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Difference Between Management and Administration

management_bookManagement vs Administration

Management and administration may seem the same, but there are differences between the two. Administration has to do with the setting up of objectives and crucial policies of every organization. What is understood by management, however, is the act or function of putting into practice the policies and plans decided upon by the administration.

Administration is a determinative function, while management is an executive function. It also follows that administration makes the important decisions of an enterprise in its entirety, whereas management makes the decisions within the confines of the framework, which is set up by the administration.

Administration is the top level, whereas management is a middle level activity. If one were to decide the status, or position of administration, one would find that it consists of owners who invest the capital, and receive profits from an organization. Management consists of a group of managerial persons, who leverage their specialist skills to fulfill the objectives of an organization.

Administrators are usually found in government, military, religious and educational organizations. Management is used by business enterprises. The decisions of an administration are shaped by public opinion, government policies, and social and religious factors, whereas management decisions are shaped by the values, opinions and beliefs of the mangers.

In administration, the planning and organizing of functions are the key factors, whereas, so far as management is concerned, it involves motivating and controlling functions. When it comes to the type of abilities required by an administrator, one needs administrative qualities, rather than technical qualities. In management, technical abilities and human relation management abilities are crucial.

Administration usually handles the business aspects, such as finance . It may be defined as a system of efficiently organizing people and resources, so as to make them successfully pursue and achieve common goals and objectives. Administration is perhaps both an art and a science. This is because administrators are ultimately judged by their performance. Administration must incorporate both leadership and vision.

Management is really a subset of administration, which has to do with the technical and mundane facets of an organization’s operation. It is different from executive or strategic work. Management deals with the employees. Administration is above management, and exercises control over the finance and licensing of an organization.

Therefore, we can see that these two terms are distinct from one another, each with their own set of functions. Both these functions are crucial, in their own ways, to the growth of an organization.


1. Management is the act or function of putting into practice the policies and plans decided upon by the administration.

2. Administration is a determinative function, while management is an executive function.

3. Administration makes the important decisions of an enterprise in its entirety, whereas management makes the decisions within the confines of the framework, which is set up by the administration.

4. Administrators are mainly found in government, military, religious and educational organizations. Management, on the other hand, is used by business enterprises.

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  1. surely management and administration are almost related but have crucial differences

  2. administration and management are similiar but have some differences

  3. administration is quite different from management

  4. Thanx for detailed explanation,thumbs up!

  5. Quite distint! Though in practical sense it is mixed up in over 93% Nigerian organization but have this work the errorneous belief is dealt with. Thanks

  6. It seems to me that your article on the difference between management and administration by Manisha which was updated on 12 Oct 2011 is wrong. I believe all that was said for mgt shd rather go for administration and vice versa. Eg mgt. Formulate policies while adm implements policie. 2 Mgt = top level Adm= middle etc thans

    • Really good article and it is absolute right but i thought administration setting up goals and objectives (just planning), where as management manage all the resources which are helpful to achieve setting objectives.

    • true i agree to that expression administration is a body in a business organisation that interprates decisions and policies made be the top level managers

  7. Argument lead me 2 this site, according 2 what i learned, management is @ d top level of an organization bcos it comprises top officer from each department or branches of organization who formulates policy while administrator are the one who implement the policy

  8. Thanks for your best explanation about comparing Management and Administration.

  9. though both are similar, but they still have some differences

  10. A clear explaination has been made and the facts are well summarised.

    • Administration and management is not easily differenciated. Some books contradict their functions but the clear difference is that Administration are top level who seeks to formulations of polices and management are middle level which seeks to the implementation of policies. Thanks A social science student from The University of Education, Winneba of GHANA in WEST AFRICA. I read trends and educational mgt/adt

  11. “Nowadays “administration” tends to be understood as the narrower task of developing and maintaing procedures. That is to say it is seen as an aspect of organizing.”

    Cole (1990) Management: Theory and Practice; 3rd Edition, London

  12. Maybe this is a difference in usage between British and American English, because in my second job as a 17-year-old I was essentially a filing clerk and my job title was “Administrator” and I got a Modern Apprenticeship in “Business Administration.”

  13. what an enlightening article. keep it up.

  14. the article was quite good and informative. keep it up.

