A significant and controversial question is how management is different from leadership. Some view the two as essentially the same; however, in increasingly complex and dynamic businesses, a need for greater specialization requires that we recognize that they are different. Managers and leaders are essentially two different functions and they serve two different purposes within organizations. Leaders promote new directions while management implements existing processes as efficiently as possible (McCrimmon, 2007). Managers and leaders are both essential in organizations and must be separate components that work together.
Leaders do not need to know how to manage, but managers need to know how to lead. This analysis will provide a background on leadership theory, in the process defining leadership and management, and discussing trait approach, contingency theory, and leader-exchange theory.
Robbins and Judge (2013) define leadership as the ability to “influence others towards the achievement of a vision or a set of goals” (p. 368). “Leadership involves influence, it occurs among people, those people intentionally desire significant changes, and the changes reflect purposes shared by leaders and followers” (Daft, 2011, p. 5). Therefore, leadership includes the influence of people, of both leaders and followers, to bring about change toward a desirable future (Daft, 2011).
“Management can be defined as the attainment of organizational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling organizational resources” (Daft, 2011, p. 15). Management is a set of well-known processes that ensure an organization has the resources to predictably perform well (Kotter, 2013). In addition, management is described as “the process of getting work done through people” (Follett, 1926). Management is concerned with immediate problems at hand, focus on what needs to get done, and utilize resources and people to ensure organizations run efficiently. It helps organizations produce products and services consistently and within a given budget (Kotter, 2013). Management roles are essential within organizations because they perform tasks that help organizations become reliable, consistent, and efficient (Kotter, 2013).
Some scholars identify leading and managing as mutually exclusive roles requiring different values and traits in order to be executed successfully (Yukl & Lepsinger, 2005). One of the earliest concepts of leadership, known as trait approach, included the idea that leaders were individuals who were innately different from the rest of the population, and possessed unique leadership traits (Daft, 2011, p. 19). Traits frequently associated with effective leadership include optimism, self-confidence, honesty, and drive (Daft, 2011). However, there have been inconsistencies among research regarding specific leadership traits that are common among all leaders in all situations...