1.1 What is Leadership and Management?

How do we define leadership and management? Leadership is an act or behavior, such as developing a structure, so that group members know how to complete a task. A word that is commonly associated with leadership is “motivation,” as in the ability to motivate individuals to carry out tasks. In addition, encouragement, power, and agreement to achieve certain group or organizational goals are characteristics of leadership. The level of leadership relies on the social and group relationship that is present to formulate a vision and direction for the group.

Leadership is defined as a social relationship between two or more persons who depend on each other to attain certain mutual goals in a group situation[2]. Good leadership helps individuals and groups achieve their goals by focusing on the group’s maintenance needs (the need for individuals to fit and work together) and task needs (the need for the group to make progress toward attaining the goal)[3]. Leaders are the individuals who will take charge in an organization and delegate responsibility to other members to achieve the best results. Leaders provide the members of their team with the tools for success and are the emotional captains of the ship. Chapter 3 will delve into the leadership style present in organizations, along with how leaders use power to motivate individuals.

Successful organizations have productive management teams. When this is the case, companies can complete goals toward becoming more competitive in the new technical and global business world. Management is generally defined as the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the activities of employees in combination with other resources to accomplish organizational objectives[4] In a way, management is taking the leadership concept and putting it into action.

Management is shaped by an individual’s duties to the organization. Managers have described their responsibilities in nine different factors[5]:

  1. Long-Range Planning – critical planning and development.
  2. Controlling – Evaluating and “following up” with action.
  3. Environmental Scanning – Aware of organizational and global changes in the business landscape.
  4. Supervision – Oversee employee work, but not micromanaging.
  5. Coordinating – Coordinating the work of a department and at times an organization.
  6. Customer Relations and Marketing – contact with current and future customers.
  7. Community Relations – Contact must be nurtured with outside the company such as vendors, suppliers, municipal, state/provincial, and federal agencies (especially as a not-for-profit)
  8. Internal Consulting – Use of expertise to solve organizational problems
  9. Monitoring Products and Services – Having a hand in the development monitoring and delivery of products and services.

Management exists in virtually all goal-seeking organizations, whether they are public or private, large or small, profit-making or not-for-profit, etc[5]. All organizations have had some basis in developing from management theory. Chapter Two will look deeper into some of the classical and contemporary management theories that are present in organizations. In addition, we will use management as a tool for self-reflection.

The difference, and in many ways similarities, between leaders and managers relies on the effectiveness of the leader or manager. Many contrasts can be found between leaders and managers through conceptual ideals and notions relating to both. First, we look at the definitions; words associated with leadership are social, influence, and relationships. This is in contrast with words linked to management, such as organizing, directing, and controlling [5]. Both require action to be taken, but it is the level of action that is needed where differences emerge.

Leadership can be regarded as a macro approach to situations requiring broad strokes of ideology in shaping an organization. Management, on the other hand, involves taking a micro approach:  using systems to develop an a b = c method. Second, both leaders and managers exercise power in their organizations, however, both may take different approaches to showing power. Managers are often described as using the rewards and punishments approach; benefits and bonuses for good work, corrections and reprimands for bad work. Leaders, on the other hand, can use perks and penalties, but most leaders use a mix of expertise and aesthetic features to gain social influence within an organization[6]. In many ways, the manager will use inducements while the leader will create the ideas as to why the the awards and corrections are beneficial to success.

Review Questions

  1. How do we define leadership and management?
  2. What are the nine responsibilities managers have to an organization?
  3. What are some of the similarities and differences you see with leadership and management?


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Leadership and Management in Learning Organizations Copyright © by Clayton Smith; Carson Babich; and Mark Lubrick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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