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What is the difference between management and administration and how they work?

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The question is to define the difference between Management and Administration, both conceptually and in their daily functioning. Conceptually, the difference is between decision making and problem solving on the one hand (management) and execution of pre-defined processes or procedures on the other (administration). Management tends to be people focused and creative in the sense that it looks to determine the solution to problems, define goals, provide direction, motivate and ultimately hold people accountable for results. Administration tends to be information focused, recording, reporting and processing information according to pre-determined procedures.

In past ages, administration was often accused of “paper shuffling”, moving paper about without contributing actual value to the organization. In reality, management and administration go hand in hand. As management develops work practices, motivational and accountability processes to address business needs, it turns these practices into defined procedures (standard operating procedures, or SOP’s). These need to be monitored and implemented, which are generally administrative tasks. Management generally leads while administration follows.

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