Everything you need to know about elements of directing in management. The process of direction is concerned with the way an executive issues orders and instruction and alter wise indicates how the work is to be done.

Thus, directing does not simply mean issuing orders and instructions but also includes guiding and inspiring people.

The managers have, therefore, the responsibility not only of planning, organizing and selecting the competent persons but also of guiding and directing the sub-ordinates towards common target in the organization.

So when organization is ready to go into action, the manager’s responsibility is to issue order and instructions to the people so that they can contribute their efforts in one direction to achieve common goal.


Some of the elements of directing in management: 1. Motivation 2. Communication 3. Leadership 4. Coordination 5. Controlling 6. Supervision.

Elements of Directing in Management

Elements of Directing – Motivation, Communication and Leadership

Element # 1. Motivation:

Motivation is a mysterious force of life. It is the force that moves different people in different ways for different reasons. But what is motivation? In simple words, it is “the drive to achieve a goal”. It primarily a mental process, a mental attitude that incites or produces, a mental attitude that incites or produces physical action leading to the accomplishment of some practical result. It is indeed the action part of a need-satisfaction cycle.

Again, what give people the drive to achieve? Why does someone want to accomplish something? Very simply to derive some benefit from the result. That benefit is the reward; and a reward is something that helps an individual fulfills one or more of his tangible or intangible needs. Therefore, the reward for each individual must be as he defines it.

In business environment, motivation is “getting people to want to do, and do it well, what the manager wants them to do”. Yet an employee’s job behavior is always motivated by the benefits he seeks. Thus, the manager already has the motivation mechanism in place in every individual. It has to be triggered. To do that, the manager has to find out what his needs are. When we take action to satisfy these needs, we are motivated to achieve them.


The sequence goes something like this:

Needs lead to → Motivation leads to → Action.

To be motivated, we must have one or more needs to satisfy. All of us have needs to satisfy; and no one has all his needs satisfied. When some needs are taken care of, others take their place. Thus everybody is motivated. To understand motivation, we must, therefore, understand needs. A great deal of research has been conducted on the subject, but the first general theory of human motivation was developed by Professor A. H. Maslow.

Maslow on Human Motivation:


Maslow advanced the following propositions about human beha­viour:

1. Man is a wanting being – He always wants, and he wants more. But what he wants depends upon what he already has. As soon as one of man’s needs is reasonably satisfied, another appears in its place.

2. A satisfied need is not a motivator of behaviour – Only unsatisfied needs motivate behaviour.

3. Man’s needs are arranged in a series of levels – a hierarchy of importance. As soon as needs at a lower level is reasonably fulfilled, those on the next level will emerge and demand satisfaction.


Thus, Maslow regards an individual’s motivation in terms of predetermined order of needs, each with its own rank. According to him here is a need priority of 5 levels.

These needs are:

1. Basic physiological needs,

2. Safety needs,


3. Social needs,

4. Esteem and Self-respect needs, and

5. Self-realisation needs.

The important point about needs levels is, as shown in the figure below, that they have a definite sequence of domination. Need Number 2 does not dominate until Need Number 1 is reasonably satisfied. Need Number 3 does not dominate until Needs Number and 1 and 2 have been reasonably achieved, and so on.

1. Physiological Needs:

At the lowest level of the hierarchy and the starting point for motivation are the physiological needs for water, air, food, sex, sleep, shelter and clothing. Those needs are vital to life and must be satisfied to maintain life. These are also described as primary needs. But other needs are secondary.

2. Safety and Security Needs:

After we satisfy our basic physical needs, we then want security. We want to be free from physical danger and free from the loss of job, property, food, clothing, and loss of livelihood.


3. Social Needs:

When we have satisfied safety needs, we then get interested in social acceptance. Since people are social beings, they need to belong, to be accepted or approved by others.

4. Esteem Needs – Ego Satisfaction:

Once we begin to satisfy our need to belong, we tend to want to be held in esteem both by ourselves and by others. This kind of need produces such satisfactions as power, prestige, status and self-confidence.

5. Self-Realisation-Accomplishment:

Maslow regards this as the high­est need in his hierarchy. This involves developing one’s abilities to the fullest. It is the desire to become what one is capable of becoming to maximize one’s potential and to accomplish something worthwhile.


