Leadership and management are key aspects of a successful organization. Though these two aspects may seem similar, they differ in some aspects. Maccoby (2000) maintains that management entails administering duties and responsibilities to employees and ensuring that the organization’s day-to-day activities run smoothly and are in line with the organization’s objectives. Leadership is about instilling motivation in subordinates and making sure that they understand and have faith in the organization’s vision and goals (Shatuarev & Bekimbetova, 2021). Organizations need to have effective management and leadership as these two aspects must go hand-in-hand. Nienaber (2010) points out that despite the differences, leadership and management are strongly linked and complementary to each other. This paper aims to critically examine the core concepts of both leadership and management, evaluate the similarities and differences between these aspects, and outline how they can be developed in the modern business environment.
Concepts of Management and Leadership
Leadership and management are similar as most of the key concepts that apply in one also apply in the other. Management is defined as the process of overseeing the maintenance, development and allocation of resources with the aim of achieving the organization’s objectives (Maccoby, 2000). Leadership on the other hand, is the process of making decisions, setting objectives and establishing a direction in the business environment. These two aspects of business go hand in hand as majority of the key concepts that define them apply to both leadership and management. A leader must have managerial qualities just as a manager must have leadership qualities. Some of the key concepts of management and leadership include;
Planning generally involves choosing the apt objectives to pursue, developing strategies and delegating the resources that can be used to bring these objectives to fruition. Planning is a key concept in management. Driver, Brousseau & Hunsaker (1998) argue that the manager has to be an excellent decision-maker to be good at planning. Planning requires a manager to be conscious of the necessary contingencies that face their business in terms of competitors, consumer trends, and economic conditions. Makridakis (1990) emphasizes that managers must forecast future conditions of these aspects and make decisions that will ultimately benefit the organization based on the forecasting. Managers will then create objectives that the organization can work towards. Once the objective is clear, they can devise a course of action that their employees can follow in order to achieve these objectives. With the strategies in place, they can continuously evaluate the strategy’s effectiveness and make adjustments depending on changes that occur in consumer trends and the economic conditions. Kataev & Bulysheva (2014) proposes that a manager can conduct strategic, operational, or tactical planning based on the organization’s objectives.
Planning is also an aspect that defines outstanding leadership. It aids a leader to decide on the goals they desire to attain. When drawing up future objectives, planning enables a leader to study the outcomes they would like to accomplish. Driver, Brousseau & Hunsaker (1998) maintains that studying the outcomes will aid the leader to make better decisions as they can gather all the information that would help them assess risk and any alternatives that would apply before they engage in decision-making. Brumm and Drury (2013) point out that creating well-thought-out objectives is crucial in leadership as it sets expectations and positively influences teamwork and team relationships among subordinates. This consequently motivates the staff. Engaging subordinates in the planning also motivates them as it shows that the leader believes in them and has an interest in their career development (Arif, Zainudin & Hamid, 2019). Motivation encourages innovation and creativity in the workplace. Additionally, planning is crucial in making sure that the resources allocated towards a goal by the leader do not go to waste, be it monetary, time or workforce. Planning, therefore, is a key aspect of both leadership and management.
Organizing is the process of creating employee relationships that enables the workers to work harmoniously in order to achieve the business’ goals. Luyckx, Schneider & Kourula (2022) points out that organizing enables managers to develop an organizational structure where they can allocate workforce to bring their objectives to fruition. The organizational structure is depicted by an organizational chart that represents the chain of command in an organization (Yong-Fang, You-Fang, & Zhi-Hao, 2019). Organizing human resources in management is crucial as it defines individual jobs within the organization. The manager makes the decisions on the responsibilities and duties that individuals undertake and defines how to carry out these responsibilities. Roubal (2018) emphasizes that managers should decide how to departmentalize or group the duties of an organization into departments for more accessible and more effective coordination. However, it is vital to balance the need for specialization of departments and the need for autonomy and variety. Effective management requires organizing the employees based on teamwork, empowerment, and job enrichment.
Organizational abilities are crucial in leadership as well as in management since it enables leaders to make sense of the responsibilities around them. Levesque & Stephan (2020) claim that poor time management is an issue that faces many organizations, and a leader with phenomenal organizational skills can alleviate this issue. Goldring et al. (2019) establish that prioritizing tasks and outsourcing where necessary can aid a leader in effectively accomplishing a number of objectives in a timely fashion. This can be achieved by scheduling as it shows followers that the leader has an awareness of objectives and they have a strategy that they are following to accomplish the task in a timely fashion. The organization is also vital in leadership as it helps leaders allocate resources effectively (Roubal, 2018). Responsible organization enables a leader to link the number of resources to the right objective and make sure that it fits the objective and that the resources are not wasted by allocating too much in one aspect. Therefore, organization goes hand in hand with efficient leadership as well as management. This makes it one of the concepts that make leadership and management similar..
