Principles Of Management And Organisational Behaviour

Principles Of Management And Organisational Behaviour

This course contains the basics of Principles Of Management And Organisational Behaviour

Course introduction
Test Your Caliber
Interview Questions
Pragnya Meter Exam

Principles Of Management And Organisational Behaviour


In practice, management is essentially the art and process of getting things done. The managers have therefore, the responsibility not only of planning and organising the operations but also of guiding and supervising the subordinates. This is the managerial function of direction. In the words of Marshall "Directing involves determining the course, giving orders and instructions and providing dynamic leadership".


According to G. R. Terry - "Directing means moving to action and supplying simulative power to a group of persons". Thus, the plan is put into operation through the organization by the process of direction. Another term used to describe this function is "Activating".

In the words of G. R. Terry - "Activating means moving into action - supplying simulative power to the group".

According to Dale, "Direction is telling people what to do and seeing that they do it to the best of their ability. It is through directing that managers get the work done through people. It consists of: l Issuing orders and instructions by a superior to his subordinates.

  • Guiding, advising and helping subordinates in the proper methods of work.
  • Motivating them to achieve goals by providing incentives, good working environment etc.
  • Supervising subordinates to ensure compliance with plans".

To carry out physically the activities resulting from the planning and organising steps, it is necessary for the manager to take measures that will start and continue action as long as they are needed in order to accomplish the task by the members of the group. The process of directing or activating involves:

  1. Providing effective leadership
  2. Integrating people and tasks and convincing them to assist in the achievement of the overall objectives
  3. Effective communication
  4. Providing climate for 'subordinate' development

Directing represents one of the essential functions of management because it deals with human relations. Once the organisational plans have been laid down, the structure being designed and competent people brought in to fill various positions in organisation, direction starts. Direction phase of management is the heart of management-in action.


Directing has the following characteristics features:

  1. It is the function of the superior manager and runs from top to down in the organization structure. A subordinate has to receive instructions for doing his job from his superior.
  2. Direction implies issuing orders and instruction. Besides issuing orders and instruction a superior also guides and counsels his subordinates to do his job properly.
  3. The top management gives broad direction to the middle level managers who inturn give specific direction to the lower level management.
  4. The four important aspects of directing are supervision, motivation, leadership and communication. All these functions are interconnected and mutually dependent.


The function of directing is concerned with employee orientation, issuing instructions, supervision, motivation, communication and leadership.

  1. Employee Orientation: An employee must be properly oriented to the enterprise in which they are working. This orientation is necessary for them to accomplish the objectives of the enterprise.
  2. Instructions: An instruction is an order or command by a senior directing a subordinate to act or refrain from acting under a given situation. The right to issue orders should be with the superior by virtue of his position.
  3. Supervision: In order to see that the work is done according to the instructions the superior must observe the activities of the subordinates. Supervision is done at all levels of management. However, supervision is more important at lower levels.
  4. Motivation: One of the most challenging problems for management is to motivate people. Management has to induce the employee to utilise his talent and skill to contribute to the organisational goal.


The importance of direction in an organisation can be viewed by the fact that every action is initiated through direction. It is the human element which handles the other resources of the organisation. Each individual in the organisation is related with others and his functioning affects others and, in turn, is affected by others. This makes the functioning of direction all the more important. The importance of the direction functionis given below:

  1. Direction integrates employees' efforts: The individual efforts needs to be integrated so that the organisation achieves its objectives. No organisational objective can be achieved without the function of direction.
  2. Direction initiates action: It is through direction that the management makes individuals function in a particular way to get organisational objectives.
  3. Direction gets output from individuals: Every individual in the organisation has some potentials and capabilities which can be properly utilised through the function of direction.
  4. Direction facilitates changes: To manage change management must motivate individuals to accept these changes which can be accomplished through motivation.


Direction is one of the most important functions of management. A good plan may have been checked out, sound organisation may have been evolved and a sound team of workers may be employed, but all these will not produce any result until there is proper direction of the people in the use of various resources. Direction helps in achieving coordination among various operations of the enterprise. It is only after the performance of direction function that the purpose of planning, organising and staffing is achieved. Directing is the process around which all performance revolves. It is the essence of operation and co-ordination is a necessary by-product of good managerial directing.

