Difference between Development and Growth

2.1 Difference between Development and Growth

Growth and development are two words in the English language that can be used with some difference although they appear to have the same connotation. Their dissimilarity applies in fields such as biology, economy, corporate businesses, individual skills, and so on. Despite the words’ ubiquity, they are often interchanged and misused unknowingly. However, it is fairly easy to distinguish them from one another. Rule of thumb is that development relates to qualitative basis while growth is to quantitative measurement. In biology, growth is defined as a process by which an individual organism changes organically, progressively from a simple to a more composite stage. For instance, the transition of an orange seed to a tall, fruit-bearing tree exhibits growth. As the seed grows, its cellular make-up becomes more complex, allowing it to grow leaves, branches, flowers, and fruits. Note that it is focused on the physical increase in size along with maturation. On the other hand, development in biology pertains to qualitative improvement even without increase in scale and complexity. For example: mental development. This definitely doesn’t concern enlarged heads, but is instead embodied in better analytical skills, wider knowledge-base, refined interpersonal skills, higher intelligence etc. Apparently, development is more concerned with what is progressing internally.

In the context of personal growth and development, the two concepts should ideally go hand-in-hand. As a person ages – apparent phenomena he or she is most likely to advance with her intelligence, skills, and social quotient among many others, which would be an indication of development. Another perspective would relate growth and development with possessions and riches. A person with increasing income can be considered as someone who is growing. However, that doesn’t automatically guarantee that he is developing as well. A well-developed person would be someone who’s able to thrive despite limited resources.