Managers also need to assess how effective the organization is attaining its goals and how it can improve its performance. Weber & Schaffer (2019) insist on the need to put measures to establish standards and effective decision-making to guarantee that performance conforms with the outlined standards. Performance standards are generally defined in monetary terms such as cost, profit, and revenue but can also be defined by the number of goods produced, the number of defective products or the quality of service offered (Vuko & Ojvan, 2013). Managers must engage in the function of control of these standards to some degree. Controlling in this concept should not be confused with controlling an employee’s behavior in a manipulative facet. According to Havlicek, Thalassinos & Berezkinova (2013), it is the management’s prerogative to take necessary actions to make sure that the activities that their employees engage in are in line with and are playing a part in achieving the objectives of the organization as a whole and those of their departments.
As much as controlling works in management, it is considered obstructive and dysfunctional in leadership. The use of procedures, standards, and statistics to regulate people in an organization is often seen as being authoritative and bureaucratic (Bedenik, 2015). Gill (2010) stipulates that, great leaders are people-centered as they hold both people and results in high regard. They take care of and empower their subordinates to be the best version of themselves and fully engage in the organization’s goals. In leadership, results are a result of the satisfaction of the subordinates, and therefore their well-being comes first. Leadership also has more interaction between the leader and their subordinates, with the leader not dictating as much what needs to do. They involve their subsidiaries in creating objectives that both the leader and subordinates will work to bring to fruition. This implies that controlling does not exhibit good leadership even though it does portray good management. This is one of the aspects that differentiate leadership and management.
Recruitment, training, development, compensation, and promotion of employees are critical aspects of management. Akhmetshin et al. (2018) ascertain that personnel are the life force of a business; hence they make are its most integral part. The success of the management functions all depends on the employees; thus, staffing lies at the centre of successful management. Ployhart (2006) implies that effective staffing is characterized by higher performance which is accomplished by entrusting the right person with a particular task. Employees climb up the employment ladder through their merits and their experience. This ensures that the organization records continuous growth as experienced employees output maximum productivity and perform effectively in their duties. The efficient utilization of employees reduces the cost of production for a business as the labor prices per production reduce (Chang et al., 2007). Correct forecasting of the staff requirement is useful as it means the company does not face disruptions due to a shortage of human resources. It is, therefore, imperative to be conscious of the amount and quality of human resources in a business.
Staffing in leadership is also crucial as it provides an organization with leaders who develop the skills, systems, and strategies needed to achieve an organization’s objectives. Bekemeier & Jones (2010) points out that the individuals put in these positions of staffing leadership can collaborate with the employees to determine the best people for particular jobs. Strategic thinking is essential as it allows a leader with the capacity to allocate human resources effectively in an organization. The leader must be conscious of the organizations’ weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities and be able to delegate personnel appropriately (Hackmann & McCarthy, 2013). They should also be versatile and flexible in order to effectively handle conflicts among the subordinates and disruptions in the organization. This requires a leader who can control their emotions, communicate effectively and be excellent at mediation and problem solving when necessary. Therefore, delegating tasks to subordinates is an essential part of leadership, and a great leader must be attuned to staffing to excel in this aspect. Staffing is therefore a key concept of both management and leadership.
Effective leadership requires an in-depth familiarity working within a team and strong people skills coupled with practical, tactical, and technical skills. Sheard & Kakabadse (2004) argues that the subordinates need to be led in a way that they form a cohesive unit in the organization as they face challenges and come up with solutions that will lead the organization towards its objective. Leaders who can build and develop effective teams hold a distinct advantage over others since if team development is brought to fruition, it grows into an innovative atmosphere that promotes teamwork, trust’ and cooperation among its members (Outhwaite, 2003). To achieve team development, one has to transition individuals into a cohesive group that works interdependently and cohesively towards accomplishing a particular purpose or objective. Zaccaro, Ritman & Marks (2001) conclude that the behavioral, cognitive, and motivational resources of a team need to be perfectly aligned with the demands of a task for maximum effectiveness. The team has to communicate, collaborate, and connect toward the realization of a particular objective. Great leaders can bring out the individual strengths and direct them into realizing the team’s collective potential.