However, some other studies show that needs do not necessarily follow hierarchy, especially when lower level needs are satisfied. What motivates individuals is often found to be a matter of personality, so that the same need will not lead to the same response in all individuals. Again, an act is seldom motivated by a single need; any act is more likely to be caused by several needs.

The effectiveness of motivation system depends on the ability of the supervisors to provide a PATH for the achievement of goals – indivi­dual’s own goal and that of the enterprise. For this the manager should provide conditions of motivation, and satisfy needs through such actions as being fair and friendly and dispensing adequate information.

How to Motivate subordinates?

People change their behaviour for better performance. It makes a difference for them to do so, if they derive some benefit from it. It sounds simple. It is simple, but it is constantly being ignored. Managers expect their subordinates to ‘shape up’ have ‘pride in their work’, so that productivity rises. They expect their subordinates to change their behaviour, but they are unwilling or incapable of providing them with motivation they need to make that necessary change. And without motivation nothing happens.

What can the manager do to motivate the subordinates? He should show that he has complete confidence in the subordinates and so provide positive reinforcement. He should not police the subordinate, but should give him the space to do his job. Positive reinforcement can be achieved by complimenting the subordinate for good performance, criticise him for bad performance, but counselling and coaching him for better performance.

Remember nothing succeeds like success, and the employee who achieves once is motivated to try again. However, while providing reinforcement additional work should not be given.


As a manager, you should create an environment that breeds motivation in subordinates. Start by getting acquainted with each subordinate and give him a chance to get acquainted with you. Learn how to help him find satisfaction and sense of achievement in his job. Give him adequate compensation, too, but recognise that this alone will never achieve high motivation.

What else does the subordinate want? He wants good working conditions, feelings of being involved in the business, full appreciation of work done, management loyalty to people, promotion and growth within the organisation, sympathetic understanding of personal problems, job security and interesting work. Additionally, you should give him real responsibility, and tell him about his on-the-job performance. Feedback serves as an ingredient for making people feel good about their progress.

Positive feedback acts a form of nourishment needed by all winners. Your job is to work with your people and not have them work for you. Be responsive to their needs, and they will be responsible for doing the type of job that needs to be done. Remember, a manager who is not communicative and responsive to his subordinates invites suspicion and misunderstanding. Loyalty is reciprocal and commitment a two-way street. To repeat, recognition, appreciation and new challenges as well as involvement in those decisions which affect the subordinate are, among other factors, effective motivators.

How does a manager know when he is motivating a subordinate?

He is Motivating:

1. When the subordinate says we, not you or I, in discussing business matters;


2. When the subordinate is in complete agreement on objectives and works towards achieving them in the knowledge that these are attainable;

3. When the subordinate brings his problems to the manager without fear of criticism and knows that the manager will listen to him;

4. When the subordinate knows that the manager will attempt to correct his faulty behaviour and his personality.

Element # 2. Communication:

In simple terms communication means the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another. Two significant points by this definition are worth noting. First, communication always involves two people, a sender and a receiver. One person alone cannot communicate. Only a receiver can close the communication circuit.

The second point is that effective communication involves both information and understanding. The receiver may hear a sender but still not understand what he means. If the idea received by the listener or reader is not the one which was intended, communication has not taken place. The sender has not communicated; he has merely spoken or written. The manager must “get through” to his subordinates. No subordinate can be expected to comply with a directive unless there is understanding on his part.

Only through good communication can company policies and practices be formulated and administered. The success of all managerial functions depends on successful communica­tion. Communication is a two-way channel. The manager should be able to transfer information and knowledge so that he is understood and results are achieved. He must also know how to receive knowledge and understanding in the messages sent to him by his subordinates and fellow managers.


Channels of Communication:

Communication channels are official or formal and informal. Formal communication is the transmission of information or directive in the formal organisation structure. Where a superior directs his assistant to carry out some task, it is formal communication.

Informal communication is the communication between members of a group not on the basis of any formal relationship in the hierarchy but on the basis of informal relationships and understanding among people at the same or different levels. Middle and first-line managers are often associated with the planning and evaluation of data informal channels.

Grapevine as a natural outgrown or informal organisation is also informal communication. People like to communicate with each other. This desire must be regarded as a natural and normal activity. The grapevine fulfills the subordinate’s need and desire to be “in the know” and to be kept posted on the latest information.

It gives the members of the organisation an outlet for their imagination and an opportunity to relieve their apprehensions in the form of rumours. It also offers the superior insight into what the subordinates think and feel. An efficient manager will acknowledge the grapevine’s presence and put it to good use.

