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Term Paper on Direction

Term Paper Contents:

  1. Term Paper on the Meaning and Definition of Direction
  2. Term Paper on the Characteristics of Direction
  3. Term Paper on the Principles of Direction
  4. Term Paper on the Techniques of Direction
  5. Term Paper on the Importance or Significance of Direction

Term Paper # 1. Meaning and Definition of Direction:

Direction is the managerial function which initiates organised action. Planning, organising and staffing are considered as preparatory managerial functions. Controlling focuses on evaluation of performance. The connecting link between these functions is directing which performs the job of issuing directives, guidance and overseeing of the subordinates.


Direction consists of the process and techniques used in issuing instructions and making certain that operations are carried out as originally planned. Directing is the process around which all performance revolves. Direction is the function of the superior executive to direct, guide and supervise the activities of his subordinates in such a manner that they co-ordinate their activities and are properly motivated to execute the directives with the object of ensuring corporate success.

It is a managerial function performed by all managers at all levels of the organisation. The amount of time and effort spent by executives in directing depends on the level the executive occupies, the number of subordinates he has and other duties he is expected to perform. Directing is a continuing function. This is performed by managers day-in and day-out.

Directing people in an organisation is an important function of management. It involves guiding, inspiring, instructing and overseeing people towards the accomplishment of organisational objectives. It activates the employees of the organisation to perform efficiently and effectively for achieving goals. It involves the issue of orders by superior and instructs subordinates to perform.

It includes guiding and inspiring people. It also motivates people to work hard to the best of their ability in order to accomplish objectives.


To have a better understanding of the concept we can rely on the following definitions suggested by the various authorities. According Joseph L. Massie, “Directing concerns the total manner in which a manager influences the actions of his subordinates. It is the final action of a manager getting others to act after all preparations have been completed.”

This definition tries to state that direction is the comprehensive function which influences the performance of employees. In the words of Urwick and Brech, “Directing is the guidance, the inspiration, the leadership of those men and women that constitute the real core of responsibilities of management.”

Koontz and O’Donnell define direction as the “inter-personal aspect of managing by which subordinates led to understand and contribute effectively and efficiently to the attainment of enterprise objectives.” To quote Marshall E. Dimock “The heart of administration is the directing function which involves determining the course, giving orders and instructions, providing the dynamic leadership”.

These definitions reveal that directing consist of issuing instructions, exercising supervision, providing leadership and providing motivation subordinates.

Term Paper # 2. Characteristics of Direction:


Based on these definitions we deduce the following characteristics:

(1) It is an Important Function:

It initiates action in the organisation. It is a link function between planning, organising and control. These functions become useless unless there is proper direction of people in the use of various resources.

(2) Pervasive Function:


It is a pervasive function of management as it is performed at all levels of management on a continuous basis.

(3) Continuing Function:

It is a continuing activity. It continues throughout the life of the organisation. A manager never ceases to guide, lead and inspire his subordinates. The supervisor continuously supervises whether his order and instructions are strictly carried out by his subordinates or not.

(4) Chain of Command:


It strengthens the chain of command when action is initiated by the top to the bottom of the hierarchy. It emphasises that the subordinate is to be directed by his own superior only.

(5) Creative Function:

It is a creative function of management. It converts plan into action. It is a process around which performance revolves. Without direction human factor becomes inactive and useless and other resources in the organisation remain unutilised. Direction is management in action.

(6) Linking Function:


Directions links preparatory function of management with control function. It provides necessary materials for evaluating performance with plans.

(7) Human Factor:

In every organization there are two resources:

(a) Physical


(b) Human.  

Direction focuses on human resources which are guided, motivated and supervised to contribute effectively for the organisation. Human factor is dynamic and is conditioned by complexity of forces which is not known much and management has no control over it. Therefore Directing is a challenging and a very difficult function of management.

The analysis of the definitions and features reveals three basic elements of directing.

They are:

(a) Communication

(b) Leadership


(c) Motivation.

