Difference between Administration and Management – Explained!

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Everything you need to know about the key differences between administration and management. There is a controversy on the use of these terms.

Some authors say that administration and management are the same thing and there is no difference between the two words while others feel that they are different.


Difference between Administration and Management

Difference between Administration and Management – According to Some Eminent Writers: Oliver Sheldon, William R Spriegal, E.F.L Brech, Henry Fayol and a Few Others

The terms administration and management are used synonymously. Some writers argue that both these terms have same meanings and there is no difference between these two terms. Running of a business requires skill which is called management and functioning of government departments and non-profit institutions requiring skill is called administration.

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Some writers argue that executive functions of a business unit are referred as Management and executive functions of other institutions are referred as administration. In this way, administration is distinguished as a top level function while management as a lower level functions. Policy and objectives of a business are determined by the top level executives (Administration). At the same time, the lower level people (Management) work to attain the objectives of the business unit and follow the policy framed by the administrators.

Oliver Sheldon:

“Administration is the function in industry concerned with the determination of the corporate policy, the co-ordination of finance, production and distribution, the settlement of the compass (structure) of the organisation under the ultimate control of the executive.”

“Management is the function in industry concerned with the execution of policy within the limits set up by the administration and the employment of the organisation for the particular objects set before it”.

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William R Spriegal:

“Administration is that phase of business enterprise that concerns itself with the overall determination of institutional objectives and the policies necessary to be followed in achieving those objectives. Administration pre-determines the specific goals and lays down the broad areas within which those goals are to be attained. Administration is a determinative function; management on the other hand is an executive function which is primarily concerned with the carrying out of the broad policies laid down by the administration”.

G.E. Milward:

“Administration is primarily the process and the agency used to establish the object or purpose which an undertaking and its staff are to achieve, secondarily, administration has to plan and stabilize the broad lines of principles which will govern action. These broad lines are in their turn usually called policies. Management is the process and the agency through which the execution of policy is planned and supervised”.

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Thus, administration is a thinking function and management is a doing function. According to this concept, owners of the business enterprise receive dividends in return for their capital contributed. Managers, i.e., the management people get salary for realising the objectives of administrators i.e., the owners. Besides, the managers direct and control the subordinates within the limits fixed by the administrators.

According to Professor Dalton E. Mc Farland, “In Government agencies, administration are preferred over management, although in recent years, the term management has become widely used in government agencies. Another possible distinction refers to the levels of organisation. In business, the term administration refers to the activities of the higher ups in the managerial ranks. Still another distinction related to organisational level is that administration refers to the determination of major aims and policies while management refers to the carrying out the operations designed to accomplish the aims and effectuate the policies. Here again, this distinction is not widely followed but it exists”.

Ordway Tead describes, “Administration is the process and agency which is responsible for the determination of aims for which an organisation and its management are to strive, which establishes the broad policies under which they are to operate and which gives general oversight to the continuing effectiveness of the total operation in reaching the objectives sought. Management is the process and agency which directs and guides the operations of an organisation in the realizing of established aims”.

Leffingwell and Robinson explain that, “Administration determines the policies upon which the enterprise is to be conducted while the function of management to carry out the policies is laid down by the administrative group”.

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Another view is that management is a broader term which includes thinking function and executive function. Thus, administration is a part of management and carrying out the objectives laid down by the management. Eminent writers like E.F.L. Brech, Barry Pichman, Melwyn Copen, Henry Fayol, William Newman and Theo Haiman used the terms administration and management synonymously.

E.F.L. Brech:

“Management is a social process entailing responsibilities for the effective and economical planning and the regulation of the operation of an enterprise, in the fulfillment of a given purpose or task. Administration is a part of management which is concerned with the installation and carrying out of the procedures by which it is laid down and communicated and the process of activities regulated and checked against plans”.

Henry Fayol:

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“All undertakings require planning, organisation, command, co-ordination and control and in order to function properly, all must observe the same general principles. We are no longer confronted with several administrative sciences but with one which can be applied equally well to public and private affairs.”

Theo Haimann:

“No two separate sets of personnel are required, however, to discharge administrative and managerial functions. Each manager performs both activities and spends part of his time administrating and part of his time managing”.

