Difference Between Command and Demand

Command vs Demand

Even though most people consider command and demand as similar, this is an inaccurate belief because these are two different words, between which we can identify certain differences. First, let us define the two words. A command is usually an order. For example, in military units, there are officers who have higher authority than their subordinates. These individuals have the power to command. In this sense, commanding comes with authority. Demand, on the other hand, is a firm request. Unlike in the case of a command, a demand does not come from a position of power. Demand usually involves a struggle. This is the key difference between a command and a demand. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two words while comprehending the usage of each word.

What is Command?

A command can be defined as an order. Commanding in this sense is giving an order. This can also be viewed as being in charge of a military position. For example, an officer in charge of a battalion has the power to command his battalion. In such a scenario, the subordinates do not argue with the officer in charge but simply follows the order. This highlights that authority or power is a key characteristic in commanding.

It is often believed that leaders have the ability to command people. This usually derives from the influence that the leader has over his followers. The respect and authority result in a condition where the followers are willing to obey the commands of a leader. Leaders of this nature command respect, rather than demanding it. This denotes that they do not ask for respect, but gains it sans effort. When commanding, the followers naturally learn to respect the authority and follow orders without question because they truly respect and admire the leader.

Difference Between Command and Demand

The person commanding has full authority

What is Demand?

A demand can be defined as a firm request or pressing requirements. Demanding is asking firmly for something. Unlike in the case of a command, in demand, the individual lacks authority. This results in a struggle due to the imbalance of power between the one who demands and from whom the person demands.

A leader who demands respect does not gain respect naturally. This creates a situation where the leader has to ask for it. This points out that, unlike in command, where respect comes from authority and the influence that the leader has on his followers, in demand, it comes from the force. This emphasizes that in usage, command and demand refer to two different ideas.

 Command vs Demand

Demand can create struggles as there is a power imbalance

What is the difference between Command and Demand?

• Definitions of Command and Demand:

• A command can be defined as an order.

• A demand can be defined as a firm request or pressing requirements.

• Authority:

• Commanding comes with authority.

• Demanding lacks authority.

• Struggle:

• There is no struggle between the parties involved in a command.

• In demanding, there is a struggle between the two parties which results from power imbalance.

• Respect:

• A leader who commands respect gains it naturally.

• A leader who demands respect has to ask for it.

• Influence or Force:

• In command, there is influence.

• In demand, there is force.


Images Courtesy:

  1. U.S. Navy Adm. William_H._McRaven, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Arguing by Neelix (CC BY-SA 3.0)