Direction in Business- Features, Importance, Principles, Technique
Meaning and Definition of Direction
Direction is concerned with carrying out the policies that result from planning. Important in this respect are the authority relationship, the communication process and the problem of motivation.
- Acccording to theory H. Albers: “The heart of administration is the direction, functions which involve determining the scope of giving orders and instructions and providing dynamic leadership.
- Dimrocck: “Direction consists of the process and techniques utilized in issuing instructions and making certain that operations are carried out as originally planned.” Thus we see that direction is the practical aspect of management involving motivation supervision communication and leadership of human resources.
Characteristics of Direction
Following are the features of direction :
Concerned with Human Element-
Direction involves management of human behaviour. It mainly consists of issuing instructions to subordinates and giving them guidance. Both these activities are related to the human development. It improves interpersonal and intergroup relationship. It motivates employees to work to their best ability.
A Pervasive Functions-
It is a pervasive function as it needs to be performed at all levels of management in all their work relationship may be it is at top level, or middle level or lower level. Every manager, regardless of the number of subordinates has to perform his function.
It is a continuous process. The work of a manager is not only confined to issuing directions and instructions but, he has to continuously guide, supervise and motivate his subordinates. He must continuously take steps to make sure that order and instructions are carried out properly.
It is performance oriented. It converts plan into performance. It is a creative function that makes things happen. Performance is the essence of direction. Direction function directs the performance of individuals towards achievement of organizational goals.
It is a Group of Various Function-
Direction is not a single function. It consists of a number of function. They are supervision leadership, communication and motivation.
Direction Initiates Action-
Other functions prepare a base or setting of action i.e., how action has to be carried on but direction actually starts the actions. By, giving directions or instructions the manager gets the work started in the organization.
Importance of Direction in business
Following are the importance of direction;
It Initiates Action:
Direction initiates action by guiding leading, motivating and managing the human laments in an organization to achieve the desired goals. In relation to direction it can be said that in its absence, the other functions of management lose their significance and are ineffective.
It Integrates Employees Efforts-
Direction integrates employees efforts in the right perspective. It helps in creating mutual understanding and team work among the members of the organization. It integrates the efforts of employees by supervising, guiding and counseling. If any one of employees in the employees-chain does not perform up to the mark it adversely effects the performance of remaining employees, thus it is essential to establish, co-ordination among all the activities,. In fact co-ordination is essential to establish co-ordination.
Means of Motivation:
Direction motivates the employees to work efficiently and effectively and to contribute their maximum efforts to the best of their abilities for the achievement of organizational goals. Motivated employees put their heart and soul in the work and perform their duties with full loyalty and devotion.
It Facilitates Changes:
It enables the organization to cope with the changing condition of the environment through effective communication and persuasive leadership, resistance to change in the organization. Before the change is introduced, the employees may be informed about the nature of changes and the benefits that are likely to follow and they may be taken into confidence through persuasive leadership and information sharing.
For example, change in technology may necessitate changes in the manufacturing process, a computer may have to be installed and manual work reduced to improve the efficiency of operations. Such changes are often resisted by employees.
It Increases Efficiency-
Direction is a key tool for increasing the efficiency of the employees. Every employee of an organization has some potential in one way or the other. It is through direction that managers utilize this potential to accomplish the organizational objectives.
It Helps in Stability and Growth-
Direction provides effective supervision, motivation, correct leadership and well understood communication. Thus, the organization as a whole works in the balanced way and it lasts for a long time if the energies abilities of employees are fully utilized in the interest of the organization.
Benefit of Unity of Command-
Due to scientific supervision effective communication and proper motivation there is no problem of confecting orders or priorities. Because of complete reporting, relationship with single superior personal responsibility for result become greater.
Principles of Direction in Business
Following principles provide the foundation of sound and effective directions :
Principle of Maximum Individual Contribution:
Performance of organization becomes effective only when everyone makes a distinct and maximum possible contribution to the organizational objectives. According to this principle, management adopts direction function which helps all the individuals to performs to the best of their abilities. The managers must motivate the employees to contribute their maximum.