Top management of the enterprise spends maximum time for policy framing and determination of objective and spends few minutes for direction and controlling. Hence, administration is also one of the functions just like other functions as – purchase, sales, production, finance, etc.

Administration:

1. Policy and objectives – Determines policy to be followed and decide the objectives to be achieved.

2. Directing of human efforts – Not directly involves in the execution of plan and achievement of objectives.

3. Main functions – Planning, organising and staffing.

4. Levels of executive – Top level executives (Owners or Board of Directors).

5. Position – Acts as a Principal.

6. Knowledge – Requires administrative ability more than technical ability.

Management:

1. Policy and objectives – Implements the policy and achieve the objectives.

2. Directing of human efforts – Directly involves in the execution of plan and achieving objectives.

3. Main functions – Direction, motivation and control.

4. Levels of executive – Lower level executives (Manager, supervisor and workers).

5. Position – Acts as an agency.

6. Knowledge – Requires technical ability more than administrative ability.


Difference between Administration and Management

Difference # Administration:

1. Managerial level – It is a top level Management. Personnel of the top level like the ownership or the Board of Directors are in charge of it.

2. Illustrations – Personnel are designated as Administrators- Collector, Commissioner Vice-chancellor Registrar, Minister, chief Justice etc.

3. Main Functions – Planning & organising are the main functions.

4. Policy Determination – Administration is concerned with policy making. It determines the goals or the target to be achieved.

5. Implementation of policies – Administration is not direct­ly concerned with the implementation of policies.

6. Determinative vs. Executive – Its functions are legislative & largely determinative.

7. Direction of human efforts – It is not actively concerned with the direction of human efforts in the execution of the plan or policy.

8. Administrative vs. Technicality – It needs administrative rather than technical ability.

9. Coordination and control – Administration coordinates finance, production and distribution. It frames the organisation structure and exercises control over the enterprise.

10. Men-boss Relation – Administration is the master of industry which provides the various agents of produ­ction and in lieu of this service earns profit.

11. Expansion of functions – Its functions expand at the upper level and decrease in importance at the lower levels.

12. Govt. vs. Private sector – The term administration is used mostly in Government or public sector.

Difference # Management:

1. Managerial level – It is a middle or lower level of management. Personnel below the top level like General Manager or Managing Director are in charge of it.

2. Illustrations – Personnel are designated as Managers, General Manager of the company. Managing Director of a com­pany Director of Personnel Administration Deptt. etc.

3. Main Functions – Motivating & controlling are the main functions.

4. Policy Determination – Management is concerned with the implementation of the policy. It has no direct concern with goal or target fixation.

5. Implementation of policies – Implementation of policies framed by administration is the main task of management.

6. Determinative vs. Executive – Its functions are executive & largely governing.

7. Direction of human efforts – It is mainly concerned with the direction of human efforts in the execution of the plan and policy.

8. Administrative vs. Technicality – Management requires technical ability more than administrative ability.

9. Coordination and control – It uses organisation for the achievement of the targets fixed by administration.

10. Men-boss Relation – Management is the employee of administration, it gets sal­ary or a part of the profit in lieu of its services.

11. Expansion of functions – Its function contract at the upper level and expand at the lower levels.

12. Govt. vs. Private sector – Management is mostly used in the business or industrial sector.


Difference between Administration and Management

Administration is a thinking function of the top level management. It sets objectives which management strives to realize. It lays down policies under which management operates. It helps in deciding the field of operation of business activities.

The element of administration increases as one progress to higher ranks (or positions) and the element of management increases as one proceeds to the lower ranks.

Difference # Administration:

i. Meaning – It means determination of objectives, targets, and policies of an enterprise.

ii. Nature of work – It is a decision-making function.

iii. Level of Authority – It is concerned with top level of management.

iv. Scope – It is a wider term than management.

v. Relative importance – The element of administration increases as one progress to higher levels of management.

vi. Use of the term – It is generally used in non-business institutions.

vii. Factors influencing decision-making – Its decisions are influenced by external factors.

viii. Determination of limits – It determines those limits within which management has to function.

