presuppose the opportunity for the applicants to reveal either leadership or management potential.

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Thirdly, successful managers and leaders in the contemporary businesses can share their experience and explain the peculiarities of their job to the newcomers. The organization of the corresponding workshops, meetings or discussions is very important for new employees, as it helps to reveal all the characteristics and features of those roles from the subjective point of view (Shattock, 2013). Apparently, giving an insight into the duties and tasks of leaders and managers is an effective tool to avoid misunderstanding.

Furthermore, one of the significant tools to tackle the existing problems is self-education and self-improvement. Both leaders and managers should clearly ascertain their roles and responsibilities and take efforts to improve and amplify their working performance. Great importance in this task lies in personal motivation and encouragement to contribute to the organizational welfare and prosperity (Shattock, 2013). Thus, the stimulation of personal awareness and the rise of individual responsibility and confidence are the other ways to handle the current problems of misunderstanding of management and leadership.

Finally, it is possible to solve the problems if the companies clearly determine their business goals and objectives and identify the priority areas of development and improvement. As a result, it will be possible to assign the relevant individuals to the management and leadership positions (Shattock, 2013). The problems often arise due to incomplete understanding or overlooking of the organizational purposes, vision and mission. Consequently, the increase of the corporative responsibility and business ethics will also highly contribute to the appropriate consideration of the leadership and management positions.

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Overall, the key findings and solutions for the current problems suggest changes and improvements in the system of education, personal motivation and self-development and rethinking of the business roles and duties. Moreover, the problems can be solved through the introduction of the effective system of recruitment, selection and hiring, which thoroughly consider correspondence between individual qualities and traits and the main responsibilities of either a management or leadership position.


To sum up, leadership and management are the two concepts that ensure smooth working performance of businesses, companies and organizations. It is true that both leaders and managers aim at the creation and implementation of the most optimal organizational solutions and eradication of the potential risks and threats. At the same time, leadership and management are not synonymous, and each occupation requires a special set of skills, knowledge and competences. Therefore, it is important to differentiate between leadership and management as two independent entities that collaborate for the sake of business prosperity. Inappropriate consideration of leadership and management roles lead to many business problems and inaccuracies. In order to avoid or prevent such problems, it is necessary to implement a strong educational system and a set of exercises for self-improvement and organizational behavior, helping to realize the differences between leadership and management and requirements for each of them.

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