1st Edition

Manager vs. Leader
Untying the Gordian Knot

ISBN 9781032096445
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
90 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

USD $22.95

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Book Description

Cutting through the clutter of management and leadership books, Manager vs. Leader: Untying the Gordian Knot works to differentiate the terms manager and leader. With these terms often used synonymously, misunderstanding leads to confusion and failed expectations at all levels of an organization. Providing both academic and practical organizational examples, this book challenges readers with ranging experience and knowledge to explore management and leadership in a new and comprehensive way.

Enabling readers to better understand the nuances between leading and managing, this book provides historical context while guiding readers in understanding the impact each role has within an organization. Through brief explorations into Organization Development and Transformation, this book works through the state of the leadership concept and provides insights into future challenges for managers and leaders.

Armed with historical context, a foundation to explore the terms manager and leader, and an open mind, readers will be able to more effectively manage expectations and interact with others whether professionally or personally.

Table of Contents

List of Figures





Is this Dilemma Real?

Why the Gordian Knot?

The Path of the Book

A Final Note

Chapter 1 Evolution of Management Thought


A Brief History of Management

The Third Wave

Chapter 2 Classical Approaches to Management


Scientific Management

The Birth of Bureaucracies

The Search for an Administrative Process

The POMC Model

Chapter 3 Evolution of the Management Process


The POMC Timeline

Organizational Change Process

Chaordic Age

A Final Comment

Chapter 4 The Struggle to Define Leadership


Management versus Leadership

A Systems View of Leadership

A Final Comment

Chapter 5 Why the Distinction Matters


Leading Situations

The Difference Matters

The Difference Impacts Organizational Change

Chapter 6 Future Trends for Managers and Leaders

Sorting Out the Future

Leaders and Managers in Chaordic Organizations

Chapter 7 Conclusions

Selected Resume of Dr. Robert M. Murphy

Selected Resume of Dr. Kathleen M. Murphy



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Robert M. Murphy is a professor and lecturer in management, leadership and managing change. He is a retired US Army officer who has experience as commander, staff officer and as a researcher, and has lectured throughout Europe, Central America and China. He has academic experience as academic department chair and executive to university president for planning.

Kathleen M. Murphy is a professor and lecturer in management, entrepreneurship, negotiations and International Business. She has lectured throughout Europe, especially Poland. She was the university representative to Russia to study international education initiatives, and has taught management for a semester at Finance and Economics University, Yunnan, China.


'The critical need to distinguish between leaders and managers that the growing complexity of society demands will be well served by this clear, concise book written by two people who have spent their lives thinking, teaching and writing about it.' — Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, VISA, Author, Birth of the Chaordic Age

'The Murphys have provided us with a unique perspective of the complex subjects of management and leadership. While there are countless publications that attempt to define and homogenize these operational and behavioral principles, this body of work takes the reader through a critical analysis that requires us to consider the historical evolution of management and leadership in organizations, current understandings and a look into the future. The book is an interesting and rewarding journey for the reader as, in the end, we are better tooled to understand the appropriate differences and even common elements for what might constitute exemplary management and leadership practices.' — Gary Bonvillian, President Emeritus, Thomas University

'Robert and Kathleen Murphy move us beyond the present "status quo" into a bright future based on a philosophy I have always ascribed to: "Leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.' — Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient

'Robert and Kathleen Murphy have brilliantly illuminated the difference between management and leadership. Their lessons at the US Army War College served me and thousands of military officers and civilians very well over many years.' — Thomas Bostick, Senior VP, Intrexon