Difference # Management:

i. Meaning – It means creating the internal environment towards the attainment of goals of enterprise.

ii. Nature of work – It is an executive function.

iii. Level of Authority – It is concerned with middle and lower levels management

iv. Scope – It takes decisions within the framework set up by the administration.

v. Relative importance – The element of management increases as one descends to lower levels of management.

vi. Use of the term -It is generally used in business enterprises.

vii. Factors influencing decision-making – Its decisions are influenced by internal factors.

viii. Determination of limits – It functions within the limits determined by the administration.


Difference between Administration and Management – Three Approaches

Some authors suggest that there is no fundamental difference between management and administration, whatever difference between the two exists, exists only in terms of their usage in different activities.

Various views expressed in this regard have led to the emergence of three approaches:

(i) Administration is above management.

(ii) Administration is a part of management.

(iii) Management and Administration are same.

1. Administration is concerned with laying down objectives of the enterprise, formulating its policies, determining the broad objectives structure and overall control of the undertaking.

2. “Administration defines the goals management strives towards it.”

3. Administration is a determinative function, whereas management is an executive function concerned with implementation of policies laid down by administration.

(i) American Viewpoint – Adminis­tration is a higher level function whereas management is a lower level function.

(ii)British Viewpoint – Management is a generic term that includes administration.

(iii) Modern Viewpoint – Both the terms are used interchangeably.

i. Administration is above Management:

According to this viewpoint, administration is a top-level function while management is a lower-level function. Administration is a determinative (thinking) function concerned with laying down basic objectives and broad policies of an organisation. On the other hand, management is an executive (doing) function involving the direction of human effort towards the realization of such objectives. This view is held by eminent American experts on management.

American experts such as Florence, Lansburg, Theo Harimann, G.E. Milward, D.E. McFarland. W.R. Spriegel, Ordway Tead and Schulze also hold similar views. According to them, administration involves policy formulation whereas management is concerned with the execution of policies and supervision of day-to-day operations. Thus, this view considers administration as superior to management.

ii. Administration is a Part of Management:

According to E.F. L. Brech, “Management is the generic term for the total process of executive control involving responsibility for effective planning and guidance of the operations of an enterprise. Administration that part of management which is concerned with the installation and carrying out of the procedures by which the programme is laid down and communicated and the progress of activities is regulated and checked against plans.”

Kimball and Kimball, Richman and Copen also hold similar views. In their opinion, management comprises both policy-making and execution. Administration is that part of management which involves doing routine things in a known setting. Thus, the European viewpoint is exactly opposite to the American viewpoint.

iii. Administration and Management are Same:

Henry Fayol, William Newman, Chester Barnard, George R. Terry, Louis, Allen and many other writers make no distinction between administration and management.

According to William H. Newman, management or administration is “the guidance, leadership and control of the efforts of a group of individuals towards some common goals.” Fayol said, all undertakings require the same functions and all must observe the same principles. There is one common science which can be applied equally well to public and private affairs.

In practice, the two terms are used interchangeably because both involve the same principles and functions. Somehow the word ‘management’ has become popular in business enterprises where economic performance is of primary importance. On the other hand, the term administration is preferred in government departments, hospitals, religious trusts, educational institutions and other non-business originations.

Management vs. Administration:


Difference between Administration and Management

Though there is some terminological conflict, both the terms are used interchangeably. The term administration is used more in connection with Government Departments. C.B. Gupta is of the view that terminological conflict can be addressed by classifying management as –

i. Administrative management, and

ii. Operative management.

While administrative management involves determination of objectives and policies, operative management is concerned with execution of plans for the achievement of the above objectives. Higher level management spend chunk of their time on policy making and decision making while operative management spend a great deal of time on execution of such policies.

Distinction between Administration and Management:

Administration:

1. Nature – This is a determinative function.

2. Scope – It is concerned with determination of major objectives and policies.

3. Level – It is a top level function.

4. Functions – It is concerned with planning and controlling function.

5. Skill Requirement – It requires conceptual and human skills.

6. Person Involved – Administrators are the owners of the concern.

7. Influence – The decisions of top management are influenced more by external factors.

Management:

1. Nature – It is an executive function.

2. Scope – It is concerned with the implementation of policies.

3. Level – It is middle and lower level function.

4. Functions – Directing and controlling are the major functions involved.

5. Skill Requirement – It requires technical and human skills.

6. Person Involved – Managers are paid employees of the concern.

7. Influence – The decisions of middle level and lower level are influenced by opinion, values and beliefs.


Difference between Administration and Management – Various Viewpoints

There is a controversy on the use of these terms. Some authors say that administration and management are the same thing and there is no difference between the two words while others feel that they are different, various viewpoints are discussed as such –

1. Administration is above Management:

Administration is concerned with the laying down of basic objectives and broad policies of an organisation, while management is concerned with performing various functions such as- planning, coordinating and controlling for attaining organisational objectives.