Team development is also a crucial aspect of management. Managers have the responsibility to be more strategic and proactive in their approach to managing teams in their organizations. Woodcock (2017) points out that managers need to assemble high-performing individuals and get them to work as a group by developing them to work by some natural pattern and offering guidance on building a team that communicates effectively and is in search of ways to collaborate their efforts towards a common objective efficiently. Tuckman & Jensen (1977) categorizes the stages of team development in management into five of Tuckman’s stages. These categories include forming, norming, storming, performing, and lastly adjourning. Tuckman & Jensen (2015) ascertain that this theory enables a team to develop a captivating environment within an organization as it encourages teamwork, cooperation, interdependence, and the establishment of trust among team members. Success in team development often hinges on walking through the five stages fluently, creating a team with people with varying strengths. Therefore, team development is a crucial concept of management and leadership hence showing that leadership and management are largely similar.
Successful achievement of goals within an organization requires a long-term thought process. Haycock (2012) points out that leaders must have the capability to anticipate effectively, prepare and position themselves to compete in the future successfully. Goldman (2012) postulates that strategic thinking ensures that leaders can efficiently mobilize resources and focus on priorities that ensure that the organization will be successful. Leaders should, therefore, set aside the time to plan ahead so that they can reflect upon their long-term goals and devise strategies that will enable them to achieve these goals, thus ensuring that their organization runs smoothly. Strategic thinking also allows leaders to change their perspectives so that they can approach challenges with a different mindset. This fosters innovation and creativity in leadership, enabling leaders to optimize their investments (Bouhali et al., 2015). Strategic thinking requires that the lenders base their decisions on intelligence data that allows them to analyze the opposing forces and anticipate difficulties, enabling them to make effective plans in the future.
Strategic thinking is also crucial in management as it enables managers to develop unique opportunities in the creation of value by promoting provocative conversations among the management and employees in an organization. Nickols (2016) concludes that good strategic thinking helps managers to recognize opportunities for increasing value and create strategic plans to maximize these opportunities. Zabriskie & Huellmantel (1991) affirm that a strategic thinker in management understands the crucial drivers of a business and the challenges of the conventional approach to these drivers. This enables them to scan the market environment for weaknesses they can exploit rather than analyze the market landscape. This consequently allows them to find and understand the strengths and weaknesses within the organization. Strategic thinking also aids the management to understand their resource base and how to maximize the output gained towards the successful accomplishment of company goals and objectives (Goldman, 2012). The management can also use strategic thinking to bring forth an outside perspective that aids the organization to overcome its hurdles. Strategic thinking is therefore, crucial in both management and leadership indicating that the two are largely similar.
Ethical leadership entails having leaders that promote appropriate ethical conduct in their mannerisms and their relationships in the workplace. Lawton & Paez (2015) affirm that leadership with ethics is important since it is the responsibility of a leader to model moral behavior, integrity, and ethics. They create a positive ethical culture in an organization as this ensures trust from their subordinates and boosts their morale by increasing positivity and collaboration within the organization. It prevents scandals and ethical dilemmas that may be unfavorable to the achievement of the organization’s goals in the long term (Brown & Trevino, 2006). It also increases the partnerships and promotes investment in the organization since the investors and partners can trust a leader with an irrefutable reputation. Ethical leaders aim to lead by example as they show their morality in their work, and their subordinates learn to emulate them. Monahan (2014) points out that ethical leaders find it easier to evolve as they have ethical guidelines to deal with organizational changes. They are also kind and compassionate towards their subordinates which helps them in mediation and having a cohesive and productive relationship within the organization.
Ethical practice also applies in the establishment of a good management structure within a company. Ethical management entails being virtuous and honest as a manager. Mihelic et al. (2010) argue that ethical managers should hold their employees in the highest regard and respect each and every one of them. They are accommodating to the diversity that their employees may have in the aspects of culture and religion. Alshammari, Almutairi & Thuwaini (2015) conclude that this creates an example that employees can emulate in their interactions as it promotes sensitivity and respect for each other’s opinions and ideas which encourages teamwork and, boost morale, and consequently improves productivity. Ethical management also eliminates favoritism and neglect among employees following company procedures (Monahan, 2014). Favoritism and neglect can lead to resentment among employees, which affects the ability of the employees to act as a cohesive unit, thereby reducing productivity. Therefore, managers should display transparency when they are making decisions for their employees. This improves the acceptability of the manager’s decisions as they are deemed fair and just. Ethical practice is vital for both management and leadership indicating that they are both similar.
Innovation is essential in leadership as it enables leaders to tap into unrealized potential by creating ideas for their subsidiaries and partners that help them push their boundaries and improve performance and growth. There is no one solution to cultivating innovation, although there are many processes that a leader can use to encourage it (Agbor, 2008). Leaders can use the existing and untapped talent for innovation within their organization by creating conditions that promote innovation, allowing it to emerge and flourish among their subordinates. Vaccaro et al. (2012) conclude that showing subordinates that their ideas are valued and that it is encouraged to express their views and opinions on the effective leadership and the direction they would want the organization to take an approach would foster creativity much more aggressively than improvising monetary incentives.
