Administration and Management are common words used in the business and public domain and often, there is a confusion as to what differentiate these terms in theory and practice. Students of Management and Business Administration need to know these differences for professional clarity.

Administration establishes the framework, policies and objectives of an organisation. Administration represents the top layer of the management hierarchy of the organization. It is basically concerned with the decision making function. Administration determines the strategic direction of an organisation in terms of which market to invest, what to produce, how to raise funds for capital projects, new ventures etc. Administration are the either owners or business partners who invest their capital in starting the business and look forward to dividends on their investment..

Management on the other hand is about plans and objectives. It is about getting things done in line with the policies of Administration. It is concerned with operations and management of resources to achieve organisational objectives. To achieve this, it has to plan, direct, control, execute, coordinate the 5M’s of the organization, i.e. Men, Material, Machines, Methods, and Money. resources to meet the set objective. Management is at various departments and each manager has to meet set target for the overall objectives of the organisation to be achieved.

Administration is heavy at the top of an organisation structure and hierarchy and light at the bottom while management is light at the top and heavy at the bottom. This is so because Administration is a decision making function while Management is an executing function. Management gets things done by implementing the decisions of Administration.

Below are the difference in summary:

  • Management consists of actions and plans whereby administration entails setting objectives and policies.
  • Management aims at managing not only people but also their work. Whereas Administration focuses on how best the resources of an organization can be utilized.
  • Administration typically has a role in all management decisions, whereas not all administrative decisions require the input of management.
  • Administration is focused on setting and creating policies and procedures. Management however is more likely to deal with the broader functions of an organisation and how tasks are executed.
  • Administrative functions typically are more defined, whereas how managers act and operate in an organisation can differ person to person.
  • The management style of an organisation can also change with the removal or installation of a new Manager/Leader. Administrative policies or procedures however are slower to change and may remain in place for many generations of management.
  • The administrative functions of a business can often be guided or influenced by legislation or law. Whereas how a manager chooses to guide or lead their team is often a function of their experience and the company culture.
  • Management is a systematic way of managing people and things within the organization. The administration is defined as an act of administering the whole organization by a group of people.
  • Management is an activity of business and functional level, whereas Administration is a high-level activity.
  • While management focuses on policy implementation, policy formulation is performed by the administration.
  • Functions of administration include legislation and determination. Conversely, functions of management are executive and governing.
  • Administration takes all the important decisions of the organization while management makes decisions under the boundaries set by the administration.
  • A group of persons, who are employees of the organization is collectively known as management. On the other hand, administration represents the owners of the organization.
  • Management can be seen in the profit making organization like business enterprises. Conversely, the Administration is found in government and military offices, clubs, hospitals, religious organizations and all the non-profit making enterprises.
  • Management is all about plans and actions, but the administration is concerned with framing policies and setting objectives.
  • Management plays an executive role in the organization. Unlike administration, whose role is decisive in nature.
  • The manager looks after the management of the organization, whereas administrator is responsible for the administration of the organization.
  • Management focuses on managing people and their work. On the other hand, administration focuses on making the best possible utilization of the organization’s resources.

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Sometimes, the two are used in place of the order but as Professional Administrators, we must know difference between the two.

Excerpts 1. Paul Towers of Task Pigeons

2. Surbhi S, July 25, 2018