Oliver Sheldon was the first person to make a distinction between administration and management.

According to him, “Administration is the function in industry concerned with the determination of corporate policy, the co-ordination of finance, production and distribution, the settlement of compass (structure of the organisation), and ultimate control of the executive. Management, on the other hand, is the function in industry concerned with the execution of policy within the limits set up by the administration, and the employment of the organisation for the particular objectives set before it. Administration defines the goal, management strives towards it.”

The other American authors like Ordway Tead, Florance, Lansburg, and Haiman are also of the view that administration involves decision-making and policy formulation, while management deals with execution and supervisory work. So American authors take administration as a wider term than management.

2. Administration is a Part of Management:

European school of thought holds the view that administration is a part of management. Brech has propounded this view. In his words, “Management is the generic term for the total process of executive control involving responsibility for effective planning and guidance of the operations of an enterprise. Administration is that part of management which is concerned with the installation and carrying out of the procedures by which the programme is laid down and communicated and the progress of activities is regulated and checked against plans.”

Kimball and Kimball and Rickman were also of the same view. Administration is that part of management which involves doing routine things in a known setting. So European view is exactly the opposite to the American view point.

3. Administration and Management are One:

Some authors are of the view that administration and management are used interchangeably and there is no distinction between the two. In the words of Newman, “Management or administration is the guidance, leadership and control of the efforts of a group of individuals towards some common goods.” In Henry Fayol’s opinion every undertaking requires same functions and observes same principles.

Other authors such as George Telly, Allen, Koontz and O’Donnell also feel that both the terms mean the same thing. In general practice administration is used more in government or other public organisations while management is used in business world.

There is no separate staff to perform these functions. All managers, regardless of their level perform the same functions. The higher up in the hierarchy, however, the more time will be spent in administrative activity and the less in management activity is the manager’s daily routine. Administration is done at top level by deciding policies and execution is done at lower level which is management. It can be said that these are the two activities which are performed at different levels of management.

It is only the terminology conflict between administration and management and management may be termed as:

(i) Administrative management, and

(ii) Operative management.

Administrative management is concerned with the determination of objectives and policies while operative management is concerned with execution of plans for the achievement of objectives. Sometime of a manager is spent on administrative management and some time is spent on operative management.

It can be seen from the above figure that higher level managers spend a major portion of their time on decision making and policy formulation, this aspect may be termed as administrative management while lower level managers spend more of their time on execution of plans and policies and this may be termed as operative management. All the managers at different levels must plan and execute the plans. There are no separate set of managers for administrative and managerial functions. Planning and doing are the two faces of the same coin.

Distinction between Administration and Management:

Administration:

1. Nature of work – It is primarily concerned with the determination of objectives and broad policies. It is a thinking function.

2. Scope – It takes major decisions and is a wider term than management.

3. Level of Authority – It is a top management function.

4. Status – It consists of the owners of an enterprise.

5. Main Functions – Planning and control are the main functions at this level.

6. Skill Required – Conceptual and human skills required.

7. Nature of Organisation – Generally, it is used in relation to government, military, educational and religious organisations.

8. Influence – Its decisions are generally influenced by external factors such as- social, political, legal, etc.

Management:

1. Nature of work – It is doing function. It involves the implementation of plans and policies.

2. Scope – It takes the decision within the framework of administration.

3. Level of Authority – It is a lower level management function.

4. Status – It consists of managerial personnel with specialised knowledge who may be the employees.

5. Main Functions – Directing and organising are the main functions at this level.

6. Skill Required – Technical and human skills are required.

7. Nature of Organisation – It is used mainly in business firms which have economic motives.

8. Influence – Its decisions are influenced by internal factors such as- values, beliefs and opinions.


Difference between Administration and Management – On the Basis of Functions and On the Basis of Usage

The term management has been used by different authorities to mean different functions. In fact, it has been so variedly defined that its definition has only added to the existing confusion. It is like a hat which has been worn by so many persons that it has lost shape. The controversy centres mainly around the use of the terms management and administration.

