Comparing leadership styles and techniques

This study will show and conclude whether or not this statement is indeed accurate or just another theoretical belief or ideology amongst between theorist. In this essay we will look at the meaning of both management and leadership, how they differ in concept and in style, and finally conclude whether or not this statement is indeed accurate.

What is leadership?

Moorhead and Griffin (1998) define leadership as both a process and property. They say, ”as a process leadership involves the use of non-coercive influence to direct and coordinates the activities of group members to meet a goal, and a property they describe leadership as a … set of characteristics attributed to those who those who are perceived to use such influence successfully.”

According to Moorhead & Griffin (1998), “Management requires an understanding of human behavior, to help managers better comprehend those at different levels in the organization, those at the same level, those in other organization, and themselves.” Management is the planning, organizing, leading and controlling of organizational resources both effectively and efficiently in order to ultimately achieve goals set out by an organization (Moorhead & Griffin, 1998; Adair, 2003).

Differences between leadership and management:

Adair (2003) says, “Leadership and management are not the same. In industry and commerce they should go together. In government we often think of political leadership and public service management, but the latter also requires high-quality leadership.”

Adair (2003) then continues to list the following;

Leadership is about giving direction, building teams and inspiring others by example and word.

You can be appointed a manager but you are not a leader until your personality and character, your knowledge and your skill in performing the functions of leadership are recognized and accepted by the others involved. This is a very fundamental difference. (Adair, 2003; Moorhead & Griffin, 1998)

Leadership and change go together. Managing in the form of running an organization is more appropriate where there is not much change going on. When change is endemic, as it often is nowadays, managers must learn how to ‘lead’ it. Pg 71

Managing entails the proper and efficient use of resources- good administration. Good leaders care about administration, the less good ones don’t.

Management has the overtone of carrying out objectives laid down by someone else. Moreover, there is nothing in the concept of management which implies inspiration, creating teamwork when it isn’t there, or setting an example. When it is the case that inspiration and teamwork exist, you may well have managers who are in effect leaders, especially if they are the source of the inspiration. But it is unfortunately more often the case that management does not ring bells when it comes to people.

Other distinctive differences pointed out by (Adair, 2003) include

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Direction: A leader will find a ways forward. He or she will generate a sense of direction. That may involve identifying new objectives, new products or services and new markets

Inspiration: Leadership is linked to inspiration. The words and example of a leader kindle motivation

Building teams: A leader tends to think naturally in terms of team. Groups of individuals are transformed into teams. Equally, teams tend to look for leaders rather than bosses.

Example: Leadership is example. A leader will have his or her own output or direct contribution to the common task, thereby “leading from the front”

Acceptance: You can be appointed a manager, but you are not really a leader until your appointment is ratified in the hearts and minds of those who work with you.

An article by Murray, C. (2010) states and lists the following, the manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate. In his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences:

– The manager administers; the leader innovates.

– The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.

– The manager maintains; the leader develops.

– The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.

– The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.

– The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

– The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

– The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.

– The manager imitates; the leader originates.

– The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

– The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.

– The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

Moorhead & Griffin (1998) set out the following table to illustrate the distinction between management and leadership.




Creating an agenda

Planning and Budgeting. Establishing details steps and timetables for achieving needed results; allocating the resources necessary to make those needed results happen

Establishing direction. Developing a vision of the future, often the distant future, and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision

Developing a human network for achieving the agenda

Organizing and staffing. Establishing some structure for accomplishing plan requirements, staffing that structure with individuals, delegating responsibility and authority for carrying out the plan, providing policies and procedures to help guide people, and creating methods or systems to monitor implementation

Aligning people. Communicating the direction by words and deeds to all those whose cooperation may be needed to influence the creation of teams and coalitions that understand the vision and strategies and accept their validity

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Executing plans

Controlling and problem solving. Monitoring results vs. plan in some detail, identifying deviations, and then planning and organizing to solve these problem

Motivating and inspiring. Energizing people to overcome major political, bureaucratic, and resource barriers to change by satisfying very basic, but often unfulfilled, human needs


Produces a degree of predictability and order and has the potential to consistently produce major results expected by various stakeholders (e.g. .for customers, always being on time; for stockholders, being on budget)

Produces change, often to a dramatic degree, and has the potential to produce extremely useful change (e.g. , new products that customers want, new approaches to lobar relations that help make a firm more competitive)

Another way of which leadership and management could be distinguished is through different styles,

Management has three main categories of styles: autocratic, paternalistic and democratic.

