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:
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
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
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.