Three different views have been expressed by various authorities on the subject. According to the first, management and administration are different functions. The second view regards management as a generic term including administration which is considered to be a narrow function. The exponents of the third view do not make any distinction between the two terms and use them interchangeably.

Oliver Sheldon is believed to have initiated the distinction between administration and management. In his opinion, “Administration is the function in the industry concerned with the determination of the corporate policy, the co-ordination of finance, production and distribution, the settlement of the compass structure of the organisation, under the ultimate control of the executive”.

Management proper, he holds, “is the function in industry concerned in the executing of policy, within the limits set up by administration and the employment of the organisation for the particular objects before it.” Florence and Tead also support this view and regard administration as the process of thinking and management as the process and agency of actual operation.

Spriegal and Lansburgh also make the above distinction between management and administration and point out that at higher levels, the managerial authority is concerned more with administration and less with management. At lower levels, the reverse is the case.

The second view is subscribed to by Brech. He uses management in the sense of all- inclusive function. Management, according to him, involves “responsibility for the effective (or efficient) planning and regulation (or guidance) of the operations of an enterprise, such responsibility involving- (a) the installation and maintenance of proper procedure to ensure adherence to plans; and (b) the guidance, integration and supervision of the personnel comprising the enterprise and carrying out operations.”

Brech regards ‘management’ as the generic term for the total process of executive control and he regards ‘administration’ as that part of management which is connected with the installation and carrying out of the procedures by which the progress of activities is regulated and checked against plans.

Brech divides management into three levels:

(1) Top management concerned with formulation of policy and having a hand in co-ordination and motivation of the personnel;

(2) Departmental or functional management concerned with policy to a lesser extent, co­ordination and motivation, planning, and control of activities; and

(3) Lower management which is mostly concerned with supervision and expert decisions on technologies of operations and day-to-day activities (including administrative procedures).

The third view is held by Fayol who makes no distinction between the two terms. It is supported by everyday usage in factories and offices. In fact, the term administration is used for the higher executive functions in government circles, while the term management is used for the same functions in the business world.

In the actual working of business concerns, it is difficult to indicate clearly what functions belong to administration and which ones are the concern of management. The chairman of the Board of Directors of the company or its managing director will, for instance, be both with policy-making and execution of plans. For this reason, no distinction is made between- management and administration and the two terms are used interchangeably.

The difference between management and administration can be summarized under 2 categories:

1. Functions.

2. Usage / Applicability.

1. On the Basis of Functions:

Management:

i. Meaning – Management is an art of getting things done through others by directing their efforts towards achievement of pre-determined goals.

ii. Nature – Management is an executing function.

iii. Process – Management decides who should do it and how should it be done.

iv. Function – Management is a doing function because managers get work done under their supervision.

v. Skills – Technical and Human skills

vi. Level – Middle and lower level function.

Administration:

i. Meaning – It is concerned with formulation of broad objectives, plans & policies.

ii. Nature – Administration is a decision-making function.

iii. Process – Administration decides what is to be done and when it is to be done.

iv. Function – Administration is a thinking function because plans and policies are determined under it.

v. Skills – Conceptual Human skills.

vi. Level – Top level function.

2. On the Basis of Usage:

Management:

i. Applicability – It is applicable to business concerns i.e. profit-making organization.

ii. Influence – The management decisions are influenced by the values, opinions, beliefs and decisions of the managers.

iii. Status – Management constitutes the employees of the organization who are paid remuneration (in the form of salaries and wages).

Administration:

i. Applicability – It is applicable to non-business concerns i.e. clubs, schools, hospitals etc.

ii. Influence – The administration is influenced by public opinion, govt., policies, religious organizations, customs etc.

iii. Status – Administration represents owners of the enterprise who earn return on their capital invested and profits in the form of dividend.

Practically, there is no difference between management and administration. Every manager is concerned with both – administrative management function and operative management function. However, the managers who are higher up in the hierarchy devote more time on administrative function and the lower level devote more time on directing and controlling worker’s performance i.e. management.


