A majority of people have confusion between the two common terms: MANAGEMENT and ADMINISTRATION. While both these terms may seem to be the same, they are entirely different from each other, both in terms of their utility and functionality. Administration is basically determining the objectives and crucial policies of an organization. On the other hand, management is the act of putting into practice the objectives and plans decided upon by the administration.


Definition of Administration

According to Theo Haimann, “Administration means overall determination of policies, setting of major objectives, the identification of general purposes and lying down of broad programs and projects”.

According to Newman, “Administration means guidance, leadership & control of the efforts of the groups towards some common goals”.

Administration refers to the activities of higher level that lays down basic principles of an organization.

Definition of Management

Management is the process of conducting a set of functions [planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling] to get the work done in an efficient and effective manner.”

The process of management brings together the acts of visualizing, initiating and combining the various components while sustaining the feasibility of the enterprise towards company goals.

Management is an art of getting things done through & with people organized formally in groups.

Points of Difference between Administration and Management

  • While Administration is a high level activity, management is a middle level activity done by business and functional level.
  • Management is an executive function that makes the decision of an organization within its framework. But administration is a determinative function that sets up the organization’s decisions.
  • Administrators are the people who invest the capital, and receive profits from an organization. But, management consists of a group of people who leverage their relevant skills to fulfill the company objectives.
  • Planning and organizing of functions in administration are the key factors, whereas management involves functions like motivating and controlling.
  • As per the abilities of an administrator is concerned, administrative qualities is a must. However, in management, ability to deal with human resource and some technical skills are crucial.
  • The management decisions are shaped by the opinions, values, beliefs and decisions of the managers while the administrative decisions are influenced by public opinion, government policies, customs etc.
  • Management is used by business enterprises. Administrators are usually found in government, military, religious and educational organizations.
  • Management is an art, science and profession. While administration is perhaps both science and art.
  • Administration usually covers the business aspects, like finance. But, management is a subset of administration.
  • Administration is a system of organizing the people and resources to make them successfully achieve common goals and objectives. Whereas management is all about the technical and everyday aspects of the company’s operation.
  • Administrators are judged by their performance and must possess leadership and vision. Management is judged by the administrators, deals with the employees and should possess managerial qualities.

From the above postulates, it can be said that administration and management are entirely different terms. However, in practicality, both these terms are more or less same.  A manager has to perform both administrative and functional activities while dealing with the employees of the organization. While the managers working on the top most level are said to be the part of administration, the managers working on the middle or lower level represents management. Thus, it can be said that administration is above management or that it drives management.

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