Communication means issuing orders and instructions. They must be clear, complete and capable of achieving. Leadership refers to continuing guidance and supervision to ensure that assigned tasks are carried out effectively and efficiently.

Motivation is known as inspiring subordinates to achieve organisational objectives. The organisation is to maintain discipline and reward people who achieve standards. These three may be called as the Trisul of direction.

Term Paper # 3. Principles of Direction:

Direction is a complex function of management as it concentrates on human complex and unpredictable. Good and effective direction of people can be achieved in the context of people of diverse nature and this is acquired by experience, hard-work and open mind.

The well-established principles of direction are as follows:

(1) Principle of Harmony of Objectives:


This means the integration of organisational objectives and personal objectives of employees. The organi­sation will have its own objectives and it wants to achieve these objectives with the help of employees. The management by adopting proper direction techniques should try to integrate these two objectives (i.e. organisational and personal objectives) so the idea of common interest is to prevail over individual interest.

(2) Principle of Maximum Individual Contribution:

The individual employees do have different potentials. It is the duty of the management to harness their capabilities to achieve maximum contribution through organisation. Maximum individual co-operation can be achieved only when the employee co-operation freely. This is possible by effective leadership and motivation.

(3) Principle of Unity of Command:

This is applicable to the organisation as a whole and this principle means receiving orders from one superior only. If an employee gets orders from more than one superior, it will create confusion, conflict, disorder, and instability in the organisation.

(4) Principle of Management Communication:


Effective communication in an organisation paves the way for effective direction. The two communications both downward and upward must be clear and complete. The downward communication is needed for carrying down orders, ideas, instructions to the subordinates to achieve proper understanding and perform­ances. The upward communication facilitates the manager to understand his subordinates and their performance and the employee can express his feelings. Thus two way communications makes direction effective.

(5) Principle of Comprehension:

A proper communication to subordinates must facilitate him to understand the instructions and order correctly in the same sense in which they are conveyed. This enables him to have proper idea about the situation and avoids unnecessary queries and explanations.

(6) Principle of Use of Informal Organisation:

In every organisation there is formal and informal organisation. Formal organisation defines the official relationships among individuals which flows along the line of authority. Informal organisation is the undocumented and officially un-recognised relationship between employees of an organisation that inevitably emerge out of the personal and group needs of employees.

This informal organisation wields considerable influence among employees. Within these groups information travels quickly though sometimes it may be wrong. The management should try to understand, spot and make use of such informal organisation for making direction effective.


(7) Principle of Effective Leadership:

Leadership is one of the elements of direction. It is the process of influencing human activities and behaviour without dissatisfying individuals to achieve organisational objectives.

The managers can influence the behaviour of individuals in two ways:

(i) By the exercise of authority—This has its own limitations.

(ii) By the exercise of leadership— By winning the confidence of employees without affecting their interest.  

A manager is to play the role of an effective leader.   


(8) Principle of Supervision:

Direction becomes effective when there is personal contact between superior and subordinate. This is done to boost the morale of employees.

(9) Principle of Follow through:

Direction is a continuous managerial process. The managers are to give orders, they are to supervise that performance is in time with the orders and if it is not so they have to make necessary changes either working conditions or orders issued.

(10) Appropriate Techniques:

The managers should use correct direction techniques to ensure efficiency of direction. The techniques used should be suitable to the superior, subordinate and the situation.

Term Paper # 4. Techniques of Direction:

For directing the subordinates effectively the manager is to use several techniques.

These techniques are:

(1) Delegation

(2) Supervision

(3) Issuing of orders.

(1) Delegation:

Delegation of authority and entrusting him with the liability of performing certain assigned tasks is a means of directing.

The superior shares with his subordinate and provides him an opportunity to learn. But in delegation there are certain problems to be taken care of.

(i) Complete spell out tasks and duties is not possible. There is possibility for overlapping of job and uncertainties in job description.

(ii) The extent of delegation may not be clear and vagueness in this regard is unavoidable.

(iii) There may not be parity between authority and nature of work assigned.

(iv) Excessive exercise of delegated authority by a subordinate may not be accepted by the superior fully.

