What is the difference between administration, management and supervision?

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The differences between administration, management, and supervision can best be explained in terms of organizational hierarchy, often depending upon the size of the organization or business. Administration refers to the top or higher-level personnel within an organization who establish policies intended to guide the organization’s direction. Administrators determine overall objectives and issue parameters, such as budgetary restraints, within which the rest of the organization must function. Management and supervision tend to be merged in practice in smaller organizations. In larger businesses or other types of organizations, however, management and supervision represent two different levels within the institutional hierarchy. Management usually oversees the functioning of various departments within the broader organization and is responsible for ensuring that each department or sector is moving in the proper direction towards achieving the goals set forth by administrative officers.

Supervision can be viewed as a subset of management in that supervisors are generally part of an organization’s management structure. Whereas managers oversee broader ranges of activity within the organization, however, supervisors operate lower to the ground, just above the employees physically performing the labor or other tasks required to accomplish departmental objectives.

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It is typically said that administration, management, and supervision are different in that they represent three parts of a hierarchy.  The administration sets policy, management gives the orders to implement the policies, and supervision ensures that the policies are carried out effectively.  This is generally true, though the functions do not have to all be held by different people.  There will be jobs that require a person to carry out more than one of these roles.

Administrators are typically those who decide the direction of an organization.  They decide what the goals of the organization will be.  These are the policy-makers who are at the top of the organization.

The administration typically does not dictate the details of how these goals will be achieved.  Instead, the administration delegates that to the management.  Management is an executive function in that it dictates who policy goals are to be achieved.  Therefore, management consists of setting out detailed plans for how to accomplish what administration has ordered.

Supervision is the most detail-oriented and the least policy-oriented of these three functions.  Supervisors do not set policy.  They simply take the orders given by management and ensure that the workers are carrying them out.  They are the people who oversee the day-to-day operations to make sure that the workers are doing what the management wants them to do.

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What is the difference between management and administration?

There are differences between management and administration, but sometimes we refer to "manager" and "administrators" interchangeably.  Strictly speaking, management involves the making of decisions to promote the goals of an entity, while administration involves seeing to it that the management decisions are carried out.  Here are a few example to demonstrate the difference:

A manager decides to impose a sales quota on the company's sales force.  The administrator is responsible for seeing to it that the quota is met through the maintenance of records.

A manager decides that there will be a "no tolerance" policy for tardiness.  It will be up to the administrator to monitor the compliance of the policy through observation or through the review of records.

So, the general idea is that an administrator is not a primary policy or decision-maker, while a manager is.  An administrator might make some decisions to implement the manager's policy's and decisions, but his or her authority is limited. 

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What are the differences between management and administration?

Even though the two terms are commonly used interchangeably, they differ in a number of ways. Whereas administration is responsible for making crucial decisions that affect an entire business establishment, management on the other hand only makes decisions within confines described by the administration.

Another difference is that contrary to the administration which plans, formulates policies and sets organizations’ objectives, management is responsible for the implementation of those plans and policies as well as achievement of the outlined objectives.

In terms of focus, management focuses on managing work and administration focus on the most efficient ways of allocating the available scarce resources.

Management is a term used in profitable ventures such as business establishments. Conversely, the term administration is used in government, religious, and education institutions.

In most instances, personnel who work at management level are salaried employees whereas those who work at administrative level are owners who benefit from profits based on based on their share capital.

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What are the differences between management and administration?

Harold Koontz defines management as the “art of getting things done through and with the help of people in formally organized groups." It is strategically used to direct the efforts of a group of people towards the attainment of set goals. Its core functions are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Administration, on the other hand, is particularly focused on goal setting and resource allocation within organizations. In other words, management is mostly involved with the functions of directing and controlling of business processes, while administration concerns itself with the planning and organizing functions. It then follows that administration is a top-level activity done by business owners, rather than employees. The management team consists of people employed by the business owners to assist in running the business. As such, management is a middle or lower level business activity. Business administrators are executive workers who control the operations of the entire business and are senior to the business managers.

Since administration concerns itself with goal setting, administrators decide on what should be done and when it should be done. Managers, on the other hand, work on who does the work and how it should be done.

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

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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