Difference between Business Administration and Business Management

Updated on March 8, 2017

So you want to be in business and you want to call the shots. Perhaps this is all you know about your future career in business management. Or is it business administration? If these terms have got you confused, know that you are not the only one. It’s important to differentiate between the two, however, because they require different diplomas and classes. Here’s why.


Business Administration

Business administration includes all processes that have anything to do with running a business. This may be ethics, marketing and research, and finances, among others. Students of business administration will have a curriculum that carries out the broad core approach to business in general.

Within a company, a business administrator is the person who carries out the plan established by the management. He/she makes sure to direct all resources toward the meeting of requirements. The billing, accounting, human resources, and development tasks are overseen by the administrator.

Business management focuses more on the decision-making and authoritative aspects of a business. Students of business management learn how to plan, organize, manage, and effectively run a business. There is a focus on communication, leadership skills, and logistics.

Within a company, business managers come up with the growth strategy and give out specific tasks to the department heads. They are the ones that must ensure company profitability and the ones who call the shots when it comes to the reduction of the workforce, investments, or business expansions.

Business Administration vs Business Management

So what is the difference between business administration and business management?

The main difference between business administration and business management consists in the fact that one teaches you how to actively run a business, while the other teaches you how to plan and make efficient strategies. In school, business administration students get the overall education that allows them to efficiently manage any department in a company, while business management students focus on the authoritative aspects. One carries out the plan – the business administrator; while the other comes up with it – the business manager.

Comparison Chart

Business AdministrationBusiness Management
Focuses on carrying out management’s planFocuses on coming up with a growth plan
Handles company resources and ensures their proper division, so that all departments are fully operationalSees the business as a whole and sets department goals
Is internally orientedTakes into account the external factors that might influence the company’s development