Communication Media:


The media of communication can be words, pictures and actions. Words are the most important symbols used in the communication by managers to subordinates and others and in the communication by subordinates and others and in the communication by subordinates and others to managers. It is, therefore, essential for managers to be able to use words effectively. Words can be transmitted orally and received by listening, or they can be transmitted in written form and received by reading.

Although oral communication is the most frequently used, a well-balanced communication system must pay attention to both written and oral media. Pictures are also powerful medium of communication and are important visual aids for conveying meaning and understanding to other people. They are particularly effective in connection with well-chosen words to complete the message.

Action is a third type of symbol used in communication. The manager must remember that what he does is interpreted as a symbol by his subordinates, and his actions often speak louder than his words. Purposeful silences, gestures, a hand shake, a shrug of the shoulder, a smile, all have meaning. For example, a frown on someone’s face may at times mean more than ten times of oral discussion or a printed page. By the same token, the manager’s inaction is a way of communication.

All those media are useful, and if the manager selects only one method inefficiency may result. Although written messages are indispen­sable at times, as they provide permanent record to which the receiver can refer as often as necessary, in most instances oral communications are superior to the written medium. Oral communications, because the superior and subordinate are face to face, normally achieve better ready understanding and save time. The greatest single advantage of oral communication is that it provides an immediate feedback.

By merely looking at the receiver of the message the sender can judge how he is reacting to what is being said. Oral communication enables the recipient to ask questions there and then if the meaning is not clear, and the sender can explain his message and classify unexpected problems raised by the communication.

Interpersonal Communication Process:

Managers spend between 50 and 80 per cent of their time at work communicating with other individuals; and most of the time prefers face-to-face communication. This form of communication is referred to as interpersonal communication because it concerns the one-on-one information exchange between two persons. In its most basic form, interpersonal communication involves a sender, a message, a channel or medium and a receiver. However, as the following model illustrates, we need to be more specific and explain the process in detail.

Interpersonal Communication Model:

As the model shows, interpersonal communication is quite simply a transfer of information between two individuals. The sender is the source or initiator of the communication. He has ideas, intentions, information and purpose for communicating. In other words, the sender has something with a meaning to communicate.

So the first step is the sender’s idea formation or Ideation. This idea has to be expressed. So the second step is that the sender has to decide to translate the idea into words or gestures, sometimes known as Encoding. The symbols, words or gestures chosen must be such that the receiver understands what are being communicated.

The sender’s idea or intent and expression are communicated by means of a message sent through a channel. The message is the physical form into which the sender encodes or expresses the information. This may take the form of speech, written words, or gestures. The channel is the carrier of the message. In face-to-face communication, air, in which certain vibrations occur, is the channel. These vibrations are the sound waves. Other channels may take the form of telephone-calls, meetings, written memos, computer outputs, or other written reports.

The next step is the reception of sender’s message by the receiver. This involves two factors. First, there is the translation or impression of the message, or what is heard or sensed by the receiver. The second factor is interpretation or decoding. This involves the process of translating the message into meaning for the receiver. Then follows action or reaction on the part of the receiver, and so the feedback from the receiver to the sender.

The feedback can take the form of verbal expression, a simple nod or shake of the head, or a question directed to clarify the original communication. The important aspect of the process is that for effective communication, the meaning of the message sent by the sender must be interpreted in the same manner by the receiver. In other words, it must be understood by the receiver.

The model also shows another aspect which is of importance to interpersonal communication process – Noise. Noise is any factor that disturbs or distorts the message. The sender may send a confusing memo, the sender may speak too softly or too fast, or indirectly to the receiver, the receiver may not be paying attention, or there are some other sounds in the environment. For example, a radio, telephone, and aeroplane passing overhead, and so on, all makes “noise”. Any interfering sound waves are noise, even a beautiful and melodious (but interfering) song.

Flow of Communication:

Communication in any organisation moves in three directions:

1. Downward,

2. Upward, and

3. Sideways or horizontally.

1. Communication Downward:

Communication downward in any organisation means that flow is from higher to lower authority. It is dominated by orders pertaining to policies and procedures and other instructions etc., issued by the superior to the subordinates.

2. The Upward Communication:

The upward communication means the flow of information from the subordinates to the superior managers. It consists of reports dealing with statistics, financial items or narrative statements. Also, flowing upward are opinions and attitudes, ideas and suggestions, and complaints, grievances and rumours.