Difference between Administration and Management – Different Views as Expressed by Different Thinkers

There is a lot of controversy on the terms “management and administration”. Different views have been expressed by different thinkers. In this controversy some make distinction between the two while other considers them as same.

These two different views on the subject are discussed below:

1. Management and Administration are Different:

Management thinkers, who consider management and administration as different, hold two viewpoints. According to first view point management is a part of administration and Administration is above management. According to the second, administration is a part of management and management is above administration.

2. Administration is above Management:

The American thinkers like Oliver Sheldon, spriegal, Theo Haiman, McFarland advocated this view that administration is a higher level function of laying down plans, policies and objectives. Management is a lower level function concerned with implementation of policies.

Oliver Sheldon explains that “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 is cornered with the execution of policy, within the limits set up by administration and employment of the organization in the particular objects set before it. Administration determines the organization, management uses it. Administration defines the goals, management strives towards it. Thus, it is obvious that Administration, concerned with laying the organizational plans and policies is a top level function. At the same time Management is concerned with implementation of plans and policies framed by the top level administrations is a lower function. The result of such view is found that American told their government as presidents Administration like Bush administration or Obama Administration etc.”

3. Management is above Administration:

This view point on administration and management is advocated by the European thinkers like Breech, Kimball and Kimball, Richman etc. This is opposite to the American view point. According to Breech, “Management is a social process entailing responsibility for the effective and economical planning and regulation of operation of an enterprise in fulfillment of a given purpose or task. Administration is that part of management which is concerned with the installation and carrying out of the procedures by which the programmer is laid down and communicated and the progress of activities is regulated and checked against plans.”

Therefore, according to this viewpoint, management is a top level function concerned with laying the plans and policies while administration is a lower level function concerned with implementing the plans and policies.

4. Management and Administration are the Same:

This view point on interpretation of the terms management and administration is advocated by thinkers like Chester Bernard, George R. Terry, Knootz and O’Donnell etc. This view point advocates that both terms are same. There is no difference in meaning, but in their application. Management and administration are not performed by different people; both management and administration are carried by managers at all levels. Managers at top level perform more of administration while at lower level managers perform more management.

5. Management and Administration at Different Levels of Management:

Management and administration both involve the basic functions of planning, organizing, staffing and controlling. Thus, there is difference in their application, rather than meaning. The government organization uses the term administration while business organizations use the term management.

The controversy between the use of the terms ‘management’ and ‘administration’ has almost expelled out, both the terms are used by management institutes interchangeably. The difference was felt on the view point rather than on ground of reality. Such controversy or debate is helpful to better understandings of the discipline.


Difference between Administration and Management

(1) Administration and Management—Two Sides of Same Coin:

On the face of it, there is little difference between management and administration. Both are concerned with – (a) Planning, i.e., formulating objectives, policies, procedures, rules and strategies; (b) Organization, i.e., laying down patterns of relationship between human, financial and physical resources; (c) Direction, i.e., supervising, motivating and leading human resources toward efficient performance and higher pro­ductivity; (d) Coordination, i.e., infusing team-spirit among superiors and subordinates at various levels to encourage them to work in unison to accomplish organizational goals and objectives; and (e) Control i.e., identifying and correcting deviations from the pre-determined performance targets.

William Newman, for example, makes no distinction between ‘administration’ and ‘management’. He defines administration only as instruments of guidance, leadership and control of the efforts of a group of individuals toward some common goals.

(2) Some Management Experts Place ‘Administration’ above ‘Management’:

Some authors and management experts, Oliver Sheldon and Ordway Tead among them, consider ‘administration’ as a higher level activity, which lays down corporate polices, coordination of finance, production and distribution, settlement of the compass of the ultimate control of the executive.

Man­agement, according to them, is concerned with accomplishment of those goals and policies. ‘Man­agement’, according to them, is only concerned with execution of polices within the limits set up by ‘administration’ and using the organization resources for the purpose.

(3) Other Management Experts Place ‘Management’ above ‘Administration’:

Management gurus, like Barry Richman and Melvyn Copen, hold that ‘management’ is superior to ‘administration.’ They say ‘management’ is ‘administration plus entrepreneurship’. Administration, according to them, is just an implementing agency. Thus, most management experts in Britain consider management to be broader in meaning than administration while it is the other way round according to many management experts in America.

