The traditional view of management, back in when Abraham Zaleznik wrote this article, centered on organizational structure and processes. Managerial. Managers and Leaders. Are They Different? by Abraham Zaleznik. •. Included with this full-text Harvard Business Review article: The Idea in Brief—the core idea. The traditional view of management, back in when Abraham Zaleznik The difference between managers and leaders, he Wrote, lies in the concep-.
|Language:||English, Spanish, French|
|Genre:||Science & Research|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Registration Required]|
Managers and Leaders Are They Different? yo by Abraham Zaleznik • op tC Included with this full-text Harvard Business Review article: No 1 Article Summary . The traditional view of management, back in when Abraham Zaleznik wrote this The difference between managers and leaders, he wrote, lies in the. In this way, Zaleznik argued, business leaders have much more in common with artists, scientists, and other creative thinkers than they do with managers.
Zaleznik believes that leaders are creative and interested in substance while managers are only interested in process — how things are done, not what. However, there is no real basis for this personality distinction. Even if this is historically accurate, there is nothing in this alleged fact that commits management to operating in this manner forever.
Why can we not simply upgrade management in a way that meets the demands of a different world, one involving more knowledge work than assembly line operations? This leaves the means of managing completely open. Management Versus Leadership Among the questions raised by this discussion are as follows: Should we focus on personality to differentiate leaders from managers?
Should we focus on individuals in roles or functions? A rationale for focusing on personality is the assumption that both leaders and managers perform the same function and are thus competing for the same territory of getting work done through people. From this point of view, leaders simply do it better than managers.
If they both have the same function, then there is no way to differentiate them other than by pointing to style or personality differences. But what if we say that they have different functions? John Kotter tried this approach, saying that managers deal with complexity while leaders focus on change.
But he had one foot in the past because, despite the different focus, he still wanted to say that leaders were inspirational and managers transactional.
That is, Kotter was not fully focused on function; he was still thinking of role occupants in the traditional manner who needed to be differentiated by style. A Functional Slant A fully functional perspective should make no mention of personality when we define leadership and management.
The same is true of sales and marketing. These are organizational functions that are independent of role in the sense that all employees can engage in them. Where they are formal sales and marketing roles, people in sales might be more outgoing and those in marketing might be more analytical, but this has nothing do with how we define these functions.
Functional definitions should make it clear that sales, marketing, leadership or management are processes, tools that anyone can pick up and use, just like writing, cooking or composing. Here are some fully functional definitions of leadership and management: Leadership shows the way for others, either by example or by advocating a new direction.
Management achieves goals in a way that makes the best use of all pertinent resources.
Theodore Levitt , a major theorist of marketing, was influenced by Zaleznik's idea. Zaleznik emphasized that character above all shaped how leaders took up their roles. He was among the few scholars who could link how leaders decided and what decisions they took to their character forming experiences.
In his classic article "The Management of Disappointment"  he argued that leaders are twice born, the second birth, the result of their navigating a major career disappointment.
Influences[ edit ] Zaleznik was deeply influenced by what is called the " ego psychology " school of psychoanalysis. In this school of thought, character emerges from the compromises a person makes between the demands of reality and his or her drives and desires, what Freud called " the Id.
This meant of course that every leader had his or her significant limitations. This point of view led Zaleznik to be skeptical of the Organization development tradition that highlighted how leaders could facilitate the human potential of followers.
Is this leadership mystique merely a holdover from our childhood—from a sense of dependency and a longing for good and heroic parents? Or is it true that no matter how competent managers are, their leadership stagnates because of their limitations in visualizing purposes and generating value in work?
Driven by narrow purposes, without an imaginative capacity and the ability to communicate, do managers then perpetuate group conflicts instead of reforming them into broader desires and goals? If indeed problems demand greatness, then judging by past performance, the selection and development of leaders leave a great deal to chance. Further, beyond what we leave to chance, there is a deeper issue in the relationship between the need for competent managers and the longing for great leaders.
What it takes to ensure a supply of people who will assume practical responsibility may inhibit the development of great leaders. On the other hand, the presence of great leaders may undermine the development of managers who typically become very anxious in the relative disorder that leaders seem to generate. It is easy enough to dismiss the dilemma of training managers, though we may need new leaders or leaders at the expense of managers, by saying that the need is for people who can be both.
But just as a managerial culture differs from the entrepreneurial culture that develops when leaders appear in organizations, managers and leaders are very different kinds of people. They differ in motivation, personal history, and in how they think and act. Attitudes Toward Goals Managers tend to adopt impersonal, if not passive, attitudes toward goals.
Frederic G. We must design not just the cars we would like to build but, more important, the cars that our customers want to buy. In reality, through product design, advertising, and promotion, consumers learn to like what they then say they need.
Few would argue that people who enjoy taking snapshots need a camera that also develops pictures. But in response to a need for novelty, convenience, and a shorter interval between acting snapping the picture and gaining pleasure seeing the shot , the Polaroid camera succeeded in the marketplace. It is inconceivable that Edwin Land responded to impressions of consumer need. The example of Polaroid and Land suggests how leaders think about goals. They are active instead of reactive, shaping ideas instead of responding to them.
Leaders adopt a personal and active attitude toward goals.
The influence a leader exerts in altering moods, evoking images and expectations, and in establishing specific desires and objectives determines the direction a business takes. The net result of this influence changes the way people think about what is desirable, possible, and necessary.
Conceptions of Work Managers tend to view work as an enabling process involving some combination of people and ideas interacting to establish strategies and make decisions. They help the process along by calculating the interests in opposition, planning when controversial issues should surface, and reducing tensions. Alfred P. The time was the early s when Ford Motor Company still dominated the automobile industry using, as did General Motors, the conventional water-cooled engine.
