Compare Between Management and Administration

How to Compare Between Management and Administration? The use of two terms management and administration has been a controversial issue in the management literature. Some writers do not see any difference between the two terms, while others maintain that administration and management are two different functions. Those who held management and administration distinct include Oliver Sheldon, Florence, and TEAD, Spriegel and Landsburg, etc. According to them, management is a lower-level function and is concerned primarily with the execution of policies laid down by the administration. But some English authors like Brech are of the opinion that management is a wider term including administration.

This controversy is discussed as under in three heads:

(I) The administration is concerned with the determination of policies and management with the implementation of policies. Thus, the administration is a higher level function.

(II) Management is a generic term and includes administration.

(III) There is no distinction between the terms management and administration and they are used interchangeably.

(I) The administration is a Higher Level Function: Oliver Shelden subscribed to the first viewpoint. According to him, “Administration is concerned with the determination of corporate policy, the coordination of finance, production, and distribution, the settlement of the compass of the organization and the ultimate control of the executive. Management proper is concerned with the execution of policy within the limits set up by the administration and the employment of the organization in the particular objects before it… Administration determines the organization; management uses it. Administration defines the goals; management strives towards it.”

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Administration refers to policy-making whereas management refers to the execution of policies laid down by the administration. This view is held by TEAD, Spriegel, and Walter. The administration is the phase of business enterprise that concerns itself with the overall determination of institutional objectives and the policies unnecessary to be followed in achieving those objectives. The administration is a determinative function; on the other hand, management is an executive function which is primarily concerned with carrying out of the broad policies laid down by the administration. Thus, administration involves broad policy-making and management involves the execution of policies laid down by the administration as shown;

A Table of Compare Between Management and Administration;

  Basis Administration Management
1. Meaning The administration is concerned with the formulation of objectives, plans, and policies of the organization. Management means getting the work done through and with others.
2. Nature of work Administration relates to the decision-making. It is a thinking function. Management refers to the execution of decisions. It is a doing function.
3. Decision-Making Administration determines what is to be done and when it is to be done. Management decides who shall implement the administrative decisions.
4. Status Administration refers to higher levels of management. Management is relevant at lower levels in the organization.

(II) Management is a Generic Term: The second viewpoint regards management as a generic term including administration. According to Brech, “Management is a social process entailing responsibility for the effective and economical planning and regulation of the operation of an enterprise in fulfillment of a given purpose or task. The administration is that part of management which is concerned with the installation and carrying out of the procedures by which the program is laid down and communicated and the progress of activities is regulated and checked against plans.” Thus, Brech conceives administration as a part of management. Kimball and Kimball also subscribe to this view. According to them, the administration is a part of management. The administration is concerned with the actual work of executing or carrying out the objectives.

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(III) Management and Administration are Synonymous: The third viewpoint is that there is no distinction between the terms ‘management’ and ‘administration’. Usage also provides no distinction between these terms. The term management is used for higher executive functions like the determination of policies, planning, organizing, directing and controlling in the business circles, while the term administration is used for the same set of functions in the Government circles. So there is no difference between these two terms and they are often used interchangeably.

It seems from the above concepts of administration and management that administration is the process of determination of objectives, laying down plans and policies, and ensuring that achievements are in conformity with the objectives. Management is the process of executing the plans and policies for the achievement of the objectives determined by an administration. This distinction seems to be too simplistic and superficial. If we regard chairmen, managing directors, and general managers as performing administrative functions, it cannot be said that they perform only planning functions of goal determination, planning, and policy formulation, and do not perform other functions such as staffing functions of selection and promotion, or directing functions of leadership, communication, and motivation. On the other hand, we cannot say that managers who are responsible for the execution of plans and formulation of plans and policies, etc. do not contribute to the administrative functions of goal determination, and formulation of plans and policies. In fact, all managers, whether the chief executive or the first line supervisor, are in some way or the other involved in the performance of all the managerial functions. It is, of course, true that those who occupy the higher echelons of organizational hierarchy are involved to a greater extent in goal determination, plans and policy formulation and organizing than those who are at the bottom of the ladder.

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