Business Studies Part I
Business Studies Part II

Directing: Principles

Providing good and effective directing is a challenging task as it involves many complexities. A manager has to deal with people with diverse background, expectations. This complicates the directing process. Certain guiding principles of directing may help in directing process. These principles are briefly explained below:

  1. Maximum individual contribution: This principle emphasises that directing techniques must help every individual in the organisation to contribute to his maximum potential for achievement of organisational objectives. It should bring out untappted energies of employees for the efficiency of organisation. For example, a good motivation plan with suitable monetary and non-monetary rewards can motivate an employee to contribute his maximum efforts for the organisation as he or she may feel that their efforts will bring them suitable rewards.
  2. Harmony of objectives: Very often, we find that individual objectives of employees and the organisational objectives as understood are conflicting to each other. For example, an employee may expect attractive salary and monetary benefits to fulfill his personal needs. The organisation may expect employees to improve productivity to achieve expected profits. But, good directing should provide harmony by convincing that employee rewards and work efficiency are complimentary to each other.
  3. Unity of Command: This principle insists that a person in the organisation should receive instructions from one superior only. If instructions are received from more than one, it creates confusion, conflict and disorder in the organisation. Adherence to this principle ensures effective direction.
  4. Appropriateness of direction technique: According to this principle, appropriate motivational and leadership technique should be used while directing the people based on subordinate needs, capabilities, attitudes and other situational variables. For example, for some people money can act as powerful motivator while for others promotion may act as effective motivator.
  5. Managerial communication: Effective managerial communication across all the levels in the organisation makes direction effective. Directing should convey clear instructions to create total understanding to subordinates. Through proper feedback, the managers should ensure that subordinate understands his instructions clearly.
  6. Use of informal organisation: A manager should realise that informal groups or organisations exist within every formal organisation. He should spot and make use of such organisations for effective directing.
  7. Leadership: While directing the subordinates, managers should exercise good leadership as it can influence the subordinates positively without causing dissatisfaction among them.
  8. Follow through: Mere giving of an order is not sufficient. Managers should follow it up by reviewing continuously whether orders are being implemented accordingly or any problems are being encountered. If necessary, suitable modifications should be made in the directions.

  1. Maximum Individual Contribution: One of the main principles of directing is the contribution of individuals. Management should adopt such directing policies that motivate the employees to contribute their maximum potential for the attainment of organizational goals.
  1. Harmony of Objectives: Sometimes there is a conflict between the organizational objectives and individual objectives. For example, the organization wants profits to increase and to retain its major share, whereas, the employees may perceive that they should get a major share as a bonus as they have worked really hard for it. Here, directing has an important role to play in establishing harmony and coordination between the objectives of both the parties.
  1. Unity of Command: This principle states that a subordinate should receive instructions from only one superior at a time. If he receives instructions from more than one superiors at the same time, it will create confusion, conflict, and disorder in the organization and also he will not be able to prioritize his work.
  1. Appropriate Direction Technique: Among the principles of directing, this one states that appropriate direction techniques should be used to supervise, lead, communicate and motivate the employees based on their needs, capabilities, attitudes and other situational variables.
  1. Managerial Communication: According to this principle, it should be seen that the instructions are clearly conveyed to the employees and it should be ensured that they have understood the same meaning as was intended to be communicated.
  1. Use of Informal Organization: Within every formal organization, there exists an informal group or organization. The manager should identify those groups and use them to communicate information. There should be a free flow of information among the seniors and the subordinates as an effective exchange of information are really important for the growth of an organization.
  1. Leadership: Managers should possess a good leadership quality to influence the subordinates and make them work according to their wish. It is one of the important principles of directing.
  1. Follow Through: As per this principle, managers are required to monitor the extent to which the policies, procedures, and instructions are followed by the subordinates. If there is any problem in implementation, then the suitable modifications can be made.

The statement is true. Every manager of the organisation performs some function of directing. From top executives to low-level managers all give direction to their subordinates.