Principles of Directing

A reference to some fundamental principles of directing is likely to highlight better, the true concept and nature of this managerial function. Following are the important principles, governing the application of the directing function, in a managerial context:-

i. Principle of effective directing

According to this principle, the more effective the directing is; the more and better would be employees’ contribution to the attainment of common objectives. Accordingly, a manager while performing this function must try to use the best of his skills and techniques of directing- to ensure maximum efficiency in the performance of this function.

 ii. Principle of orientation

New employees – must be oriented or introduced to-the job to be performed by them, work environment, superiors, subordinates and colleagues and the rules, policies and objectives of the enterprise; before they are asked to perform their roles. In a way, all the necessary information about their job assignments must be provided to them: so that they can perform their jobs in the best and desired manner – in the broad context of the organizational setting.

iii. Principle of ‘rational’ orders

To initiate the process of actual work performance during directing, management must issue such orders and instruction to employees, as are rational i.e. in the context of and relating to basic enterprise objective; and their best attainment.

iv. Principle of unity of command

As a principle of directing, unity of command implies that one employee must be issued orders and instructions only by one superior at a time; and the directed exclusively only by that superior (to avoid clash and overlapping of instructions and guidance) during the entire directing stage. The observance of these principles is likely to yield the best results out of the performance by subordinates.

v. Scalar chain principle

As a principle of directing, scalar chain implies that the employee or the subordinate must be directed only by his most immediate superior, who, would be perhaps, in the best position to understand the behavior and competence of the subordinate. The most immediate superior can apply best directing techniques, specially motivation and leadership, in view of the requirements, problems and temperament of his most immediate subordinate; and ensure best performance by the latter.

vi. Principle of friendly supervision

During the directing stage, a manager must exercise only friendly supervision over subordinates; with a view to motivating and encouraging them and developing good human relations. Autocratic or dictatorial supervision must be rarely adhered to; as it is likely to fail in producing effective results, in the long-run.

vii. Principle of harmony of objectives

While initiating the directing process, the objectives of the individual and those of the organization must, preferably be, thoroughly harmonized – through adequate motivation and outstanding leadership. In fact, the best performance by subordinates at the directing stage, would occur; when subordinates while working for the enterprise feel that their personal objectives are being fulfilled.

viii. Principle of outstanding leadership

According to this principle, the manager – director must exhibit outstanding leadership; so that the followers i.e. the subordinates are filled with zeal and enthusiasm and get fully dedicated to the common cause of the organization.

ix. Principle of free and open communication

According to this principle, the manager-director must design and maintain a system of free and open communication within the work-group; to ensure the development of best human relations and facilitating the attainment of common objectives.

x. Principle of follow-through

The manager – director must not only help people initiate performance; but also follow through the whole performance, pointing out to deficiencies in their performance; and modifying directing techniques – to overcome such deficiencies.

xi. Principle of constructive use of informal groups

The manager, during the directing stage, must not hesitate to make a constructive – but cautious – use of informal group to expedite the process of directing; by availing of the plus points of such groups.