Emil Păun and Anca Nedelcu

Cuprins Pagina de start eBooks
Despre autori



III. 2. Conceptual remarks – Management vs. leadership


In simple terms, management is defined as cumulated abilities of controlling, directing or planning something, as the act of directing or leading for a purpose; in other words, it is the effort of planning, organizing and mobilizing people and resources for a given purpose. (Abrignani, Gomes, de Vilder, 2000, p.39). Essentially, management is moving people toward organizational goals. The term originates from the Latin “manus” (hand), that derived in French in “manège” and became “to manage” in English.

In the opinion of Corneliu Russu, management designates the science of leading the social and economic societies and their scientific leadership and has three meanings:

      1. science, namely an organized and coherent ensemble of knowledge, concepts, principles, methods and techniques that systematically explain the phenomena and the processes taking place within an organization’s management;

      2. art, because it reflects the pragmatic side represented by a manager’s ability to put into practice the specific knowledge adapted to various circumstances, in an efficient and effective manner;

      3. specific state of mind, reflected in the way progress is sought for, wanted, seen and embraced.

As a synthesis, it can be underlined that management is a process (a succession of activities) involving certain functions and generally embraced principles that guide manager’s way of thinking and acting.

In comparison with this position, leadership is “a function of the biological, social and technical functions that ensure: 1. the stability of the system; 2. the continuity of the system; 3. the fulfillment of an action program in order to reach a certain state (for biological and technical systems) and to reach an objective (for the social systems) (Tamas, 1973).

The cause for the emergence and the development of an activity is the fact that the collective human activities must be coordinated and guided in order to reach the pre-established goals. This is a very old term and has multiple meanings, according to the nature of the denominated activity and the views of the specialists dealing with it.

Although a consensus has not been reached yet, it is agreed that, from a general point of view, leadership means a complex activity including a series of attributions and functions, such as: forecast, organization, command, coordination, control, environment, motivation, system design, outcome assessment etc.

In a more specific sense, leadership could mean the mere accomplishment of the intents of the leaders with respect to the led ones. From a practical prospective, leadership includes various aspects that are harmonized and integrated, with a view to reach pre-established goal in optimum conditions.

In conclusion, in order to differentiate between leadership and management, it is necessary to underline the fact that, while leadership appeared – rudimentary as it was – at the same time with the organized human communities, management appeared only in the 20th century, when social, scientific and technical development allowed the systematization of knowledge from various fields – this leading to a management theory.

Unlike management, regarded as “a formal, institutionalized headship”, leadership is being seen as “an informal, group-level headship” and the leader is the chief, the head of the group. In other words, “the art of leadership” is being replaced by “the science of leadership”, where the personal skills of the leader are emphasized by an entire system of principles, methods and techniques that guarantee the success of that activity and brings all possible risks to a minimum.

The requirements of scientific leadership can be grouped as follows:

      • Clear-cut goals and objectives;

      • A correlation between those and available resources (human and material);

      • A high level of organization;

      • Harmonization between the interests of the organization members and the organizational goals;

      • Realizing an adequate informational system;

      • Computers used for all complex activities.

Thus, scientific leadership becomes a process providing guidance and control for the respective system, based on receiving, processing and disseminating information with regard to the system and its environment.

Unmistakably, the personal skills of the leaders, the creativity will continue to play a very important role, as the scientific leadership is not just a simple implementation of leadership theory, it also involves an appropriate reaction of the leader to all concrete situations.

The role of the leader is to make sure that the pre-established goals (achieving the intended results) are reached as proficiently and efficiently as possible.


Cuprins Pagina de start eBooks
Despre autori


© Universitatea din Bucureşti 2003. All rigths reserved. No part of the text may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the University of Bucharest, except for short quotations with the indication of the website adress and the web page. This book was first published by Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti ISBN: 973-575-815-6
Comments to: Emil Păun and Anca Nedelcu
Last update: Noiembrie 2003
Web designer, Text editor: Annemarie Lihaciu