Difference between Administration and Management

Administration and management both of these terms may look same. Some writers are of the view that these are synonymous. William Newman has used the term Administrative Manager and Executive in the same sense. In his opinion administration is “the guidance, leadership and control of the efforts of a group of individuals towards some common goals”.

McFarland thinks that these are synonymous and exists minute distinction between these two terms in practice. He states: “in government agencies administration is 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 the higher levels in the managerial ranks. Still another distinction related to organizational level is that administration refers to the determination of major objectives and policies, while management to the carrying out of the operations designed to accomplish the aims and effectuate the policies. Here, again, this distinction is not only widely followed but it exists”.


In general, administration is concerned with the overall determination of policies and objectives and setting of major goals and laying out the broad programmes, whereas, management denotes execution of the objectives and programmes.

Thus, administration has made a distinction between these two terms in the following words; “Administration is the process and agency which is responsible for the determination of the aims for which an organization 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 objective sought”.

And he goes on to stay that “Management is the process and agency which directs and guides the operations of an organization in the realizing of established aims”.

Administration refers to the managerial functions of planning and control. The management function has two aspects administrative management which refers to laying out the broad policies and objectives and the formulation of plans and the evolution of performance in the context of predetermined standards.


Operative management refers to the use of inputs and actual execution of plans. Oliver Scheldon has distinguished between administration, management and organization in the following words; Administration is the function in industry concerned in the determination of the corporate policy, the coordination of finance, production and distribution, the settlement of the disputes of the organization, and the ultimate control of the executive.

Management is the function concerned in the execution of policy within the limits set up by administration, and the employment of the organization for the particular object set before it.

Organization is the process of so combining the work which individuals or groups have to perform with the faculty necessary for its execution that the duties, so formed, provide the best channels for the efficient, systematic, positive and coordinated application of the available effort.

Organization refers to the delineation of authority and responsibility and establishing operational relationships among the individuals within the organization. This implies combining or grouping of activities too. It also refers to the structure determined or the network of relationships in an organization.


Management includes laying down the objectives, planning, collection, application and direction of the resources, control and coordination so that the objectives are achieved. According to E.F. Brech, management signifies a total process of executive control in industry and commerce. It implies responsibility of planning, policy – making, fixing goals or targets and also procuring men, money and materials.