Business Studies Part I
Business Studies Part II

Directing: Meaning

Directing means giving instructions and guiding people in doing work. In our daily life, we come across many situations like a hotel owner directing his employees to complete certain activities for organizing a function, a teacher directing his student to complete an assignment, a film director directing the artists about how they should act in the film, etc. In all these situations, we can observe that directing is done to achieve some predetermined objective.

In the context of management of an organization, directing refers to the process of instructing, guiding, counseling, motivating and leading people in the organization to achieve its objectives.

You can observe here that directing is not a mere issue of communication but encompasses many elements like supervision, motivation, and leadership. It is one of the key managerial functions performed by every manager. Directing is a managerial process that takes place throughout the life of an organization.

The main characteristics of directing are discussed below:

  1. Directing initiates action: Directing is a key managerial function. A manager has to perform this function along with planning, organizing, staffing and controlling while discharging his duties in the organization. While other functions prepare a setting for action, directing initiates action in the organization.
  2. Directing takes place at every level of management: Every manager, from the top executive to supervisor performs the function of directing. The directing takes place wherever superior-subordinate relations exist.
  3. Directing is a continuous process: Directing is a continuous activity. It takes place throughout the life of the organization irrespective of people occupying managerial positions. We can observe that in organizations like Infosys, Tata, BHEL, HLL, and the managers may change but the directing process continues because without direction the organizational activities can not continue further.
  4. Directing flows from top to bottom: Directing is first initiated at the top level and flows to the bottom through the organisational hierarchy. It means that every manager can direct his immediate subordinate and take instructions from his immediate boss.

Directing is the heart of management function. All other functions of management such as planning, organizing, and staffing have no importance without directing. Leadership, motivation, supervision, communication are various aspects of directing.

Directing refers to a process or technique of instructing, guiding, inspiring, counselling, overseeing and leading people towards the accomplishment of organizational goals.  It is a continuous managerial process that goes on throughout the life of the organization. Main characteristics of Directing are as follows:

  1. Initiates Action: A directing function is performed by the managers along with planning, staffing, organizing and controlling in order to discharge their duties in the organization. While other functions prepare a platform for action, directing initiates action.
  1. Pervasive Function: Directing takes place at every level of the organization. Wherever there is a superior-subordinate relationship, directing exists as every manager provides guidance and inspiration to his subordinates.
  1. Continuous Activity: It is a continuous function as it continues throughout the life of organization irrespective of the changes in the managers or employees.
  1. Descending Order of Hierarchy: Directing flows from a top level of management to the bottom level. Every manager exercises this function on his immediate subordinate.
  1. Human Factor: Since all employees are different and behave differently in different situations, it becomes important for the managers to tackle the situations appropriately. Thus, directing is a significant function that gets the work done by the employees and increases the growth of the organization.