Essays on Characteristic Differences between a Manager and a Leader Literature review

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The paper "Characteristic Differences between a Manager and a Leader" is an outstanding example of a management literature review. Management and leadership are frequently used interchangeably in business. However, the two are in reality quite different in meaning (Klagge 2006). A manager is a person placed in charge of a given collection of tasks or a given subset within the company, and he or she has a group of people or staff who are answerable to him or her. Within a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) for instance, the manager has control over expenditures and resources (Thorpe et al.

2009). A leader on the other hand is one who exerts some influence upon others so that they may accomplish objectives and in so doing, direct the organization in ways which that make it more coherent (Kerr 2006). Having a leader is more important than just a manager in SME operations. This paper discusses the various elements of management and leadership and the best approach for ensuring a successful SME. Roles of a Manager The roles played by the manager include the making of contracts on behalf of the organization.

He establishes and maintains such contacts with various people both outside and within the firm. The people that he interacts with regularly in the organization including other managers and subordinates while external ones include suppliers and government officials among others (Thorpe et al. 2009). According to Visser et al. (2006), the main role of the manager is decision-making. Managers are supposed to make routine decisions relating to the business’ daily operations. For instance, there are decisions to be made relating to raw material purchases, employee leave, and wage payment.

They are also involved in crisis handling within the organization. For instance, one may be required to take charge in cases of employee strikes, fire accidents, or machinery breakdown. In such instances, the manager has to act wisely and swiftly in the identification of remedies. According to Klagge (2006), the present-day manager has five main roles to play and are Planning, Direction, Organizing, Controlling, and Staffing. He supervises. He needs to supervise the work done by subordinates and provide any help that is necessary for the process.  


Ahedo, M, 2010, Exploring the Innovative Potential of SMEs in Spain, European Review of Labour and Research, Vol. 16: 197 - 209

Alvesson, M and Sveningsson S, 2006, Managers Doing Leadership: The Extra-Ordinarization of the Mundane, Human Relations, Vol. 56: 1435 – 1459

Kerr, I, 2006, Leadership Strategies for Sustainable SME Operation and Ranking, Business Strategy & the Environment, Vol.15 (1):30-39

Klagge, J, 2006, The Leadership Role of Today's Middle Manager, Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, Vol. 3: 11 - 19

Matzler, K., Schwarz, E., Deutinger, N and Harms, R, 2008, The Relationship Between Transformational Leadership, Product Innovation and Performance in SMEs, Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 21 (2): 139-51

Raelin, J, 2011, From Leadership-as-practice to Leaderful Practice, Leadership, Vol. 7: 195 - 211

Thorpe, R, Cope, J and Pedler, M, 2009, Leadership Development in Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises: the Case for Action Learning, Action Learning: Research & Practice, Vol.6 (3): 201-208

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Wiesner, R and Innes, P, 2010, Bleak House or Bright Prospect? HRM in Australian SMEs over 1998-2008, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 48: 151 - 184

Wang, Y and Poutziouris, P, 2010, Leadership Styles, Management Systems and Growth: Empirical Evidence from UK Owner-managed SMEs, Journal of Enterprising Culture, Vol. 18 (3): 331-354

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