The Difference Between Management and Governance

In terms of the meaning of the words, it does not seem too much difference between management and governance, they both have a relationship with “to direct” or “to act”.


But if the words “management” and “governance” are associated with the concept of corporate management and corporate governance, the difference between management and governance will be very visible.

The difference between management and governance in terms of the difference between Corporate Governance and Corporate Management are as follows:

Governance focuses on oversight, accountability and strategic decisions, while management focuses on strategic decisions, management decisions and control, and operational management. That is the clear difference between management and governance

Intersection between management and governance is on the area of ​​strategic decisions. Coverage area of governance is the upper-middle while the coverage area of management is the lower-middle.

From the point of view of Corporate Governance and Corporate Management the difference between management and governance has been seen clearly, but how about from the point of view of IT Governance and IT Management?, has the difference been seen clearly as well?.

Since the concept of IT Governance is a derivative from the concept of Corporate Governance, it is supposed to be that the meaning of management and governance in IT Management and IT Governance is the same as the meaning of management and governance in Corporate Management and Corporate Governance, however, in its implementation many of IT people do not realize it.

The tendency within the IT world is that many of IT people who think that governance is synonymous with management, there is no difference between management and governance, so, they just simply replace all the words management with governance, such as replacing the Information Security Management with Information Security Governance, Data Management with Data Governance, Information Management with Information Governance, even Storage Management and Bandwidth Management with Storage Governance and Bandwidth Governance.

If we do not see in depth the difference between management and governance, the change of the word “management” with “governance” does not seem to be a problem, but if we analyse the difference between management and governance in more detail we will see how funny what IT people have done about it.

IT Governance is part of Corporate Governance and IT Management is part of Corporate Management. Coverage area of governance is the upper-middle, while the coverage area of management is the lower middle. Coverage area of Corporate Governance and IT Governance is from the board of directors level up and the coverage area of Corporate Management and IT Management is from the management level down.

From the above explanation it can be concluded that the coverage area of governance is from the board of directors level to the top and the coverage area of management is from the management level to the bottom.

The question is that is it true that the coverage area of Information Security Governance, Data Governance, Information Governance, Storage Governance or Bandwidth Governance is from the board of directors level to the top?.

So, it seems that in the IT world there is a confusion in understanding the meaning of the words management and governance or a confusion in understanding the difference between management and governance. IT Governance concept can be misleading because of the tendency within the IT sector to transpose the terms ‘management’ and ‘governance’.

Almost everything that is touted today as IT Governance by the industry is actually just plain old IT management. Governance and management are fundamentally different things.

Tools that used to be promoted as IT management tools suddenly became IT governance tools. COBIT, ITSM/ITIL or ISO 27002 which is actually “the best practice for it management”, is mentioned frequently these days as an IT governance model.

ITGovernanceOnline.com website is updated frequently, several times a month. So, you can revisit every month or check the history of interesting updates of the website on What’s new on the website?.

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