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Directing is said to be a process in which the managers instruct, guide and oversee the performance of
the workers to achieve predetermined goals. Directing is said to be the heart of management
process. Planning, organizing, staffing have got no importance if direction function does not take place.

Directing initiates action and it is from here actual work starts. Direction is said to be consisting of
human factors. In simple words, it can be described as providing guidance to workers is doing work. In
field of management, direction is said to be all those activities which are designed to encourage the
subordinates to work effectively and efficiently. According to Human, “Directing consists of process or
technique by which instruction can be issued and operations can be carried out as originally planned”
Therefore, Directing is the function of guiding, inspiring, overseeing and instructing people towards
accomplishment of organizational goals.

Direction has got following characteristics:

1. Pervasive Function - Directing is required at all levels of organization. Every manager provides
guidance and inspiration to his subordinates.
2. Continuous Activity - Direction is a continuous activity as it continuous throughout the life of
3. Human Factor - Directing function is related to subordinates and therefore it is related to
human factor. Since human factor is complex and behavior is unpredictable, direction function
becomes important.
4. Creative Activity - Direction function helps in converting plans into performance. Without this
function, people become inactive and physical resources are meaningless.
5. Executive Function - Direction function is carried out by all managers and executives at all levels
throughout the working of an enterprise, a subordinate receives instructions from his superior
6. Delicate Function - Direction is supposed to be a function dealing with human beings. Human
behavior is unpredictable by nature and conditioning the people’s behavior towards the goals of
the enterprise is what the executive does in this function. Therefore, it is termed as having
delicacy in it to tackle human behavior.

Principles of directing

Effective directing is an art which a manager can learn and perfect through practice. Directing has the
following principles which make the directing function effective in the organization.

1. Principle of leadership – It is the ability to lead effectively and is essential for the effective
directing of the subordinates.

2. Principle of communication – A good system of communication between the superior and his
subordinates helps to improve mutual understanding. Upwards communication helps a manager
to understand the subordinates to express their feeling. Through this principle the management
recognizes the importance of an informal organization.

3. Principle of direct supervision – Directing becomes more effective when there is a direct
personal contact between the superior and his subordinates. Such contact improves the morale
and commitment of the employees. Therefore, whenever possible direct supervision is to be
used. Hence the manager is to supplement objective methods of supervision and control with
direct personal supervision to ensure personal contact.

4. Principle of direct objectives – The manager is to communicate effectively and motivate the
subordinates for most effective performance for the achievement of the objectives.

5. Principles of harmony of objectives – Employees join the organization to satisfy their

physiological and psychological needs. They are expected to work for the achievement of
organizational objectives. They will perform their tasks better if they feel that it will satisfy their
personal goals. Therefore, the manager is to guide the subordinates so that their individual
interest harmonizes with the organizational interests.

6. Principle of unity of command – A subordinate is to get orders and instruction only from one
superior. If he is made accountable to two superiors simultaneously, there will be confusion,
conflict, disorder and indiscipline in the organization. Therefore, every subordinate should be
asked to report to only one manager.

7. Principle of managerial communication – A good system of communication between the

superior and his subordinates helps to improve mutual understanding. Upwards communication
helps a manager to understand the subordinates to express their feeling. 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

10. Principle of appropriate techniques – The manager is to use correct direction techniques to
ensure efficiency of directing. The techniques used are to be suitable to the superior, the
subordinates and the situation.