How to explain Principles for Achieving Effective Direction in Management?


Around the area, this question very common, What are the Principles of Direction in Management? and What are the Principles of Direction? These principles very Helpful for achieving effective direction in management are: 1) principle of harmony of objectives, 2) principle of scalar chain, 3) principle of unity of command, 4) principle of unity of direction, 5) principle of effective communication, 6) principle of direct supervision, 7) principle of effective leadership and 8) Principle of follow-up! Also learned, The Principles of Effective Directing or Direction, Explain Principles for Achieving Effective Direction in Management!

An effective direction is instrumental in enhancing the contribution of subordinates towards the attainment of organizational goals. It helps in decreasing cost and increasing efficiency of workers and serves the interests of both the workers as well as the enterprise. Related question – What is the Importance of Directing? with Aspects or Elements explain it!

Following are the important principles which are helpful in achieving effective direction:

The Principle of the harmony of objectives:

An organization aims at achieving the predetermined objectives with the help of people. With different techniques of direction, management should try to integrate the organizational and individual objectives. The interest of the group must always prevail over individual interests. A manager must try to reconcile personal interest of the subordinates with the common interest. Harmony of objectives makes the task of direction easy.

The Principle of scalar chain:

Scalar chain means that chain of subordinates and superiors ranging from top to the lowest ranks. This chain clearly establishes superior-subordinate relationships and scope of authority is clearly defined. For carrying the function of direction successfully a clear scalar chain is immensely helpful.

The Principle of unity of command:

A Principle of unity of command means that a subordinate should get orders and instructions from one boss only. The employee will be confused if he has to report to more than one superior. In the absence of unity of command, authority is undermined, discipline weakened, Loyalty divided and confusion and delays in work are frequent.

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The Principle of unity of direction:

For ensuring effective direction, there should be one head and one plan for a group of activities having the same objectives. This principle clearly lays down that the efforts of all the members should be directed by a single head for the accomplishment of the objectives of the organization.

The Principle of effective communication:

Communication is an important instrument for effective direction. Without communication, the function of direction cannot be performed. Two-way communication provides an opportunity to the subordinates a chance to express their feelings and the superior to know the feelings of the subordinates. A well-knit system of communication provides for free flow of ideas, information, suggestion, complaints, and grievances.

The Principle of direct supervision:

The function of direction becomes more effective if the supervisor maintains a direct and personal contact with his subordinates. Direct supervision infuses a sense of participation among the subordinates and encourages them to give their best to attain the organizational goals. It also boosts the morale of the employees, increases their loyalty and provides the superior with immediate feedback about their performance.

The Principle of effective leadership:

Effective leadership is the essence of the function of direction. The superior must possess the qualities of a good leader if he is to get the work done by the subordinates. Effective leadership is also helpful in winning the confidence of the subordinates.

The principle of follow-up:

A manager or the superior has to monitor or follow-up the performance of the subordinates constantly so as to ensure that the work is being performed as per the plans made. He should keenly observe the subordinates at work and correct them wherever they go wrong.

#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.

However, the following principles help managers perform the complex function of direction:

1. Appropriate selection of employees:

Direction is related to the function of staffing. While selecting employees, managers should ensure that people can adjust to the organisation structure and willingly carry out the directions of the superiors. Chances of demotions and separations should be reduced to as low as possible. It is easy to direct people who are committed to their task and see organisational goals as a means to achieve the individual goals.

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2. Participation:

Since direction influences the behaviour of others, managers follow the principle of participation (while preparing the directives). If those who carry out the directions participate in making policies regarded directions (motivational plans, leadership styles, communication pattern), direction function will be able to accomplish its purpose effectively.

3. Communication:

To make direction effective, managers ensure two-way flow of communication between them and the employees. Employees should be allowed to express their feelings to superiors. An effective system of communication ensures passing of orders and instructions by superiors which are smoothly carried by subordinates and expressing problems and grievances by subordinates to superiors which are solved by the superiors. Direction function aims at maximising the interest of not only self but also others in the organisation.

4. Counselling and guidance:

When employees face problems in carrying out their tasks, managers provide them the necessary counselling and guidance. This makes direction effective as employees can approach the superiors for counselling whenever required. It is important that subordinates carry out the instructions the way they are intended by the superiors. There should be complete understanding of communication between the superiors and subordinates. Doubts and queries of subordinates should be cleared by superiors through proper guidance and counselling.

5. Unity of command:

The basic principle that makes direction effective is one boss for one subordinate i.e., all directions, orders and instructions should come from one boss. If subordinate receives instructions from more than one superior, he may not be able to carry out the instructions of any of them. This will create confusion and conflicts to the dissatisfaction of both, the superiors and subordinates.

However, in the contemporary business environment characterized by extreme specialization, it may not always be possible to follow the principle of unity of command. The functional organization, project organization, matrix organization have the system of dual command and even multiple commands. The direction function should ensure that employees are able to maintain balance amongst the instructions issued by bosses of different functional areas. Direction function cannot be performed in an environment of restrictions. There are different techniques of direction (authoritative, participative, free reign) which are followed depending upon the need of the situation.

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6. Unity of direction:

One plan or related set of activities should have one head. All activities related to marketing must be headed by the marketing manager and those related to personnel should be headed by the personnel manager. This avoids duplication of actions and instructions and results in optimum use of scarce resources.

7. Synthesis of conflicting objectives:

Every group of people, whether owners, managers, or workers have a personal interest as supreme while carrying out the organizational activities. This can lead to conflicting interests which may hamper the organizational growth. Effective directions, motivation, guidance and counselling make people understand that their goals are subordinate to organizational goals.

This enables different groups of people to move towards the same direction. The conflicting objectives are, thus, synthesized into a single plan, one objective, one direction and one goal, that is, to maximise the organisational goals. If subordinates view organisational interest as supreme, the organization also takes care to look after the interest of subordinates.

8. Direct supervision:

Direct supervision of employees helps them know deviations in their performance and ways to remove them. This also maintains direct contact between superiors and subordinates and increases interest in their work and confidence and loyalty in their supervisors.

9. Contribution:

Direction aims at getting maximum contribution from employees by exploiting their talent to the best. If employees have the potential to contribute more than their present performance, direction helps in enhancing the contribution towards organisational objectives.

10. Use of informal organisation:

Though directions are issued in a formal organisation structure, managers should make use of informal organisation also to speed up the process of direction. Information travels faster amongst informal groups and directions can be effectively carried out because people can freely interact with each other.

11. Follow-up:

Managers should receive constant feedback on their directions to know whether or not employees are working according to their directions. If employees have problems, they should solve their problems and if the need arises, even revise the directions.


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