Warren Bennis has firmly argued that management and leadership are two quite distinct concepts. He stated in 1977: “Leading does not mean managing; the difference between the two is crucial. I know many institutions that are very well managed and very poorly led”…
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This paper explains, discusses, and critically evaluates the above arguments of Warren Bennis. The next sections generally present the difference between management and leadership, and the concepts of ‘overmanaged and underled’, in contemporary work organisations.
Leadership and Management
Historians, academics, and researchers have frequently differentiated leadership and management. Management, to some, is a negative concept linked to all the weaknesses of a particular organisation. However, leading and managing are not independent concepts, nor is the differences between these two are definite. Yet, leaders and managers perform distinct tasks in an organisation. Managers supervise and maintain the status quo; leaders attempt to transform it. Moreover, organisations have distinct requirements for each of those functions at particular times and at specific levels in their evolution (Dessler 2000). Leaders are more expected to be visionary, creating measures to attain the vision, and motivating and empowering followers to be committed to that vision to surmount employee, bureaucratic, and technical obstacles, and accept change. Leaders are not risk-averse, particularly if they discern substantial returns from a plan (Hunt 1992). They eagerly wield power for control and influence, attracting followers rather than using force to command obedience. Leaders dynamically pursue conflicting perspectives to distinguish alternatives to a plan. On the contrary, managers are more prone to prioritise resource allocation, supervising and organising other subordinates, evaluating outcomes against predetermined objectives, and pursuing the existing vision for the organisation. Managers work to bring order to the organisation and resolve issues while making certain of the dedication of others to the goals of the organisation (Rayner & Adam-Smith 2005). Managers are less willing to take risks compared to leaders. They exploit existing punishments and rewards, together with their understanding of group dynamics and individual motivation, to create expected attitudes and behaviour (Rayner & Adam-Smith 2005). Generally, according to Napier and Gershenfeld (1999), although numerous managers are leaders, and vice versa, managers are individuals who formulate plans and create budgets, supervise employees by communicating procedures, and implement by evaluating outcomes against the objective. The senior leader, management, and administrative functions in organisations can espouse diverse conditions for leadership and management. Several tasks entail just management. Other tasks demand significant levels of leadership with modest requirement for management. Yet some require a combination of management and leadership. A prerequisite of
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