Principle of Harmony of Objectives:
According to this principle the objectives of individual and organization must be in harmony with each other. Employees work in an organization with an objective to get better remuneration, promotion etc. whereas, on the other hand organizational goals can be to earn more profit and to increase market share. A manager must direct his subordinates in such a way that they should feel that organization objectives are in their own interest. Direction should create conditions where individuals can achieve their objectives by fulfilling organizational objective.
Principle of Unity of Direction:
According to this principle, subordinate should get directions from one officer at a time. If the subordinate gets directions from more than one officer, then he will be unable to priorities his work. As a result, situation of confusion; conflict and mismanagement would be emerged. To avoid confusion and to give no chance of excuse to employees, the orders must come from one boss only. If there are more bosses it can create problems of ego clash among the superior as every superior will want his order to be executed by the employee.
Principle of Appropriate Technique:
According to this principal efficiency of directions should be ensured by the management. The success directions are evident when organizational objectives are achieved and employees remain satisfied. This is possible only when appropriate directions techniques are used, to supervise effectively to provide able leadership, adopt free communication channels and to motivate through right medium so according to the need of employees direction technique should be selected.
Principle of Managerial Communication :
According to this principle communication is an important element of direction. Communication does not mean only giving of instruction by superior to subordinates but it also means clear feedback from subordinate to superior. Managers must allow the subordinates to express their views clearly and without any hesitation.
Principle of Use of Informal Communication:
In every organization, an informal organization structure exists within formal organization structure so manager must make use of informal structure also for getting correct and real feedback. The effectiveness of direction increases by securing the co-operation of informal leaders.
Principle of Leadership:
A manager must possess the qualities a good leader. He must guide and counsel his subordinates not only on work problems but also on their personal problems. In such a situation subordinates act according to the wish of manager. This helps to improve the co-operation of the employees.
Principle of Follow Through:
According to this principle, it must be monitored by management that to what extent the policies framed and directions issued have been enforced. Manager, must review from time to time that orders are implemented accordingly. Through follow up, managers can know about their deficiency and it also helps in revising directions.
Techniques of Directing
Following are the techniques of directing :
Autocratic technique, as the name indicates, is the one in which all the rights and powers are vested with the official. He is highly infatuated with his rights and for this reason he does not want to decentralize his powers. He personally takes all the decisions. Sub-ordinates function is to simply follow the directions given by the official and work accordingly. Sub-ordinates do not even have the right to make any kind of suggestion. The main characteristics of this kind of official is that he puts the entire blame on sub-ordinates for failure of any and in case of success attributes the entire credit to himself. In practice, it has been observed that sub-ordinates of such kind of depend upon their boss for even very small matters.
Autocratic technique of management can be both positive as well as negative in its impact. In practice, however it is found to have a negative impact as the workers are scared of the official at all times. They always feel insecure and are totally unaware of the managements decisions. When the official has a positive and co-operative approach he is considered as a kind and helpful official. This kind of official helps in generating good industrial relations, provides inspiration to the workers and helps in increasing productivity. In olden times, Autocratic technique of working was very common. Even today, this kind of technique is still operational in small scale enterprises, but it is totally unsuitable for large scale industries.
Democratic Technique –
Democratic Technique is completely in contrast to Autocratic technique. This technique involves decentralization of power and authority by the official. Policy decisions are also taken in consultation with the sub-ordinates and follows.. In this kind of directing techniques, policies are sometimes framed by making minor changes in the suggestions received from the sub-ordinates. There after, working systems are framed based on these policies. In the democratic technique of directing officials are not unduly, infatuated to their rights or authority. This helps in developing a spirit of cooperativeness and establishing healthy human relations amongst the workers. This is an important step towards industrial democracy because it establishes and strengthens democratic style of working in the industry.
Free rein or Laissez-faire Technique-
This is the third kind of technique of directing. Under this technique the officials give complete freedom and independence to his sub-ordinates and followers. Sub-ordinates decide their own targets and take necessary decision to accomplish them. Officially simply, delegates the necessary authority to his sub-ordinates and followers. This official does not assess the working of his sub-ordinates in positive or negative way. Official simply remains in touch with the workers. In the laissez faire technique officials are guided by the concept that if the sub-ordinates are given complete freedom to work independently, they perform better and yield good results. Free-rein technique should only be adopted when the sub-ordinates are clever, intelligent and experienced.
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