What is the difference between "management" and "administration"?

Despite using these two words under similar situations, I think there are subtle differences between these two words.

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    An administrator may be a clerk, not a manager, and at the other end of the scale a political 'administration' is not 'management'. In UK that would be the civil service which is not supposed to be aligned with any political party. Sep 16, 2020 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


These 2 words don't mean the same.

  • Management consists of actions and plans whereby administration entails setting objectives and policies.

  • Management aims at managing not only people but also their work. Whereas Administration focuses on how best the resources of an organization can be utilized.

  • Administration typically has a role in all management decisions, whereas not all administrative decisions require the input of management.

  • Administration is focused on setting and creating policies and procedures. Management however is more likely to deal with the broader functions of an organisation and how tasks are executed.

  • Administrative functions typically are more defined, whereas how managers act and operate in an organisation can differ person to person.

  • The management style of an organisation can also change with the removal or installation of a new Manager/Leader. Administrative policies or procedures however are slower to change and may remain in place for many generations of management.

  • The administrative functions of a business can often be guided or influenced by legislation or law. Whereas how a manager chooses to guide or lead their team is often a function of their experience and the company culture.

Here are some articles for a deeper explenation:

First article
Second article


These two words mean different things.

  • A manager's job is to determine needs, allocate resources, and delegate tasks/responsibility. This often includes hiring, evaluating, and firing people.

  • An administrator's job is to perform defined processes as needed/indicated by a system, such as a business or technology.

A manager would delegate tasks/responsibility to administrators, who then complete the tasks and report back to the manager.

The typical situation where "administrator" could be construed to mean something like "boss" is in a school, but a school administrator is not delegating tasks to students, but rather performing defined processes such as disciplinary action, etc. as indicated. The students may think the administration is something like a boss, though.

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