Business Studies Part I
Business Studies Part II

Nature of Principles of Management

The principles of management are intended to apply to all types of organisations, business as well as non-business, small as well large, public sector as well as private sector, manufacturing as well as the services sectors. However, the extent of their applicability would vary with the nature of the organisation, business activity, scale of operations and the like. For example, for greater productivity, work should be divided into small tasks and each employee should be trained to perform his/her specialised job. This principle is applicable to a government office where there is a diary/despatch clerk whose job is to receive and send mail or documents, a data entry operator whose task is to input data on the computer, a peon and an officer etc. 

  • General guidelines: The principles are guidelines to action  but do not provide readymade, straitjacket solutions to all managerial problems. This is so because real business situations are very complex and dynamic and are a result of many factors.
  • Formed by practice and experimentation: The principles of management are formed by experience and collective wisdom of managers as well as experimentation. For example, it is a matter of common experience that discipline is indispensable for accomplishing any purpose
  • Flexible: The principles of management are not rigid prescriptions, which have to be followed absolutely. They are flexible and can be modified by the manager when the situation so demands. They give the manager enough discretion to do so. For example, the degree of concentration of authority (centralisation) or its dispersal (decentralisation) will depend upon the situations and circumstances of each enterprise.
  • Mainly behavioural: Management principles aim at influencing behaviour of human beings. Therefore, principles of management are mainly behavioural in nature. It is not that these principles do not pertain to things and phenomenon at all, it is just a matter of emphasis
  • Cause and effect relationships: The principles of management are intended to establish relationship between cause and effect so that they can be used in similar situations in a large number of cases. As such, they tell us if a particular principle was applied in a particular situation, what would be its likely effect. The principles of management are less than perfect since they mainly apply to human behaviour.
  • Contingent: The application of principles of management is contingent or dependent upon the prevailing situation at a particular point of time. The application of principles has to be changed as per requirements. For example, employees deserve fair and just remuneration.

It is important as it helps manager in taking thoughtful and scientific decisions.

As it is not rigid  and can be modified by manager  as per the situation.

As it depends upon the prevailing situation at a particular point of time.