3. Horizontal or Sideways Communication:

Horizontal or Sideways communication takes place between two subordinates or managers at the same level and under the same superior. It is especially important in large or decentralised organisations. Staff people, such as- efficiency engineers, help to transmit information among positions and units at the same level.

To these three flows of communication may be added Crosswise communication which is very important at all levels to speed up informa­tion and improve understanding. Crosswise relationships exist between personnel in one division and personnel of equal, lower or superior status in other divisions.

Direct communication between them substitutes for making a message follow the chain of command upward through one or more superiors, horizontally across level of organisation, and thence downward to the particular recipient. Enterprises simply cannot operate in such stilted fashion because the communication time would be excessively long and the quality of understanding would be inferior.

To make crosswise communication purposeful there should be an understanding between superiors that – (i) crosswise relationships will be encouraged, (ii) subordinates will refrain from making policy commit­ments beyond their authority, and (iii) subordinates will keep their superiors informed of their important inter-departmental activities. Every manager should guide subordinates in their conduct of crosswise relationships.

However, the relationship between a superior and a subordinate does not exist in a vaccum, but in a particular cultural and organisational setting which helps to determine its character. The culture of the country, perhaps even of different parts of the country, as in India, provides the stage for the two roles. The degree of formality or of camaraderie between the two will be influenced by the cultural pattern, and so will be the type of leadership.

In some countries a manager will be expected to be autocratic, because people pay respect to authority, in other a more democratic, participative approach will be the custom especially at the managerial level. For example, an Indian subordinate would be expected to be more deferential to his boss than would an American. In addition the national culture, the nature of formal organisation and personalities of individuals also affect the relationship. The question of leadership and leadership styles assumes importance in this connection.

Element # 3. Leadership:

A traditional task of the manager is that of getting people to do what he wants. According to Leavitt there are three main ways of doing so, namely – (1) by the use of formal authority, (2) by manipulation, and (3) by influence. He suggests that a superior who relies on his formal authority is narrowing his effective range of control over others. He discusses the pros and cons of depending on authority. We will consider those under leadership style or types of leaders.

Meaning of Leadership:

The word leadership has been widely used. Different disciplines have defined it in different ways, according to their particular approach. A definition in business situation, is one with which we are concerned. In general terms leadership may be defined as the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals.

Operationally, leadership has been defined as the process by which an executive or manager directs, guides and influences the work of others in choosing and attaining specified goals by mediating between the individual and the organisation in such a manner that both will obtain maximum satisfaction. Leadership involves the way a manager behaves in his man-to-man relationship with his subordinates. In leading, a manager strives to integrate the needs of people with the welfare of his company or department.

Conceptually, leadership is an interpersonal influence; exercised in situation and directed, through communication process towards the attainment of a specific goal or goals. Leading involves reactions of individual personalities to each other, and is rooted in feelings and attitudes. Somehow, someway, each individual must desire to execute his duties effectively. The leader can provide motivation either by directive method or the cooperative method.

Elements of Direction – Communication, Coordination and Controlling

1. Communication:

Communication is the transfer of information from a sender to a receiver, with the information being understood by the receiver. The importance of communication in management has been stressed upon by Chester Barnard (1938) in his classic—The Functions of the Executive, in which he states, “The first executive function is to develop and maintain a system of communication.”

The various aspects of the importance of communication in management are given below:

i. Coordination of Activities:

Communication is a very important aid in coordination of activities between various departments. One can imagine that without proper communication channels, the response time of various actions expected out of individuals in different departments would increase, thus increasing the lead time to perform the activities. Hence, communication is imperative in improving the response time and in reducing the lead time of activities requiring inter-departmental coordination.

ii. Expanding Customer Base:

Organizations always strive hard to increase their client and customer base by aggressive brand communication and sales effort. It is unthinkable to win clients without appropriate communication of the sales force of the organization with the potential clients/customers. Communication is required even to win more business from the existing clients/customers. It would not be exaggeration to say that communication is the life-line of the marketing strategy of organizations.

iii. Resolving Industrial Conflicts:

Communication plays a major role in avoiding industrial conflicts in the first place. Despite such efforts, if such conflicts happen, it immensely helps in resolving them. At times, the top management and trade unions in organizations may have contradictory viewpoints on certain issues, resulting in conflicts.