Innovation also has its place in management as it involves handling the activities necessary to introduce a new approach within a business by fostering new ideas, prioritizing, developing, and implementing them for the betterment of the company. Haneda & Ito (2018) argue that innovation in management entails recognizing their employees’ abilities, practical skills, and insights and the organizational structures, processes, and resources needed to implement these ideas. If every new and innovative idea is forced to go through the same old chain of command, it is more than likely that these ideas will be looked over. The innovative ideas need to be independent of the traditional methods, and managers need to be dynamic in incorporating these ideas within an organization. Innovation is a key part of both management and leadership thus implying that they are both similar.
Team Development in the Contemporary Business Environment
To develop an effective team, the first thing the company must do is create a period of orientation where the team members get acquainted with each other through a social interaction. Secondly, the company can look to solve any conflicts that arise in the team by helping and educating the team members on how to overcome obstacles, work through conflict, and accept each other’s individual differences. Farh & Lee (2010) concludes that failure to address these conflicts at the beginning results in long-term problems and disagreements in the future. Once the conflicts are resolved and everyone in the team is on the same page, the members can be assigned their individual roles based on their skills and strength, and if necessary, they can come to a consensus as to who their leaders will be (Andre et al., 2011). Since the team members are equipped with the skills to deal with conflicting ideas, they can easily achieve this task. After a consensus is established and the team members are cooperating, they can now concentrate on the tasks assigned to them they work harmoniously in achieving the company goals and objectives. Through this process, the company can develop effective and harmonious teams that are dedicated to bringing the best out of each other.
Strengthened team development is a crucial part of every successful organization. It creates a framework for leaders in order to experience positive changes in the organization and drives toward the achievement of the organization’s goals (Woodcock, 2017). It increases trust within an organization between the leader and the subordinates as the team members can build a rapport between each other and with the leader based on acceptance. Sheard & Kakabadse (2004) emphasizes that team development creates an environment where innovation and collaboration are encouraged; thus, communication between the subordinates becomes easier. Poor communication and discontent with each other in an organization lead to poor morale, which fosters missed opportunities for growth (Zaccaro, Rittman & Marks, 2001). Therefore, team development is vital in improving productivity and consequently pushes subordinates to work in conjunction with each other and put their strengths into achieving greatness.
Planning in the Contemporary Business Environment
To develop effective planning, the company must first determine its position at the moment. The company needs to know where it is so as to determine where it is going. This would entail engaging both the internal and external stakeholders to determine the issues that maybe facing the company. The company can conduct a SWOT analysis on itself to gauge where it is (Abdel-Basset et al., 2018). Once the company knows its current position, it can then determine the objectives that would drive it to achieving the goals they have set out. Karl et al. (2012) points out that the objectives need to be measurable using key performance indicators that would show the company the progress that they are making. With clearly laid out objectives, the company can now devise the tactics it is going to use to achieve said objectives. Strategic mapping can help the company visualize the plan that it is laying out. Once the plan is in place, it is the company can implement it and refer to the key performance indicators to determine the efficiency of the plan.
Planning has always been associated with continuous growth and improved efficiency. Brumm & Drury (2010) claims that planning is at the centre of management as it dictates the effectiveness of the concepts. It enables a manager to create specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time objective goals. Planning also allows a manager to define how to measure progress and performance against the goals that have been set (Kataev & Bulysheva, 2014). This provides a clear direction for the subordinates to follow and aids each department to know what to prioritize if they are to achieve the set objective in a timely fashion. Effective planning also improves coordination and reduces the wastefulness of resources since, with a plan, a manager can figure out how to maximize resources in order to achieve productivity effectively. Driver, Brousseau & Hunsaken (1998) points out that planning fosters innovation as having a clear focus on the objective aids in understanding the hurdles and challenges they might face on the way to attaining said objective, and this encourages innovation and strategic thinking.
The concepts of leadership and management are deeply intertwined, with only a few differences arising in their core concepts. The core concepts of management, planning, organization and staffing are crucial in management and planning. This can also be said for the key concepts of leadership, Team development, strategic thinking, ethical practice, and innovation. Controlling is the main aspect of management that does not apply to leadership. As much as controlling is good for the management of day-to-day duties of employees, it is detrimental when applied to leadership. This is because while management is result-driven, leadership is people-driven, and being controlling in this aspect can be viewed as being authoritative. The core concepts of management and leadership are applicable in the business environment if they are effectively developed. Planning in management is a key concept that all organizations must develop in order to meet their objectives. Team development is also crucial in the making of outstanding leadership. The ability to bring people together and help them work harmoniously is the hallmark of a great leader.
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