With the full backing of Pierre du Pont, Charles Kettering dedicated himself to the design of an air-cooled copper engine, which, if successful, would be a great technical and marketing coup for GM. Kettering believed in his product, but the manufacturing division heads opposed the new design on two grounds: first, it was technically unreliable, and second, the corporation was putting all its eggs in one basket by investing in a new product instead of attending to the current marketing situation.
In the summer of , after a series of false starts and after its decision to recall the copper engine Chevrolets from dealers and customers, GM management scrapped the project. Alfred Sloan was all too aware that Kettering was unhappy and indeed intended to leave General Motors. Sloan was also aware that, while the manufacturing divisions strongly opposed the new engine, Pierre du Pont supported Kettering.
Further, Sloan had himself gone on record in a letter to Kettering less than two years earlier expressing full confidence in him. The problem Sloan had was how to make his decision stick, keep Kettering in the organization he was much too valuable to lose , avoid alienating du Pont, and encourage the division heads to continue developing product lines using conventional water-cooled engines.
First, he tried to reassure Kettering by presenting the problem in a very ambiguous fashion, suggesting that he and the executive committee sided with Kettering, but that it would not be practical to force the divisions to do what they were opposed to. He presented the problem as being a question of the people, not the product. Second, he proposed to reorganize around the problem by consolidating all functions in a new division that would be responsible for the design, production, and marketing of the new engine.
This solution appeared as ambiguous as his efforts to placate Kettering. Kettering, a kind of copper-cooled car division.
Kettering would designate his own chief engineer and his production staff to solve the technical problems of manufacture. Essentially, the managerial solution that Sloan arranged limited the options available to others. The structural solution narrowed choices, even limiting emotional reactions to the point where the key people could do nothing but go along. Kettering at some length this morning, and he agrees with us absolutely on every point we made.
He appears to receive the suggestion enthusiastically and has every confidence that it can be put across along these lines. Interestingly enough, this type of work has much in common with what diplomats and mediators do, with Henry Kissinger apparently an outstanding practitioner. Managers aim to shift balances of power toward solutions acceptable as compromises among conflicting values.
Leaders work in the opposite direction. Where managers act to limit choices, leaders develop fresh approaches to long-standing problems and open issues to new options. To be effective, leaders must project their ideas onto images that excite people and only then develop choices that give those images substance.
John F. This much-quoted statement forced people to react beyond immediate concerns and to identify with Kennedy and with important shared ideals. On closer scrutiny, however, the statement is absurd because it promises a position, which, if adopted, as in the Vietnam War, could produce disastrous results. Yet unless expectations are aroused and mobilized, with all the dangers of frustration inherent in heightened desire, new thinking and new choice can never come to light.
Leaders work from high-risk positions; indeed, they are often temperamentally disposed to seek out risk and danger, especially where the chance of opportunity and reward appears promising. From my observations, the reason one individual seeks risks while another approaches problems conservatively depends more on his or her personality and less on conscious choice.
For those who become managers, a survival instinct dominates the need for risk, and with that instinct comes an ability to tolerate mundane, practical work.
Leaders sometimes react to mundane work as to an affliction. Relations with Others Managers prefer to work with people; they avoid solitary activity because it makes them anxious. Several years ago, I directed studies on the psychological aspects of careers. The need to seek out others with whom to work and collaborate seemed to stand out as an important characteristic of managers.
When asked, for example, to write imaginative stories in response to a picture showing a single figure a boy contemplating a violin or a man silhouetted in a state of reflection , managers populated their stories with people. His instrument was ordered and had just arrived. The boy is weighing the alternatives of playing football with the other kids or playing with the squeak box.
Football season is now over, but a good third baseman will take the field next spring. The first, as I have suggested, is to seek out activity with other people that is, the football team , and the second is to maintain a low level of emotional involvement in those relationships.
In this case, the boy, Mom, and Dad agree to give up the violin for sports. These two themes may seem paradoxical, but their coexistence supports what a manager does, including reconciling differences, seeking compromises, and establishing a balance of power. The story further demonstrates that managers may lack empathy, or the capacity to sense intuitively the thoughts and feelings of others.
It is also the capacity to take in emotional signals and make them meaningful in a relationship. Managers relate to people according to the role they play in a sequence of events or in a decision-making process, while leaders, who are concerned with ideas, relate in more intuitive and empathetic ways. In recent years, managers have adopted from game theory the notion that decision-making events can be one of two types: the win-lose situation or zero-sum game or the win-win situation in which everybody in the action comes out ahead.
Managers strive to convert win-lose into win-win situations as part of the process of reconciling differences among people and maintaining balances of power.
As an illustration, take the decision of how to allocate capital resources among operating divisions in a large, decentralized organization.
On the surface, the dollars available for distribution are limited at any given time. Presumably, therefore, the more one division gets, the less is available for other divisions. Managers tend to view this situation as it affects human relations as a conversion issue: how to make what seems like a win-lose problem into a win-win problem.
From that perspective, several solutions come to mind. Here the players become engrossed in the bigger problem of how to make decisions, not what decisions to make.
Once committed to the bigger problem, these people have to support the outcome since they were involved in formulating the decision-making rules. Because they believe in the rules they formulated, they will accept present losses, believing that next time they will win. Signals are inconclusive and subject to reinterpretation should people become upset and angry; messages involve the direct consequence that some people will indeed not like what they hear.
The nature of messages heightens emotional response and makes managers anxious. With signals, the question of who wins and who loses often becomes obscured.