For example, workers may be demanding pay hike, while management may be concerned about the corresponding hike in cost of production and competitive disadvantage in the market place if the workers’ pay is increased. It is important for managers to communicate with the trade union leaders to bring about harmony and mutually settle the areas of dispute.

iv. Means to Motivate People:

Communication serves as an effective means to motivate people. For example, a worker may be responsible for high defect rate of items processed by him on his machine and may be feeling highly frustrated because of a multitude of reasons.

His supervisor would need to converse with him and try to motivate him by reminding this worker of his exemplary performances in the past. If there are some personal issues faced by the worker, the supervisor would need to provide necessary advices and support to raise the morale of the worker. This personal touch through intimate communication goes a long way in motivating people.

v. Connect Geographically Dispersed Employees:

Information technology has opened up new and diverse set of communication channels to connect geographically dispersed employees of an organization. The Internet, Emails, Wikis, Blogs, Mobile Telephony, Video Conferencing, etc. have become a part of our routine lives.

Thus, gone are the days when individuals used to work in silos. It has become commonplace in organizations to create virtual teams whose members may not be in close physical proximity, but still communicate with each other seamlessly on activities and projects.

vi. Effective Feedback and Control:

Communication is necessary for effective feedback and control of various processes in the organization. In the absence of communication, the gap between expected and actual performance will never be known. Therefore, the data pertaining to the actual performance of a process has to be continually fed back to the input stage so that corrective action can be taken to bridge the gap between the expected and actual performance.

vii. Maintaining Good PR:

Communication is imperative for maintaining good public relations (PR). Organizations today strive hard to create a positive image about them before the public at large. The PR department has to continually communicate with the media on various issues relating to the organization. This is done in the form of press releases, press conferences, and open houses.

For example, a company is about to launch a new breakthrough product and it has generated a lot of curiosity in the public about the unique features of the innovative product. A good PR would cash in on this opportunity by promptly giving appropriate details about the product to the media so that a lot of buzz is created before the formal launch of the product, thus saving a hefty amount in creating formal marketing campaigns for the product. It is unthinkable to do all this without suitable channels of communication and a proper interface with the media.

viii. Improves Planning and Decision-Making:

Communication improves planning and decision-making, especially when the opinion of many experts is required to arrive at a consensus. In the lack of communication, a good plan or a decision may not bring the expected outcomes. Therefore, even after the plan or the decision has been finalized, it has to be communicated to all the stakeholders and implementers for its successful execution.

2. Coordination:

Coordination is defined as the integration of different parts of the organization in order to achieve a common goal. The different parts here may be the departments, groups, individuals, and other resources within the organization.

Coordination is at the heart of any organization for creating a synergy of individual efforts combined together in an orchestrated manner. In contemporary organizations, the role of coordination stretches beyond the boundaries of the organization to vendors, customers, clients, and other stakeholders.

Coordination is a useful mechanism to foster teamwork and camaraderie in organizations. Activities requiring the involvement of many individuals from diverse departments provide an opportunity for them to mingle with each other. In this process, they acquire a better understanding of the operations and challenges prevalent in each other’s departments and become more tolerant during times of a crisis.

The specialization of labour (also called division of labour) results into departmentalization and coordination serves as a common thread to link all these diverse departments in integrating their activities for the achievement of organizational goals. Without coordination, the departments may become silos hampering the flow of activities pertaining to one another.

Coordination optimizes the use of various resources, while reducing their wastage. This is highly likely that in the execution of a job involving processing in various departments, there may be some overlapping activities. In the lack of proper coordination between the concerned departments, it may result into duplication of work and even worse, wastage of other material resources.

Coordination reduces the time duration for accomplishment of the tasks. This happens because during proper coordination of efforts, departments and individuals are in regular communication and respond quickly to each other’s requests. The potential delays are thus eliminated at various points in the execution of the task, resulting in lesser processing time.

By virtue of interfacing with other individuals/departments, coordination helps the employees in having a more holistic view of the organization and understanding the value-addition done by them and their departments in the overall transformation process of inputs into outputs of desired end products/ services.

It also gives them a bird’s eye view of the contributions made by other individuals and departments within the organization. It instills a sense of pride in them and boosts up their morale, while developing respect for other’s contributions.

Coordination helps in resolving conflicts, while improving human relations within the organization. It is natural that certain conflicts may arise between individuals within the same or different departments at some point in time. Coordination is helpful under such situations to diffuse the tension between individuals at strife with each other.

