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Directing Function of Management

Directing in Management

Directing means giving instructions, guiding, counselling, motivating and leading the staff in an organisation in doing work to achieve Organisational goals. Directing is a key managerial function to be performed by the manager along with planning, organising, staffing and controlling. From top executive to supervisor performs the function of directing and it takes place accordingly wherever superior – subordinate relations exist. Directing is a continuous process initiated at top level and flows to the bottom through organisational hierarchy.

Human nature is much more complex than what we perceive though understanding of this nature is essential.

Human nature is much more complex than what we perceive though understanding of this nature is essential.

Directing Definition

"Activating deals with the steps a manager takes to get sub-ordinates and others to carry out plans".

- Newman and Warren.

Importance of Directing

  • Direction initiates actions to get the desired results in an organisation.
  • Direction attempts to get maximum out of employees by identifying their capabilities.
  • Direction is essential to keep the elements like Supervision, Motivation, Leadership and Communication effective.
  • It ensures that every employee work for organisational goals.
  • Coping up with the changes in the Organisation is possible through effective direction.
  • Stability and balance can be achieved through directing.

(Read more on the Importance of Directing...)

Also See:

  • The Five Functions of Management
    Functions of Management. Koontz and O’Donnel explained five functions of management. They are; Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling.
  • Principles of Directing
    Direction is always a complicated task as it involves dealing with employees of different kind. A manager can become successful in the skill of efficient direction by learning and practicing the basics of direction.

Elements of Direction

The elements of direction that are briefed here under are Supervision, Motivation, Leadership and Communication.


"Guiding and directing efforts of employees and other resources to accomplish stated work outputs"

- Terry and Franklin.

Supervision is an element of direction.

"Day-to-day relationship between an executive and his immediate assistant and covers training, direction, motivation, coordination, maintenance of discipline, etc."

- Newman and Warren.

Supervision denotes the functions performed by the supervisors.


"Motivation is the complex force starting and keeping a person at work in an organisation. Motivation is something that moves the person to action, and continues him in the course of action already initiates."

- Dubin.

Motivation is the core of management. Technically, the term motivation can be traced to the Latin word movere, which means 'to move'. Motivating is a term which implies that one person induces another, to engage in action by ensuring that a channel to satisfy the motive becomes available to the individual. Motive is energizer of action, motivating is the channelization and activation of motives, motivation is the work behavior itself. Motivation depends on motives and motivating. It is a complex process.

More information on Motivation:


"Leadership is essentially a continuous process of influencing behavior A leader breathes life into the group and motivates it towards goals. The lukewarm desires for achievement are transformed into burning passion for accomplishment".

- George R. Terry.

Leadership is the process of influencing the behavior of others to work willingly and enthusiastically for achieving predetermined goals. It is an essential ingredient for successful organisation.The successful organisation has one major attribute that sets sets it apart from unsuccessful organisation that is dynamic and effective leadership.

More information on Leadership:


"Communication is the transfer of information from one person to another person. It is a way of reaching others by transmitting ideas, facts, thoughts, feeling sand values."

- Newstrom and Davis.

Communication is regarded as basic to the functioning of the organisation, in its absence, the organisation would cease to exist. It is the process through which two or more persons come to exchange ideas and understanding among themselves.

More information on Communication:

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Principles of Management

Principles of Planning

Principles of Staffing

Principles of Organizing

Principles of Directing

Principles of Controlling

Functions of Management

Planning Function of Management

Staffing Function of Management

Organizing Function of Management

Directing Function of Management

Controlling Function of Management


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