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Management Vs. Administration: What's the Difference?

Management Vs. Administration: What's the Difference?

You’re not alone who gets confused about management vs. administration. Many people find themselves pondering this very question. Understanding the distinctions between management and administration can have a significant impact on how business companies operate and thrive.

Table of Contents

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Definition of Management

Management involves the strategic coordination of resources to accomplish desired goals within an organization. The process includes making decisions, setting goals, and coordinating various activities to ensure that a company operates efficiently and effectively. Managers are responsible for carrying out these tasks. They are responsible for setting goals, devising plans to reach those goals, and then making sure those plans are put into action.

The process of management necessitates careful planning, efficient allocation of resources, effective coordination, clear guidance, and consistent supervision within an organization. The main focus is on achieving the organization’s specific goals and objectives. 

Efficient management is crucial, regardless of the industry – be it corporate, non-profit, or government. Recognizing the significance of effectively utilizing resources, accomplishing goals, and adjusting to an environment is crucial.

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Definition of Administration

Administration refers to the process of managing and overseeing the operations and resources of an organization or government to achieve specific goals. It involves planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling various activities and people to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Administrators make decisions, set policies, allocate resources, and handle day-to-day tasks to ensure an organization runs smoothly. In government, administration involves implementing laws, delivering services, and maintaining public order.

One of their crucial jobs is to see that the policies and guidelines set by management are followed diligently and that the organization stays on track to achieve its goals. While management looks at the big picture and long-term strategy, administration focuses on the practical, day-to-day stuff that needs to get done. In smaller organizations, these roles might overlap, but in larger ones, you’ll often find separate teams or individuals handling management and administration to keep things running like a well-oiled machine.

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Differences Between Management and Administration

Differences Between Management and Administration

Management involves strategic decision-making and long-term planning, while administration deals with implementing policies and maintaining day-to-day operations efficiently. Let us have a look at more differences between the two in detail.

DefinitionInvolves decision-making, goal-setting, and coordinating resources to achieve specific objectives within an organizationFocuses on implementing the policies and decisions made by management to ensure smooth day-to-day operations
NatureFuture-oriented, strategic, and concerned with the long-term vision and growth of the organizationPresent-oriented, tactical, and concerned with maintaining order and routine operations
FunctionsPlanning, organizing, leading, and controlling to achieve goals and maximize efficiencyImplementing policies, procedures, and systems to maintain the established order and execute the decisions made by management
ScopeBroader in scope, encompassing all levels of the organization, from top-level executives to lower-level supervisorsMore specific in scope, primarily focusing on lower-level operations and day-to-day tasks
Decision-MakingInvolves making strategic and high-level decisions that shape the organization’s futureConcerned with implementing the decisions made by management, often involving routine or operational choices

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Management and Administration Roles in Companies

Management and Administration Roles in Companies

In companies, there are distinct roles that play crucial parts in ensuring the organization runs smoothly and achieves its goals. These roles are management and administration, and while they often overlap, they have distinct functions.


Management focuses on the practical aspects of running a company. It involves:

  • Planning: Managers set the company’s long-term vision, mission, and goals. They define the path to reach these objectives and make decisions on the allocation of resources, such as budgeting for projects or hiring new staff. Planning involves setting priorities and outlining the steps necessary for achieving success.
  • Organizing: This aspect involves creating the company’s structure and arranging resources efficiently. Managers establish the hierarchy of roles, delegate responsibilities, and ensure that the right people are in the right positions. They also manage the allocation of resources like finances, equipment, and personnel to optimize productivity.
  • Leading: Managers provide leadership by inspiring and guiding the employees. They set expectations, motivate teams, and communicate the company’s values and goals. Effective leadership fosters a positive working environment, encourages teamwork, and helps employees stay focused on their tasks.
  • Controlling: Management oversees the company’s performance and ensures that it aligns with the established plans. This involves monitoring key performance indicators, tracking progress, and making necessary adjustments. If something deviates from the plan, managers step in to address issues and maintain the company’s trajectory toward its goals.

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Administration deals with the day-to-day operations, paperwork, and ensuring the company runs smoothly. Let us have a look at this role in detail.

  • Record-Keeping: Administrators maintain accurate records and documentation, such as financial records, employee records, and contracts. This is essential for legal compliance, historical reference, and making informed decisions.
  • Communication: Administrators facilitate communication within the company and with external parties. They manage emails, phone calls, meetings, and other forms of communication to ensure everyone stays informed and connected.
  • Resource Management: Administrators oversee day-to-day resources like office supplies, facilities, and support services. They ensure that the necessary materials and equipment are available and well-maintained for smooth operations.
  • Policy Implementation: Administrators are responsible for enforcing company policies and ensuring that rules and procedures are consistently applied. This helps maintain a structured and orderly work environment.


Understanding the differences between management and administration is crucial for effective organizational functioning. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have distinct roles and responsibilities within a company. Management focuses on decision-making, goal-setting, and overseeing employees to achieve specific objectives. Administration, on the other hand, deals with day-to-day operations, ensuring that resources are utilized efficiently and that policies and procedures are followed.

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What's the main difference between management and administration?

Management is concerned with planning, decision-making, and leading people, while administration involves implementing policies, procedures, and resource management.

Do managers and administrators have different skills?

Yes, managers need leadership and strategic thinking skills, while administrators require strong organizational and detail-oriented skills.

Can one person perform both management and administrative roles?

Yes, in smaller organizations, individuals often wear both hats, but as a company grows, these roles tend to become more specialized.

Which role is more important for an organization's success?

Both are equally important. Management sets the direction, and administration ensures the smooth execution of plans.

Can management and administration overlap?

Yes, there’s overlap. Managers may perform administrative tasks, and administrators may make decisions, but their primary focus remains distinct.

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