Leadership is undoubtedly one of the oldest and most disputable topics among academics. On one hand, there has not yet been a general agreement as to what leadership is (Bass, 1990; Goethals, Sorenson and Burns, 2004; Zaleznik, 1977). On the other hand, many scholars have differing views on how it is related to management. Some authors posit that leadership and management should be viewed as an ensemble (Fayol, 1916; Fells, 2000; Novicevic et al., 2006). However, a majority of academics argue that these two concepts are completely distinct (Maccoby, 2000; Kumle and Kelly, 1999; Bennis, 1989). Outside the academic sphere, the public seems to be using these terms more and more interchangeably nowadays. According to Kotterman (2006), this misunderstanding of the two concepts can cause problems in appointing, evaluating, and training leaders and managers.
Of course this negative outcome can be anticipated if the meanings of leadership and management can first be clarified. Therefore, to discern those concepts, the purpose of this essay is to assess the key differences between leadership and management from a transformational point of view and to identity the relationship between them. The essay begins by defining the terms “leadership” and “management” in order to give the reader the necessary background for understanding this essay. After defining these terms, this essay will then compare leaders and managers from a historical, functional and behaviour point of view. Following this comparison, the relationship between leadership and management within an organization will is assessed. At the end of the essay, the main ideas discussed as well as suggestions for further investigation will be summarised in a conclusion.
Defining leadership and management
In order to avoid any misunderstanding or misinterpretation in the later sections, this essay will begin with defining the terms “leadership” and “management”. This step is essential to understand their meaning and to be able to compare them in the next section.
Management is less problematic to characterise as most academics tend to agree with its definition. According to Nebeker and Tatum (2002), management is a process that involves planning, coordinating, overseeing, and commanding resources to accomplish organisational objectives.
As mentioned in the beginning of this essay, there are many ways of defining leadership. Therefore, in order to provide a meaningful and detailed analysis, this essay will focus solely on the two predominant theories of change-oriented leadership. However, the author of this essay also acknowledges that there are other types of leadership such as situational leadership (Hersey and Blanchard, 1996) and Path-Goal leadership (House and Mitchell, 1974).
One of these theories is known as “transactional leadership”.
Conceived by Burns (1978) and further developed by Bass (1985), transactional leadership involves a relationship of exchange between a leader and...