  15. Mgt. as the name implies dictates & manage the entire organisation including the administrators. Therefore, the assertion that places Adm. at the top & mgt. at the middle level is a ‘flop.‘

  16. No,the assertion that administration manage the organisation in entirety is wrong.For it’s management that formulate policies and administration is to implement them. In other words,management is in the strategic level whilst administration is at the tactical level as far as business organisations are concerned.

  17. thanks ,i am rely greatful for this information

  18. The comparative analysis is factual and intelligently presented. Thank you.

  19. The difference between the two are visible and easy to understand. keep it up!!!

  20. Management and Administration did not mean the same thing.Management deals with the initiation or setting up of policies,which are the general guidelines for operating a business organization, administration is concern with the actual interpretation and implementation of policies to achieve organizational objective.There fore,administration is the process by which an organization tries to achieve it objectives successful.

    • Administration and management are used interchangeably but there is a subtle difference between them which this article has made clear. Thanks.

  21. this seems to be the best distinction between the two i have ever come across.

  22. The explanation about management and administration is clear and the difference between the two concept is understood and taking

  23. Although I was using this two words (Administration and Management) inter-changeably but this site has made me to understand that there is great difference between the two

  24. Difference between Administration /Management
    There are many factors according to which administration can be distinguished from management. These are as follows:
    Nature of work
    Administration: It is concerned about the determination of objectives and major policies of an organization.
    Management: It puts into action the policies and plans laid down by the administration.
    Type of function
    Administration:It is a determinative function.
    Management: It is an executive function.
    Administration:It takes major decisions of an enterprise as a whole.
    Management: It takes decisions within the framework set by the administration.
    Level of authority
    Administration:It is a top-level activity.
    Management: It is a middle level activity.
    Nature of status
    Administration:It consists of owners who invest capital in and receive profits from an enterprise.
    Management: It is a group of managerial personnel who use their specialized knowledge to fulfill the objectives of an enterprise.
    Nature of usage
    Administration:It is popular with government, military, educational, and religious organizations.
    Management: It is used in business enterprises.
    Decision making
    Administration:Its decisions are influenced by public opinion, government policies, social, and religious factors.
    Management: Its decisions are influenced by the values, opinions, and beliefs of the managers.
    Main functions
    Administration:Planning and organizing functions are involved in it.
    Management: Motivating and controlling functions are involved in it.
    Administration:It needs administrative rather than technical abilities.
    Management: It requires technical activities
    Management handles the employers.
    Administration handles the buisness aspects such as finance.

  25. It rilly interest mi reading through all this distinction btw administration n mgt.its dbst distinction I have eva come across, well explain and undastood.

  26. i need these note

  27. according to henri fayol in his General and Industrial Management. Mgt is d function of board of director.while Administration is d function of all below board level. Am confusing with ur own u send mgt is below d administration why.

  28. This clearly over simplify the two concepts. Thank you so much.

  29. I’m absolutely satisfied with this distinct, these two terms had been a borne of contassion to somany people in different entity and the worldwide at large. In totality, administration carries 90% of the clerical duties than the management. Thanks!

  30. Very nice explaination and I’m well convinced

  31. To me I think different scholars place the level of authority of management and administration at confusing levels because of the different nature of usage for these two. A business scholar would surely put management at the top while aside from business, administration would be placed top. This is more of “the egg and hen” situation. According to the situation, one could be doing the functions of the other. See?

  32. Administration and management has a similarity, and also distinguishable.let look at the term ADMINISTER from the word administration.it means:TO APPORTION OUT. and the term MANAGE from the word management.it means:TO HANDLE OR CONTROL.therefore the clear distinction between the both is that, administration deals with the objective setting, and vital decision making while management deals with the implimentation, execution of the set objectives or the laid down policies so as to achieve the organisational goal. administration can also be referred as administrative body, while management as executive body

  33. As a tradesman moving from a hands on position into a office environment and would like to retrain and still enjoy a top salary the question remains admin or management ?would admin mean taken on economic,planing,consulting and communication skills.While management will mean I need teckinchal skill and motivational skills.The ability to take an economic plan and turn it into a living profit prouducing project weather it be construction manufacturing or service providing.
    Thank you.

