Meaning, Definition, Features, Principles and Techniques
Concept and Definition
Direction is the process in which the managers instruct, guide and oversee the performance of the workers to achieve predetermined goals.
Infact managers play a significant role in direction by directing their subordinates the way they should do their work to achieve organisational objectives.
It takes place after planning, organising and staffing.
Directing can either lead to success or failure.
• Haimann defines direction as the process and technique of issuing instructions and making certain that operations are carried out as planned.
• Newman and Warren defined direction Actively dealing with the steps a manager takes to get subordinates and others to carry out plans.
• Marshall “Directing involve determining the course, giving order and instruction and providing dynamic leadership”.
• GR Terry “Directions means activating and moving into action-supplying simulative power to the group”.
Features of Direction
1. An important managerial function.
2. Performed at every level of management that means it is all pervasive and the manager at every level provides guidance and inspiration to his subordinates.
3. A continuous process as it is required throughout the left of the organisation
4. Is initiated at the top level and followed to bottom through hierarchy.
5. Serves dual purpose
6. aims at getting things done by subordinates,
7. to free superiors for other important work.
Human factor is predominant in the managerial function of direction. Since direction is to instruct human beings, who are emotional unpredictable and complex; it becomes all the more important and essential. Therefore, it is suggested to adopt delicacy sobriety while tackling with human beings.
Direction is a creative activity and it helps in converting plans into performance. Without proper direction, people may become inactive and the Organizational resources may also get wasted.
Importance of Direction
Direction Plays an important role as every action is initiated through direction, which can be seen as follows
(i) Initiates Actions
All the actions required to accomplish organizational objectives are initiated through director. All the human and non-human resources are to be dealt deftly and intelligently to make a profitable organization. Other managerial activities like planning, organizing, staffing become inactive without direction. Every organization is the sum total of human and non-human resources and to achieve efficiency, it is important to handle them efficiently.
(ii) Integrates Employees’ Efforts
It has been observed that no organization or no department works in isolation but each individual’s performance affects the performance of others in the organizations. So, individuals not only need to be effective also, which can be achieved through direction.
(iii) Enhances Individual’s Performance
The three essential elements of direction-Motivation, Leadership and Communication play an important role in tapping the potential of an individual and influencing him to perform effectively.
(iv) Brings Change
Direction facilitates changes in the organization as organizations exist in society and society keeps changing. All the changes whether external or internal are incorporated and implemented through direction only. It can be achieved with the help of three elements of direction : Motivation, Leadership, Communication.
(v) Brings Stability and Balance
Direction provides stability, harmony, balance to work effectively for a longer period; which is attained only by three essential elements of Direction, i.e., Motivation, Leadership and Communication. Marshall Dimock calls direction the heart of administration. He finds high correlation between direction and work performance.
Principles of Direction
- It should be of such kind that leads to maximum individual contribution.
- It should be in such a way that it streamlines and integrate both organizational and individual objectives.
- It should not affect them adversely rather should provide adequate satisfaction.
- It should be from one superior and should report to the same.
- It should be properly chosen out of these three techniques- authoritarian, consultative and free-rein; depending upon the nature of superior and subordinates and the situational variables.
- It should be given through proper communication skills. Thus, effective communication between superior and subordinate is the key to direction.
- It should be given in comprehensive and understandable way as direction is: what to do, how to do, when to do? Clear instructions enable the subordinates to get clear situation and avoid unnecessary queries and explanations from superior.
- It can be given through informal channel as it has been confirmed that these channels are more effective. It becomes the responsibility of manager to understand, spot and make use of such informal channels.
- It should be given by adopting effective leadership styles. Thus, managers need to become leaders so that they can influence the activities of their subordinates without dissatisfying them.
- It should be checked and proper feedback has to be taken to understand the difficulties their subordinates are facing and the orders can be modified and replaced, if needed.