Concept and Principle of Direction

Concept of Direction

Direction virtually denotes management in action. Direction means the issuance of orders and leading and motivating subordinates. It clearly envisages that directing is a part of managerial function and process in which senior issues orders, gives instructions, provides leadership, guides and supervises subordinates performance, motivates them to develop confidence and zeal. He also communicates with the subordinates effectively. Without direction, nothing can be accomplished. Direction can be also defined in terms of instruction, supervision, motivation, leadership and communication.

According to Ernest Dale,"Direction is telling people what to do and seeing that they do it to the best of their ability." It includes making assignments, corresponding procedures, seeing that mistakes are corrected, providing on the job instruction and of course, issuing orders.

Besides, these elements relating to direction may be as follows:

  • Issuing orders and instructions to the subordinates telling them what to do and how to do it.
  • Guiding and supervising subordinates to ensure that they are doing their job properly.
  • Motivating the subordinates to inspire to work with zeal and willingness for the accomplishment of organizational goals.
  • Providing leadership to subordinates and induce to give best.
  • Communicating with subordinates to remain in constant touch with them.

Principles of Direction

We know that direction is a vital function of management, but it is also a complex one. A manager can learn and get perfection in it only having long experiences. Direction deals with people whose nature and behavior is quite complex and unpredictable. However, some important principles or requirements of direction can be prescribed for effective implementation and they are discussed here under:

  • Harmony of objectives:

The first principle of direction is to maintain harmony and establish consistency in the objectives of individuals and enterprise. Employees may be interested in achieving their own goals and objectives such as the satisfaction of their physiological and psychological needs and on the other hand, an enterprise may have their own corporate objective which they may wish to be accomplished with the help of employees. So a manager can very tactfully manage the problem and situation by establishing a complete harmony between the individual and corporate objectives. If employees are asked to work hard so that enterprise’s profit may increases, then the employees probably will not. Thus, through proper and tactful direction, a manager can easily integrate individual and organizational goals or objectives.

  • Unity of command:

Unity of command is the principle of organizing, however, it is equally applicable in the case of direction. According to this principle, each and every employee should receive order or instruction only from a definite superior i.e., one manager. If orders are given by more than two superiors or works are assigned by many seniors, it will surely create confusion, conflict, and disorder in the organization. Therefore, only one superior should command the subordinates.

  • Direct supervision:

As a leader, a manager is required to supervise the work and performance of subordinates. Within the organization, the superiors are required to make direct contact with the juniors, subordinates, and staff members to whom they have assigned the jobs and prescribed instructions. In this regard, personal touch and contact, face to face communication and individual hearing will encourage the subordinates and thus successful direction would be achieved. This principle may help to boost the working staff.

  • Effective communication:

Today, communication has become necessary for organizational success. The effective communication system should be adopted if corporate success is to be achieved. The principle of direction also demands and tells that two-way communication must be followed i.e. downward and upward communication. Downward communication carries the orders, instruction, guiding etc. given by the senior to the subordinates, and on the other hand, upward communication is related to subordinates feeling, thought, and performance in the organization. If senior knows and understands the workers feeling, then it will be easier to make the direction effective.

  • Comprehension:

Unless the subordinates understand the assigned job and instruction , it will be meaningless to give emphasis upon direction. So, a direction is guided by the principle i.e. what job is assigned to the subordinates understand it easily, exactly and accept it wholly.

  • Flow of information:

Information is very important. Lack of information, partial information and problems , disseminating information may create an unfavorable situation. For the effective and efficient direction, the direct and complete flow of information is necessary. Information is necessary for communication, communication is necessary for direction and effective direction helps the organization to achieve the corporate goals.

  • Effective leadership:

The subordinates, workers, staff members and other followers feel very protected, guided, saved and see the future with some short of confidence and assurance if they are lead well by their senior. So, a manager must possess a quality of leadership if he wants his subordinates to perform work well. Under the process of leadership, he should assign the job with instruction and guide them and provide his personal advice too. Besides, he should pay personal attention to individual workers and try to understand their problems if any they have. Doing these, a manager can win the confidence.

  • Effective motivation:

Unless the workers are motivated their work may not be accomplished well. Motivation creates a willingness to work. This motivation can be materialized by the manager. The manager can motivate the employees in the work. He can inspire in such a way that the employees may contribute to the accomplishment of the organization’s goal.

  • Strategic use of informational organization:

Today, within the business organization, much other informal organization are being created by the employees. A group of people uses to create separate associations of their own interests. The associations may be related to any type and kind ranging from ethnic to professional. Hence, the manager should , first of all, accept the association and then try to use that association strategically for the betterment of organization and association both.

  • Maximum individual contribution:

Every person has some potentials and capability with which he performs the job. Here, this potentiality and capability should be utilized properly. A manager with effective motivation and leadership should adopt such direction techniques so that the capability of individuals should be utilized in its true sense.


Sharma, P., Shrestha, A., Pant, H., Gautam, I., Thapa, R. B., & Upadhyay, P. (2011). Buddha Publication.

Poudyal, Santosh Raj, Business Studies-XII, Asmita Book Publication, Kathmandu

Bhandari, Kedar Prasad, Business Studies-XII, Bundipuran Prakashan, Kathmandu

Direction is related to the following elements: 

  1. Issuing orders and instructions to the subordinates telling them what to do and how to do it.
  2. Guiding and supervising subordinates to ensure that they are doing their job properly.
  3. Motivating the subordinates to inspire to work with zeal and willingness for the accomplishment of organizational goals.
  4. Providing leadership o subordinates to induce to give best.
  5. Communicating with subordinates to remain in constant touch with them.

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