Autocratic (or authoritarian) managers like to make all the important decisions and closely supervise and control workers. Managers do not trust workers and simply give orders (one-way communication) that they expect to be obeyed. This approach derives from the views of Taylor as to how to motivate workers and relates to McGregor’s theory X view of workers. This approach has limitations (as highlighted by other motivational theorists such as Mayo and Herzberg) but it can be effective in certain situations. For example. When quick decisions are needed in a company (e.g. in a time of crises), when controlling large numbers of low skilled workers.

Paternalistic managers give more attention to the social needs and views of their workers. Managers are interested in how happy workers feel and in many ways they act as a father figure (pater means father in Latin). They consult employees over issues and listen to their feedback or opinions. The manager will however make the actual decisions (in the best interests of the workers) as they believe the staffs still need direction and in this way it is still somewhat of an autocratic approach. The style is closely linked with Mayo’s Human Relation view of motivation and also the social needs of Maslow.

Democratic style of management will put trust in employees and encourage them to make decisions. They will delegate to them the authority to do this (empowerment) and listen to their advice. This requires good two-way communication and often involves democratic discussion groups, which can offer useful suggestions and ideas. Managers must be willing to encourage leadership skills in subordinates. The ultimate democratic system occurs when decisions are made based on the majority view of all workers. However, this is not feasible for the majority of decisions taken by a business- indeed one of the criticisms of this style is that it can take longer to reach a decision. This style has close links with Herzberg’s motivators and Maslow’s higher order skills and also applies to McGregor’s theory Y view of workers.

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Leadership styles include the following

Transformational leadership

Is the set of abilities that allow the leader to recognize the need for change, to create a vision to guide that change, and to execute that change effectively. (Moorhead & Griffin, 1998)

Charismatic leadership

A charismatic leadership style is a type of influence based on the leader’s personal charisma. (Moorhead & Griffin, 1998)


Despite all these differences one has to take note that in this new economy it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between the two as they both overlap one another and work hand in hand, in other words they complement each other, as Murray A, (2010) points out “that there was a time when the calling of the manager and that of the leader could be separated. A foreman in an industrial-era factory probably didn’t have to give much thought to what he was producing or to the people who were producing it. His or her job was to follow orders, organize the work, assign the right people to the necessary tasks, coordinate the results, and ensure the job got done as ordered. The focus was on efficiency. But in the new economy, where value comes increasingly from the knowledge of people, and where workers are no longer undifferentiated cogs in an industrial machine, management and leadership are not easily separated. People look to their managers, not just to assign them a task, but to define for them a purpose. And managers must organize workers, not just to maximize efficiency, but to nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results.”

But if pressed for and answer one would have to agree with the statement as we are facing difficult times with the worldwide recession and collapse of economies (i.e. Greece, Iceland), and where there is great uncertainty amongst workers, you will find that people are looking out for leaders to navigate them through these troubled times, so there on would justifiably concur with the rationale. As (Adair, 2003) states, “Although a natural leader instinctively tries to change and improve things, his or her efforts will, not bear much fruit unless external and internal change is effecting the organization- technological, social, economic, political and cultural change. Industry and commerce, and for that matter public services too, must now operate in a climate of almost constant change, stronger international competition and higher uncertainty. All that explains why the concept of leadership has once again come to the fore. Leaders like change; it’s in their chosen element. Managers, by contrast, have traditionally preferred to run organizations as machines. They are happiest in a “stead state” environment where nothing is rocking the boat.”

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