Learn, Explain each, Direction: Meaning, Definition, Nature, and Importance!


Before studying this article Content you will learn about what is it? – 1) Meaning of Direction, 2) Definition of Direction, 3) Nature of Direction, 4) Importance of Direction, and 5) Principles of Direction. Also, each one explains it, Explain Principles for Achieving Effective Direction in Management!

These Common questions are very asked by readers:

  • What is the Meaning of Direction?
  • What is the Definition of Direction?
  • What is the Nature of Direction?
  • What is the Importance of Direction?
  • What are the Principles of Direction?

Directing: A basic management function that includes building an effective work climate and creating an opportunity for motivation, supervising, scheduling, and disciplining.

#Meaning of Direction:

Planning and organizing provide a foundation for the organization and direction initiate action towards the achievement of the goals. Having appointed the workforce, managers ensure they work to achieve the organizational standards of performance and in the course of doing so, satisfy their personal wants and needs also. They act as catalysts for achieving organizational and individual goals.

They act as agents who influence the behavior of employees to achieve the organizational goals and also ensure that organizational plans and policies satisfy the interests of the workforce. Managers, thus, direct employees’ behavior towards organizational and individual/group goals.

#Definition of Direction:

Directing is “A managerial function that involves the responsibility of managers for communicating to others what their roles are in achieving the company plan.” — Pearce and Robinson.

  The Importance of Directing in an Organization!

It is “Getting all the members of the group to want and to strive to achieve objectives of the enterprise and of the members because the members want to achieve these objectives.” — Terry and Franklin.

It is important to create an environment in which people work as active group members to achieve the organizational goals. Managers use behavioral sciences to influence the behavior of the workforce. They remain in constant touch with the employees to ascertain their needs and forces that drive them to work. The motivational factors (monetary and non-monetary) that influence an individual to work are analyzed while directing them to action.

Hersey and Blanchanrd define management as “the process of working with and through individuals and groups and other resources to accomplish organizational goals”.

#Nature of Direction:

The following points highlight the nature of direction:

1. Process of action:

Direction initiates action at top level of the organisation and flows down the hierarchy. It follows that subordinates have to be directed by their superiors only.

2. On-going process:

Directing is not an intermittent function of management. It is a process of continuously guiding the behaviour of others.

3. Not supported by rules:

Since the behaviour of people cannot be predicted through mathematical or statistical tools, the function of directing is based on behavioural sciences. It is not supported by rules or regulations.

4. Directing is situational:

Managers influence the behaviour of employees according to situation. The directions change from situation to situation. Factors like environment, nature of workers, group behaviour, attitude towards work etc. affect directing.

5. Behavioural science:

Since directing deals with human behaviour, managers study different aspects of human psychology to understand how to influence their behaviour.

6. Understand group behaviour:

No person can work alone. While working in the organisation, he becomes part of the informal groups (formed on the basis of common interests of individuals). The behavior of a person is different as an individual and a member of the group. It is, therefore, essential that managers understand the nature of group behaviour in order to direct effectively.

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7. Participative:

Direction initiates action on the part of employees. To ensure greater participation of workers in carrying out the organisational activities, they should take part in the meetings to discuss various direction policies.

8. Pervasive:

Managers at all levels in all functional areas direct their subordinates. Top managers guide middle and lower level managers who further direct supervisors and workers. It is performed at every level of management. Every person in the organizational hierarchy is superior to some and subordinate to others except those at the top and the bottom. Direction maintains and strengthens superior-subordinate relationships and inspires everyone in the organization to have a common vision, that is, contribution to organizational goals.

#Importance of Direction:

Direction puts plans into action.

Well executed direction function has the following merits:

1. Initiates action:

Direction initiates action that motivates people to convert the resources into productive outputs. It gives substance to managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing and controlling. People learn to manage the resources in the most effective way that results in their optimum utilization.

2. Creates a sound work environment:

If directions are issued in consultation with employees (participative), it creates an environment of understanding where people work to their maximum potential, willingly and enthusiastically to contribute towards organizational goals.

3. Develops managers:

Managers who are personally motivated to work can also direct others to work. Managers develop their skills and competence to direct others to follow. If managers and employees work in harmony, it promotes skills of the employees and develops managers to assume responsibilities of higher levels in the organization. Motivation, leadership and communication help in bringing people together. They exploit employees’ talent to the fullest and also provide scope for their skill enhancement. This is beneficial for both the employees and organization. Direction, thus, prepares future managers.

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4. Behavioral satisfaction:

Since direction involves human behavior and psychology, employees feel behaviourally satisfied and personally inspired to achieve organizational goals.

5. Increase in productivity:

Personally satisfied employees contribute towards output and efficiency of the organization. Direction gets maximum out of subordinates by exploiting their potential and increasing their capabilities to work.

6. Achieves coordination:

Directing aims at continuous supervision of activities. It achieves coordination by ensuring that people work towards planned activities in a coordinated manner. It integrates the actions of employees that increases their understanding of mutual interdependence and their collective effort to achieve the organisational goals. It also helps to harmonies individual goals with organisational goals.

7. Facilitates control:

Coordination brings actual performance in conformity with planned performance. The controlling function is, thus, facilitated through effective direction.

8. Facilitates change:

Direction helps in introducing change in the organisation structure and adapting the organisation structure to external environment. Organisation operates in the society as an open system and has to accept social changes for its survival and growth. People are not easily receptive to changes. Direction helps in changing attitude of people towards change and accepts it as a way of life.

9. Facilitates growth:

Organisation open to change is responsive to growth. Direction harmonizes physical, financial and human resources, balances various parts of the organisation and creates commitment amongst people to raise their standards of performance.

#Principles of Direction:

Direction function deals with people. Understanding the behavior of people is a complex phenomenon and directing them to contribute to organizational goals with a common vision is, thus, a complex task. Related question – What are the Principles of Direction?


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