Pervasiveness of Direction

Direction is a pervasive function of management. It exists at every level, location and operation throughout an enterprise. Some people think that only the managers at the lower level who deal directly with the workers, perform the direction function. This point of view is not correct. Direction function must be performed by every manager at different levels of the enterprise. For instance, chief executive of a company interprets the objectives and policies of the company and delegates authority to the departmental managers, the direction function is part and parcel of these activities. Every manager, regardless of the number of subordinates, performs this function because he is busy in giving instructions to the subordinates, guiding them, and motivating them for the achievement of certain goals.

Continuing Function

Like any other function of management, directing is a continuing activity. A manager never ceases to direct, guide and supervise his subordinates. A manager who issues orders and instructions and thinks his job is complete is committing a very serious error. He must continuously supervise the execution of his orders or instructions by the subordinates. He should also provide them effective leadership and motivation. Thus, he will have to continue to devote considerable time on the direction function.


For effective direction, following principles may be used:

  1. Principle of leadership: Ability to lead effectively is essential to effective direction.
  2. Principle of informed communication: The management should recognise and utilise informal organisation constructively.
  3. Principle of direct supervision: The manager should supplement objective methods of supervision and control with direct personal supervision to ensure personal contact.
  4. Principle of direct objectives: The manager should communicate effectively and motivate the subordinates for most effective performance.
  5. Principle of harmony of objectives: The manager should guide the subordinates so that their individual interest harmonizes with group interests.
  6. Principle of unity of command: For most effective direction, subordinates should be responsible to one superior.
  7. Principle of managerial communication: The manager being the principle medium of communication, should keep lines of communication open.
  8. Principle of comprehension: The communication should ensure that the recipients of the information actually comprehend it.
  9. Principle of direct communication: The direct flow of information is most effective for communications.


Following points should be observed while issuing orders to the subordinates:

  1. Few orders: Issue as few orders as possible. More orders than those that are absolutely necessary, if issued, will result in loss of independence and thus initiatives of subordinates will be suppressed.
  2. Clear orders: The orders should be absolutely clear. They create confidence in the mind of the subordinates about the clear understanding by the order given.
  3. Brief but complete orders: The orders should be as brief as possible but complete orders to convey fully what is intended to be done.
  4. Promptness: Professional form and proper tone in orders. Prompt issuing of order and proper use of technical words and phrases is essential for effective directing. Proper tone in issuing the orders should be observed.
  5. Legitimate scope of orders: The manager issuing the order should keep within his own domain. He must not encroach up on the sphere of the receiving executive.
  6. Follow up orders: Another important principle of direction is that once orders or instructions are issued, they should be followed up to see that they are executed, orthe instructions should be countermanded or with drawn.


Directions may be either oral or written. Some of the advantage of written directions areas follows:

  1. Written directions are more clear, comprehensive and clarity of thought and better quality of direction maintained.
  2. Written orders are comparatively more intelligible and the chances for misunderstanding and duplication of efforts will be minimised.
  3. The subordinates also get an ample opportunity to study the directive carefully.
  4. It also makes it possible to communicate to all interested parties simultaneously.
  5. A written order can be consulted readily to maintain accuracy.
  6. It helps in accountability and smooth carrying out of orders.


A manager has at his disposal three broad techniques of direction.

  1. Consultative direction: In this method executive consults with his subordinates concerning the feasibility, the work ability and the extent and content of a problem before the superior makes a decision and issues a directive.
    The following advantages are claimed in this type of method:
    1. Participation occurs on every level of organisation.
    2. Better communication.
    3. Least resistance from subordinates, experience and knowledge of subordinate also can be used to arrive at right directives.
    4. It induces better motivation and morale.
    5. It leads to better co-ordination and effective results.
    This method has the following disadvantages:
    1. It is time consuming.
    2. Subordinates may consider it their right and prerogative to be consulted before a directive is given to them by their superiors.
    3. Sometimes unnecessary arguments arise leading to wastage of time.
  2. Free rein direction: The free rein technique encourages and enables the subordinate to contribute his own initiative, independent thought, drive, perspicacity and ingenuity to the solution of the problem. The free rein technique of direction will probably show the best and quickest results, if the subordinate is highly educated, brilliant young man a sole performer, who has a sincere desire to become a to p level manager.
  3. Automatic direction: In this method manager gives direct, clear and precise orders to his subordinates, with detailed instructions as how and what is to be done allowing no room for the initiative of the subordinate.