I cannot tell for sure which one to use with different organizations and enterprises. For example, with a sporting club:

Manchester United's management/administration/board of directors.

  • More details please! An organization can have all of them! – Maulik V Dec 27 '17 at 6:18
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    These are pretty standard business terms, not specific to English-speaking corporations, and I suspect there are equivalents in your native language. Management / administration are relatively generic terms, but the "board of directors" is specific to any publicly-owned company that has shareholders. – Andrew Dec 27 '17 at 6:20
  • @Maulik V, My understanding is that Man United's management could be equal to Man United's board of directors so I wanted to know when to use which. For example, Man United's management announces they will buy the player for £10,000. Is it equal with Man united's board of directors announces..? If it is not, what is the difference? – Sara Dec 27 '17 at 6:51
  • @Andrew, both management and administration translate to the same word, which adds to my confusion. So I don't know the difference between them, and, to be specific, whether both of them would work for the Man United example. – Sara Dec 27 '17 at 6:54
  • In hierarchy, Board of Directors are the supreme most. Management and administration are equal in power. However, in some cases, management takes a bigger pie! :) – Maulik V Dec 27 '17 at 7:33

Avoid "board of directors" unless you know you are talking about a real board of directors. In other cases, stick with administration or management.

If you are talking about high-level corporate people who make strategic and executive decisions for a company, organization, or franchise, then management is probably the "safest" word to use in most contexts. Two exceptions to that rule of thumb, though, are government and education. Interestingly enough, Wordnik lists this definition under administration:

The group of people who manage or direct an institution, especially a school or college. [emphasis added]

In a similar way, American Heritage says that the word can refer to:

a. The executive branch of a government.
b. The group of people who manage or direct an institution, especially a school or college.

Oxford lists a more generic definition, but its example usage backs this up:

The people responsible for this [running a business, organization, etc.], regarded collectively : the university administration took their demands seriously

Going back to your Manchester United example:

Manchester United's management decided to...

If you wanted to use a different word for some reason, a better synonym might be:

Manchester United's executives decided to...

One other possibility for a sports franchise would be front office, but I think that might be chiefly North American.

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