(v) Rigid authority delegation may stifle initiative and creativity on the part of subordinates.

(vi) Indiscriminate delegation may lead to in-balance in organisation and create confusion.

(2) Supervision:

This means expert overseeing of subordinates at work to ensure that performance is according to the established plans and procedure. Every manager irrespective of the level he occupies is to perform this job.

This is said to be greater in the lower levels of management. In supervision the superior comes into contact with subordinates understands them in organisational and personal problems. This enables him to maintain discipline in performance and to solve employee grievances and problems.

(3) Issuing of Orders:

This is an indispensable component of directing. The manager issues orders and instructions from time to time so that they may work in tune with organisational objectives. These represent managerial decisions which must be implemented by the subordinates. It is a basic tool of direction by means of which activities are started, terminated guided and altered. Order issued by a superior implies the force of authority. The superior can take necessary action against a subordinate who defies orders. The order may require a subordinate to do or not to do a certain thing.

The order may be written or oral. A written order is more formal in nature and provides a written record. This avoids overlapping of instructions and helps in fixing the responsibility of the subordinate.

Oral orders are issued to subordinates on the basis of personal relationship between superior and subordinates. The order is to be in writing or oral depends on superior, subordinate relationship, quality of faith and trust between them and possibility of overlapping.

A good order is to possess the following qualities:

(i) It must be clear and unambiguous.

(ii) It should be complete in all respects.

(iii) The order should be compatible with organisational objectives.

(iv) Every order should be reasonable and enforceable. It should be capable of execution.

(v) It should be in writing as it fixes responsibility and ensures uniformity of action.

(vi) It should be issued through the chain of command so that unity of direction may be followed.

(vii) Finally the manager is to ensure that performance is in tune with the order or not. Otherwise he has to take up the follow-up measures.

Term Paper # 5. Importance or Significance of Direction:

Direction is responsible for initiation of action in organisations. Its focus is on human factor to make use other resources to accomplish organisational objectives. It therefore, becomes necessary that every individual should be directed in the right perspective.

The points given below stress the importance of direction to the organisation:

(1) Direction Initiates Action:

It plays the role of ignition key in automobiles to an organisation by initiating action. A good plan, a sound organisation desired an able team of workers may be useless and may not produce the devised results unless resources are used efficiently.

Through direction, the management guides, communicates, leads, supervises and motivates people at work to function in the desired way to achieve organisational objectives. Only direction is responsible for initiating action and expects subordinates to perform in tune with the plan with the help of sound organisation to the best of their ability.

(2) It Facilitates Co-Ordination:

The performance of every individual in an organisation affects the performance of others and they are also affected by other’s actions. The performance of every individual must be effective and efficient to achieve organisational objectives.

The integrated functioning of each individual is responsible for accomplishing organisational objectives. So management directs human resources for performance and to achieve organisational objectives. This is possible by direction because it tells how, when and where performance is to take place. So it facilitates co-ordination.

(3) Direction Attempts to Get Maximum Out of Individuals:

Every employee in the organisation has varying potentials and capability which needs proper utilization. Direction facilitates this by communication, leadership and motivation of employees in the interest of organisation. In the absence of direction, these potentials remain unutilized or underutilized.

(4) Direction Facilitates Change in Organisation:

Every organisation is subject to changes in external environment. It must be capable of meeting changes in the society. To meet changes in the society the organisation must change. To effect changes in organisation the organisation is to educate employees, create mental acceptance and develop the organisation. This is achieved by direction.

(5) Direction Assists Stability and Growth:

Stability and balanced functioning of an organisation is necessary for survival and growth. Stability with reference of number of employees and performance is a must. The organisation always lives in a constant state of flux and it is to be dynamic and balanced in performance. All this can be achieved only by direction

So direction is a part of management which achieves the following. They are:

(a) It enlists maximum co-operation from the workers.

(b) It helps in-decreasing cost and increasing the efficiency of employees.

(c) It is acceptable to all without dissent and

(d) It serves the interest of both the workers as well the enterprise.

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