Activities requiring coordinated efforts bring such individuals closer to act in a synchronized manner to achieve the end objectives. Other team members working on the same activities together with these individuals in conflict also help in alleviating the ill-feelings between them. Thus, coordination often becomes a means to achieve better human relations within the organizations.

3. Controlling:

Controlling is defined as measuring and correcting activities of people to ensure that plans are being realized. Thus, there is a clear-cut relationship between planning and controlling. The planning process sets out the objectives and stan­dards (desired or expected performance) to be achieved.

The controlling process involves a feedback mechanism whereby the actual performance of a process is compared with the expected performance to identify any gaps therein. Efforts are then made to minimize the gap, by making corrections in the inputs or the variables of the process.

Elements of Directing – Supervision, Motivation, Leadership and Communication

Element # 1. Supervision:

Supervision can be explained in two ways:

i. Supervision as an Element of Directing:

All employees working in an organisation require supervision so that they are effective in their actions. A manager gives instructions and oversees the actions of subordinates to ensure that resources are utilized optimally and work related targets are achieved. Supervision as an element of directing is the process of guiding the efforts of employees and other resources to accomplish desired objectives. Supervision means a manager overseeing ‘what is being done’ by his/her subordinates.

For example – The production head will set targets for each floor manager, give them instructions to accomplish the targets and as a process of directing will continue to follow up through meetings or oversees how the work is being done. In this case the production manager performs various functions of management to get things done and supervision is one of the techniques of directing his subordinates.

ii. Supervision as a Managerial Function:

Supervision is a function performed by managers at the operating level of management. The managers/supervisors are the floor managers who have direct relationship with the workers and are responsible for the performance of workers, meeting production targets and maintaining harmony.

For example – The floor manager is appointed with the job responsibility of supervising the workforce to ensure that production targets as stated by the production manager are achieved. In this case, the supervisor performs supervision as an independent managerial function.

Element # 2. Motivation:

Motivation is a stimulator for people to take up work voluntarily.

Motivation is an incitement or inducement to act or move. In a business organisation, motivation is a process where managers use techniques to ensure subordinates act in a desired manner to achieve organisational goals most effectively and efficiently. The techniques used may differ from employee to employee depending on their respective needs or personality.

Motivation cannot be forced on employees. In fact, managers need to use techniques to develop the willingness among employees to achieve the desired results. To ensure that employees accomplish the objectives as desired, there must be a motive, a motivator and motivation.

Motive, motivator and motivation are the three inter-related terms which together influence performance of an employee.

Let us understand what do these three terms mean:

i. Motive:

A motive is an inner state that energises, activates or moves and directs human behaviour towards goals. Motives arise out of the needs of individuals.

For example – If a ‘Sales Manager’ wants to become an ‘Area Sales Manager’ he/she either may work hard to get promotion in the same organisation or may look for another company. In this case, higher position or advancement in the career is the motive.

ii. Motivation:

Motivation is the process of stimulating people to action to accomplish desired goals or motives. Motivation depends upon satisfying needs of people.

For example – It is the company policy to conduct year-end performance appraisals to decide the hike in salary and promote people to higher positions. The process of promotions stimulates people to perform or achieve targets.

iii. Motivators:

Motivators are the techniques used to motivate people in an organisation. Managers cannot use same motivators to motivate each employee. Each individual reacts differently to different motivators. Thus, managers must use different motivators to ensure that each employee contributes to best of his/her potential. Few examples of motivators a manager may use are: higher salary, bonus, incentives, promotion with higher responsibility, recognition, appreciation or praise etc.

For example – Higher salaries may motivate some employees to perform better, some employees may be motivated with higher responsibilities or some feel motivated when management recognizes their efforts.

Let us study some definitions of motivation:

“Motivation means a process of stimulating people to action to accomplish desired goals”. – William G. Scout

“Motivation refers to the way in which urges, drives, desires, aspirations, strivings or needs direct, control and explain the behaviour of human beings.” – Mc Farland

“Motivation is the complex forces starting and keeping a person at work in an organisation. Motivation is something which moves the person to action and continues him in the course of action already initiated.” – Dubin

“Motivation is a process which begins with a physiological or psychological need or deficiency which triggers behaviour or a drive that is aimed at a goal or incentive.” – Fred Luthans

Features of Motivation:

From the detailed discussion on motivation and various definitions stated above we can list the following features of motivation:

i. Motivation is an Internal Feeling:

It is the internal urge, desire, aspirations or striving needs of human being, which influence their behaviour.