  34. It really great when u read understand and feel happy. I love the content.

  35. I am convinced with your explanation and the comment of “Ezeji Frednand” on.11th Dec. 2013.
    My personal opinion is that the society interchangeably use management and administration unknowingly. I say so because I was an Area administrative officer of one of the most popular church in Port Harcourt in 2013. And never made any policy. My duty was to implement and execute (making sure that it works) the policies of the church that was made in Lagos as its corporate headquarter by the general overseer. I think they would have called me“a manager” instead of “an administrator”

  36. the difference between administration and management has been interchanged please rectify it.

  37. Really really appreciated

  38. I don’t agree with you, cos with what I was taught in school and what you wrote are two contracting things. I think the roles you gave to Management belongs to Administration and vice versa.

  39. administration : is a top level
    management : is a middle level

  40. Mgt and admin could only be distinguished by their field of concentration; mgt is used in the private enterprise while admin is used in the public enterprise. Then other things can follow sooth: the elements of management could be useful in administering. DR. BANJI OBADARA of Tai Solarin University Of Education once said that a Management student will be employed in any place even in the military force bcos he must have been taught so many elements of mgt which include planning.organising,controlling.directing, coordinating,budgeting among others. These elements are universal (not even restricted to a country)because from Nigeria to anywhere in the world, all the aforementioned elements are recognised

  41. quite interesting and confusing as well

  42. it is an interesting information about mgt .and administration ..thanks great!!!

  43. The terms are quite different. Using them interchangeably as has often been the case with majority of people is obviously wrong.

  44. Administration is the process of organize and planning of specific work of an organization by personals to achieve organizational goals well the management is the process of controlling and supervision of organization’s resources and personals

  45. The writer seems to misunderstand administration for management. He has abruptly taken administration for management and vice versa. I don’t have time to say much, but let it be known that management is saddled with planning and decision making, formulation of objectives and goals of an organization while administration is simply to administer or implement. In other word, the later carries out the decision and policies of management.

  46. Yeah interrelated but complex

  47. I am holding up with my thumb; when I was a university student, my management lecturer has asked and said “differentiate management v administration, I could not answer, he asked all the class no one was able to answer, thank you

  48. Administration says when two men cooperate to role a stone that neither could move alone.inshort administration is the process of getting things done.for example environmental health administrator is therefore a person who is in charge of running affair of an Environmental Health Service area while management is a process of manages business and the workers.

  49. This article is aptly wrong, management is at the top level, they make and formulates policies, while administrators interprete and implement the policies formulated by the management. Its very sad to see somone confuse alot of people with an article like this. Very sad indeed.

  50. Thanks the article is well understood
    The administration are policy makers while management implement the policy forexample in agiven business company on administration we find those owners of the company while at management level we find managers. Student at Sokoine university of Agriculture in Tanzania.

  51. Thanks alot for your explanation on this topic.

  52. Thanks for the differentiation of the two. To me both are crucial in running a modern organization. Administration sets the overall guidelines for the organisation and Management is for execution. The best thing on the part of Management is its dynamism and pragmatism.

    • I have read the contraversal opinion of various dignetaries. to me let us consider,what is needed first an adminisrator or manager ? can we have anything to manage without asystem formed. and thus the job of an adminisrator to form a system and guide the organisation to follow a certain flexible path for achiving goal and hand over the rein to the manager.to achive the goal. thus administration does comes forst before management. I hope my thinking may appeal to all. thanks.

  53. This is intrinsic distinction between management and Administration.

  54. Who is the write of this work? need reference

  55. good notes very understandable

  56. It is clear that administration decides the plans,policies of an organization, while management is implementing the plans and policies laid down by the administration. With this administration is making policies while management is implementing the policies. A student studying Educational administration and planning from federal university kashere Gombe state in nigeria

  57. It is clear that administration decides the plans,policies of an organization, while management is implementing the plans and policies laid down by the administration. With this administration is making policies while management is implementing the policies. A student studying Educational Administration and Planning from Federal University Kashere, Gombe State in Nigeria

    • If “management is to get things done through others and through the process of planing, organising, directing, controlling, and communicating the affair of an organization in order to achieve a set objective” then management geared toward business organizations that are necessarily profit oriented. while administration has to do with public entitles that may not necessarily be profit oriented

  58. Thank u for suggesting

  59. Thank you for your suggesting

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