Management versus Leadership

Essay by IvySCSUniversity, Bachelor's May 2006

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Leading an Organizational Culture to Change

All organizations are vigorous systems of shared values, beliefs, philosophies, experiences, customs, and norms of behavior. The combination of these components give an organization a distinctive character called organizational culture. Upper management provides a basic framework for an organization's culture while management establishes and articulates the company's values and norms of behavior. A key component in today's organization is the ability to change as technology advances. Often the organizational culture stands in opposition to the change necessary in adapting to the rapidly-changing business environment. Managers generally would like to change the organizational culture. However, such change is difficult, because cultures are generally very stable. A culture is hard to alter, particularly so in groups that have long standing, because a culture represents the accumulated learning about how to think, feel, and perceive the world that has contributed to the durability of the group (Plunkett, 2002).

Changing how groups think and function represents an extremely difficult task. Leadership is about getting people to abandon their old habits and achieve new things, and therefore largely about change - about inspiring, helping, and sometimes even enforcing change in people. This paper will differentiate between management and leadership, examine the role and responsibilities of leaders in creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture, and provide some recommendations to create and maintain a healthy organizational culture.

Management versus Leadership

Organizations need good management and great leaders in order to create efficient functional and energized relationships. However, according to J.P. Kotter, "Most corporations today are over managed and under led." Management and leadership have two distinct fundamental purposes. Management is a function that must be exercised in any business while leadership is the relationship between the leader and those being led. Management's role in an organization is to make things...