Governance and management are two related but distinct concepts:


  • Refers to the system of decision-making and accountability that defines the roles, responsibilities, and relationships within an organization.
  • Focuses on the overall direction, strategy, and oversight of the organization.
  • Involves setting goals, making decisions, and allocating resources.
  • Typically involves a governing body, such as a board of directors, that is responsible for making strategic decisions.
  • Emphasizes accountability, transparency, and ethical behavior.


  • Refers to the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals and objectives.
  • Focuses on the day-to-day operations and activities of the organization.
  • Involves allocating resources, assigning tasks, and monitoring progress.
  • Typically involves a management team that is responsible for implementing the organization's strategy.

Key differences:

  1. Scope: Governance focuses on the overall direction and strategy of the organization, while management focuses on the day-to-day operations.
  2. Decision-making: Governance involves making strategic decisions, while management involves implementing those decisions.
  3. Accountability: Governance emphasizes accountability and oversight, while management emphasizes responsibility and accountability for achieving specific goals.
  4. Focus: Governance focuses on the organization as a whole, while management focuses on specific departments, teams, or projects.
  5. Timeframe: Governance typically involves long-term planning and decision-making, while management involves short-term planning and execution.

To illustrate the difference, consider a company's board of directors (governance) making a strategic decision to enter a new market, and then the management team (management) implementing that decision by allocating resources, hiring new staff, and developing a marketing strategy.

In summary, governance sets the direction and provides oversight, while management implements that direction and achieves the organization's goals.

What is the difference between governance and management?