Leadership is the process by which a leader influences another person or group and focuses the followers’ behavior on a goal or outcome. Persuading a subordinate to clean up his or her work area could be seen as a form of leadership, as could convincing hundreds of people to volunteer for disaster relief work. Influencing people and focusing that influence toward a tangible outcome are fundamental components of the leadership process. Leadership can occur in a variety of settings, either formal or informal. In formal settings, such as business organizations, individuals may receive a formal job assignment in which they are expected to lead other organizational members. This formalized leadership role is often called supervision. Although leadership and supervision are similar, there are some significant differences between the two concepts. Read more about Leadership and Management.
Leadership and Management Research Topics
Management, on the other hand, involves a more formal relationship: One person is formally designated to manage others, and that action is sanctioned by a formal organization. Management or supervision tends to have an administrative and rational focus, with the smooth and efficient operation of the formal organization as its defining feature. A supervisory role, once established, tends to perpetuate itself and is modified only by formal action. The leader of a group may change quickly, whereas a supervisor has a formally designated role that is fairly permanent. Part of what supervisors attempt to do is to lead people. So in actuality, leadership is a psychological process that can occur in the formalized role of supervision as well as in less formal settings. Thus, supervision occurs when someone who is formally designated and sanctioned by an organization attempts to influence (lead) others toward organizationally sanctioned goals.