How to Select a Degree Concentration –

Can you explain the differences between concentrations in management and administration?

Great question! Business administration and business management share many of the same attributes. But there are some distinct differences, too. As a fundamental definition, business administration is a broad area that primarily focuses on the understanding of business processes, procedures and functions that are germane to maximize productivity in a formal business operation. In other words, students will develop a greater understanding of business practices in general, which will better prepare them to make business decisions in the workplace.

Part of understanding and learning the principles of business administration also includes the study of management. In fact, management is a large component of business administration, which probably serves as reason why both terms are often used interchangeably. The study of management slightly differs from business administration in two areas.

First, it differs in concentration. Management is a subset of business administration. One who focuses their study in management will develop and hone their business decision-making skills, which includes acquiring knowledge in a multitude of areas (e.g. marketing, finance, accounting) to reinforce the primary learning objective. Second, the study of management differs from business administration in its concentration on people opposed to process. We don’t manage things, we manage people. And a manager’s primary goal is to get things done through their relationships with people. There is much crossover between business administration and management. In fact, they represent the same side of the proverbial coin in most cases. The differences are slight, but both are important in the overall study of business.

Edited by Valerie Jones

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Dr. Arthur Lee Smith has more than 27 years of industry and business consulting experience. In addition to consulting companies on topics including business ethics, diversity in the workplace, and development of job training skills for the underserved, he has taught at several universities across the world. Smith has served as the dean for the School of Business and Technology Management at Northcentral University since July 2010. As dean, his primary responsibility is to oversee all business related academics for the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral studies programs.