(4) ‘Administration’ and ‘Management’ both Performed by Same People:

However, call it whatever one may, the same people perform ‘administrative’ and ‘management’ functions in every organization. The only difference being that while managers at higher levels devote more time and energy to determine policies and procedures, those at lower levels perform duties assigned to them by superiors.


Difference between Administration and Management – According to Some Eminent Writers: Sheldon, Brech, Fayol, J.N. Schultze, Dr. William, G E. Milward and Ordway Tead

What is the difference between management and administration? According to one school of thought, management is a comprehensive term. It is a higher function and includes administration. It consists of administrative management and operative management. Administrative management (or administration) is primarily concerned with policymaking, revising policy planning and controlling.

On the other hand, operative management is concerned with carrying out the policies and plans, the day-to-day management and producing actual results in the process. In short, administration (i.e., planning and policymaking) is also a part of management.

But the other school of thought, led by eminent writers like Oliver Sheldon, Spriegel and Sargent Florence, believes that management is a lower-level function and is concerned primarily with the execution of the policies formulated by the top body of the administration. This school, thus, restricts the meaning of the term “management”.

The confusion arises here because of the three entirely different viewpoints propounded by different authorities on management. We find different views, though the terms “management” and “administration” have been used interchangeably.

These views are:

1. Sheldon:

Sheldon states that there is no relation between the two terms. According to him, administration is a “thinking” function while “management” is a “doing function”. Administration lays down the policies, plans, purposes and programmes, while management is concerned with the execution of these policies and plans and achieving the goals set by the administration. Management is simply an executive function.

Thus, management function is carrying out the policies laid down by the administration, expands at the lower level, whereas administration increases its importance as we go higher up in the organisation.

2. Brech:

Brech has laid more emphasis on management than on administration. He does not regard administration as superior to management. According to him, administration is a part of management. Brech regards management as the generic term for the total process of executive control.

He regards administration as one particular aspect of the total process which is concerned with the procedures which form the tools of management. He divides the whole process of management into- (a) determination of overall objectives, policies and exercise of overall control; (b) determination of an organisational structure involving responsibilities and relationships; and (c) installation and carrying out of all the procedures.

All these three aspects are a part and parcel of management, i.e., management includes direction, organisation and administration.

3. Fayol:

Fayol makes no distinction between management and administration. According to him, it is very difficult to indicate clearly what functions can be called management and what belongs to administration.

Whatever functions are included in these two terms, it is clear that each function is interdependent and, in fact, a reciprocal of each of the other elements, e.g., plans are to be developed not merely for operation but also for organising, coordinating, directing and controlling.

There is an operating phase to each of the management activities. What is termed as administration for executive functions in government circles is termed as management in the business world.

4. J.N. Schultze:

According to Schultze, “Administration is the force which lays down the objects for which an organisation and its management are to strive and the broad policies under which they are to operate. Management is the force which leads, guides and directs an organisation in the accomplishment of a predetermined object.”

5. Dr. William R. Spriegel:

Spriegel defines administration as “the phase of a business enterprise that concerns itself with the overall determination of institutional objectives and the policies necessary to be followed in achieving these objectives. Administration predetermines the specific goals and lays down the broad areas within which those goals are to be attained. Administration is a determinative function. On the other hand, management is all executive function which is primarily concerned with carrying out of the broad policies laid down by the administration.”

6. G E. Milward:

According to Milward, “Administration, is primarily the process and the agency used to establish the object or purpose which an undertaking and its staff are to achieve; secondly, administration has to plan and to stabilise the broad lines of principles which will govern action. These broad lines are in their turn usually called policies. Management is the process and the agency through which execution of policy is planned and supervised.”

7. Ordway Tead:

Tead defines administration as “the process and agency which is responsible for the determination of the aims for which an organisation and its management are to strive, which establishes the broad policies under which they are to operate, and which gives general oversight to the continuing effectiveness of the total operation in reaching the objectives sought. Management is the process and agency which directs and guides the operations of an organisation in the realising of established aims.”

Administration is inherent in performing all normal business functions. No two separate sets of personnel are required, however, to discharge administrative and managerial functions. Each manager performs both the activities and spends a part of his time administering and another part of his time managing.