For example – An individual may look for higher salary to be able to buy a new house whereas someone else may wish to earn higher salary so that he can donate more towards charity.

ii. Motivation Produces Goal Directed Behaviour:

Each employee in an organisation works with a goal to achieve. An employee who wishes to achieve a desired goal will work in a desired manner even in the absence of supervision or direction. Such employees are self-driven.

For example – Rohit, a sales executive, has an aim to become the ’employee of the year7. To qualify for this award he must generate highest sales for the company. To achieve his goal Rohit has prepared his own strategies to achieve the required sales target.

iii. Motivation may be Positive or Negative:

There are various motivators, which a manager may use to motivate his/her subordinates. Usually the positive motivators like higher salaries, bonus, incentives, promotions etc. are used to get best out of each employee but if employees are lazy and do not work to achieve their targets then manager may use negative motivators like cut in pay, demotion, longer working hours etc. to punish for under performance.

iv. Motivation is a Complex Process:

A manager has to deal with different types of people who have different demands, expectations, perceptions and reactions. Hence, it requires him/her to understand various types of human needs and formulate various positive and negative motivators. In a group of heterogeneous people, same motivator may have different effects when applied to different people.

For example – Transfer to other position does not affect some employees but some may take it as under estimation of their capabilities of doing the present job and may lose interest in the job.

Motivation Process:

Motivation process is based on human needs. A human need or a motive moves a person to action. The process of motivation begins with unsatisfied need. The unsatisfied need gives tension to a human being, which drives him/her to take action and continues to drive him/her in the already initiated action until the goal is accomplished.

Human beings are ever-changing. They have unlimited demands or needs which keep changing from time to time. With accomplishment of one need, tension to achieve another arises leading to repetition of the motivation process.

Let us understand the various stages involved in the motivation process:

i. Unsatisfied Needs or Motives:

It is the first stage of motivation process. In this stage, the internal or external stimulus activates the unsatisfied need or motive in a human being.

For example – The hunger for growth in an employee may stimulate the need for promotion. Until he/she is promoted, the need remains unsatisfied.

ii. Tension:

This is the second stage of motivation process in which the unsatisfied need gives tension to the individual. In this stage, the individuals try to search alternative means to satisfy needs.

For example – An employee who has unsatisfied need of promotion will be tensed and try to find ways of achieving his target.

iii. Action to Satisfy Needs and Motives:

In this third stage of motivation process, individuals select the best alternative and take action to satisfy needs and motives.

For example – The employee may start working harder to achieve targets and meet the promotion criteria within the organisation or look for higher position in another organisation.

iv. Goal Accomplishment:

In this stage, an individual through his /her actions satisfies needs, motives, and thus accomplishes goals.

For example – An employee will accomplish his/her goals once he/she is promoted.

v. Feedback:

This is the last stage of motivation process which requires revision, improvement or modification of needs to meet the changes in environment.

For example – Once the employee is promoted he will concentrate on his performance and try to achieve greater recognition in the organisation.

Element # 3. Leadership:

There is no doubt that human capital is the most important asset for any organisation. It is the efforts of employees which help an organisation to achieve its goals. However, for efficient and effective performance, employees need effective direction, motivation and most importantly a superior who leads from the front.

Therefore, success of any organisation largely depends on its leader. Of course, employees work at ground level but it is the leader who takes them forward as one big group. An organisation is seen through its leader and his/her values.

For example – Bill Gates and Microsoft are considered as one, Tata Industries means Ratan Tata, Infosys is represented by Narayan Murthy. These leaders may retire but the organisations will be known by their name. You know why? Because they have played a key role for the success and excellence of their respective organisations.

Leadership is the process of influencing the behaviour of people by making them strive voluntarily towards achievement of organisational goals. Leadership indicates the ability of an individual to maintain good interpersonal relations with followers and motivate them to contribute for achieving organisational objectives.

Success of leadership process depends on the leader-follower relationship. An individual can be an effective leader only if his/her team possesses required skills and knowledge, willingness to cooperate, commitment to work, team spirit and above all accept his/her leadership. Thus, the success of leadership process depends on the leader and his/her followers.

Other Known Definitions of Leadership:

Leadership is the activity of influencing people to strive willingly for group objectives. -George Terry

Leadership is the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically towards the achievement of group goals. – Harold Koontz and Heinz Weihrich

Leadership is a set of interpersonal behaviours designed to influence employees to cooperate in the achievement of objectives. – Glueck

Leadership is both a process and property. The process of leadership is the use of non-coercive influence to direct and coordinate the activities of the members of an organised group towards the accomplishment of group objectivities. As a property, leadership is the set of qualities or characteristics attributed to those who are perceived to successfully employ such influence. – Gay and Strake

Features of Leadership:

From above discussion and analysis of different definitions of leadership, following features of leadership may be stated:

i. Leadership indicates ability of an individual to influence others.

ii. Leadership tries to bring change in the behaviour of others.

iii. Leadership indicates interpersonal relations between leaders and followers.

iv. Leadership is exercised to achieve common goals of the organisation.

v. Leadership is a continuous process.

Importance of Leadership:

Leadership is a key factor for the success or failure of any organisation. Effective leadership begins at top-level management and continues up to the operational level of management. A good leader organises the resources required, guides and motivates his/her subordinates and ensures that entire group is committed to achieve organisational goals.

Effective leadership provides following benefits to an organisation:

i. It Influences People’s Behaviour:

A good leader is able to influence his/her followers to have positive attitude and contribute their best of efforts for the benefit of the organisation. A good leader through positive persuasions can achieve better results from his/her followers.

ii. It Maintains Relationships and Builds Confidence:

An effective leader understands the needs of his/her followers and provides them ample opportunities to fulfill all the needs. He builds confidence, provides support and encouragement to his/her followers. A strong and healthy relationship between a leader and his/her followers creates a pleasant work culture.

iii. It Introduces Changes Smoothly:

A good leader prepares his/her staff well in advance about the changes to be introduced in the organisation. He explains the reasons for change, clarifies all doubts, inspires, and persuades people to accept the change with positive attitude. Thus, the changes can be introduced with minimum resistance from employees.

iv. It Handles Conflicts Effectively:

A leader is able to clarify and explain his/her followers in case of conflicts or disagreements. He allows everyone in his team to discuss and ventilate any kind of ill feelings or conflicts among team members and ensures that such conflicts are clarified as soon as they arise to avoid any adverse effects on the working of the organisation.

v. It Develops Future Leaders:

A leader provides training to their subordinates, develops their skills and prepares them as future leaders. This way a successor is built for smooth succession process.

Element # 4. Communication:

Communication is process through which people create and share information.

Communication is a ‘process of exchanging information, ideas, views, facts, feelings etc. between two or more people with an aim to create common understanding.’ Communication can be effective only if there is clear understanding of the information to be exchanged. Communication skills of an individual play a key role in effective communication.

Success of ‘Directing’ as a function of management is highly dependent on communication skills of managers/leaders. It is important to possess professional knowledge and intelligence but a manager or a leader can transfer his/her intelligence to subordinates effectively only if he is able to create understanding in them. Therefore, presence of effective communication skills is extremely important not only in managers but also in employees.

Some Well-Known Definitions of ‘Communication’:

Communication is the sum of all things one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It involves systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding. – Louis Allen

Communication is transfer of information from the sender to the receiver with the information being understood by the receiver. – Harold Koontz and Heniz Weihrich

“Communication is a process by which people create and share information with one another in order to reach common understanding.” – Rogers

Elements of Communication Process:

Communication is a process of exchange of information.

The various elements involved in the process of communication are as follows:

i. Sender – Sender is a source of communication who conveys his/her thoughts or ideas to the receiver.

ii. Message – It is the content of ideas, feelings, suggestions, order etc., intended to be communicated.

iii. Encoding – It is the process of converting the message into communication symbols such as words, pictures, gestures etc.

iv. Media – It is the path through which encoded message is transmitted to receiver. The channel may be the written form, face to face, phone call, internet etc.

v. Decoding – It is the process of converting encoded symbols of the sender.

vi. Receiver – The person who receives communication from the sender.

vii. Feedback – It includes all those actions of receiver indicating that he has received and understood message of sender.

viii. Noise – Noise means some obstruction or hindrance to communication. This hindrance may be caused to sender, message or receiver. Hindrance in communication may be due to poor media, inattentive receiver, faulty encoding or decoding, gestures or pictures distorting the message etc.