All managers regardless of their level perform the same functions. The higher-ups in the hierarchy, however, spend more time on administrative activity and less on management activity.

Top management of the enterprise will devote most of its time and effort to the determination of the objectives, formulation of broad policies and so -forth, but it cannot possibly avoid spending at least a small amount of time in directing and supervising those immediately under its command. Administration certainly does not take place by itself; it is not just another function. It is related to the normal functional areas of business.

Though there are three different views expressed as above, it can be seen that the third view is accepted and the term “management” is used for the entire process of managing. That is why these two terms are being used as synonymous and interchangeable. Every manager has to perform the dual function simultaneously, viz., “thinking” and “doing” functions.

Both these functions permeate throughout the organisational set-up of an enterprise. It is true that functions like planning, laying down of policies and objectives are the privileged areas of top management while the operational part is left to the other levels of management. Some call the top management function as “administrative management” and other functions of the middle and lower levels of management as “executive” or “operating management”.


Difference between Administration and Management – Three Conclusions

There has been some controversy over the use of the term ‘management’ and ‘administration’.

In management literature both management and administration are used interchangeably. Initially, no distinction in these two terms was made. In 1923, the conflict was raised by Oliver Sheldon when he emphasized administration as decision-making function and management as execution function.

Some take management and administration as one; others take as different. Conflicting views by various authors have led to some confusion over the use of these terms.

American authors like Ordway, Tead, Shulze, Oliver Sheldon and William Spriegel considered administration as a broader activity and management as narrower activity. But British authors like Brech. Kimball and Kimball considered management wider than administration.

The latest view is that there is no distinction between the two terms. McFarland thinks that these are synonymous though he has pointed out minute distinction between these two terms in practice.

On the analysis of the various views expressed in this regard, three conclusions can be derived:

(i) Management and Administration are Synonymous Terms,

(ii) Administration is above Management, and

(iii) Management is above Administration.

(i) Management and Administration are Synonymous Terms:

The view point is that there is no distinction between the terms ‘management’ and ‘administration’. Usages also provide no distinction between these terms. There are the authors – Henri Fayol, Koontz and O’Donnell, Allen, Strong, Terry, Newman, etc. who recognize that management and administration are one and the same. Both involve the same functions, principles and objectives.

The basic difference lies in the use of these words in different fields. The term ‘Management’ is used for higher executive functions like determination of policies, planning, organizing, directing in business activities; while the term administration is used for the same function in government circles.

According to William H. Newman “administration is the guidance, leadership and control efforts of a group of individuals towards some common goals. It can be concluded that, the use of the word administration is more common in public administration, while in business world the use of the word management is quite frequent.” Thus, there is no distinction between these two.

(ii) Administration is above Management:

Some authors consider administration as a determinative function and management as an executive function. According to them administration is above management. Notably, authors like Oliver Sheldon, W.R. Spriegel, Milward, Lansberg, William Shulze, Ordway Tead and Florence hold this view point. According to them, administration is related with the policy formation and decision while management looks after the execution of these policies and decision.

According to Milward, “administration is the process and the agency used to establish the object and purpose; secondarily administration has to plan and stabilize the broad lines or principles which will govern action. Management is the process of executor of these policies.” Administrations frame the policies and this is executed by management. So, administration is related with determinative function and management with executive function.

(iii) Management is above Administration:

This view point holds that management includes administration. This approach had been given by E.F.L. Brech, “the management has the responsibility of planning and integration of organizational functions.”

This responsibility involves:

(a) Making appropriate programmers and procedures according to plans, and

(b) Organizing, directing and supervising the individuals in the organization; and accordingly management can be divided into three levels – (a) top management, (b) middle management, (c) lower management.

Administration is that part of management which is concerned with the installation and carrying out of the procedures by which the programmes laid down and communicated. Thus, Brech conceived administration as a part of management. Kimball and Kimball also had this view point. It can be concluded that management is a comprehensive term and administration as its part.

However, the above discussion fails to give the concrete ideas about the relationship.

In order to do away with the controversy, we can classify management into two categories:

(a) Administrative management, and

(b) Operative management.

Administrative management consists of laying down policies and determination of goals while operative management is concerned with the implementation of policies for the achievement of goals. Both these functions are performed by the same set or group of individuals known as managers.


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