What do you mean by Direction?

What do you mean by Direction?

Meaning of Direction:

In the words of Theo Haimann, “Management is the art and process of getting things done through and with the people.” The managers have, therefore, the responsibility not only of planning and organizing the operations but also of guiding and directing the subordinates. Thus, direction, in simple words, is guiding the subordinates in doing work. In this way, direction is an important managerial function performed by all the managers at all levels of organisation. Direction is concerned with directing human efforts towards the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. A superior or boss in an organisation gives direction to his subordinates and the subordinates receive directions from their superiors or bosses.

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Definitions of Direction:

Direction has been defined by certain important managerial authorities in the following words:

In the words of Koontz and O’Donnell, “Direction is a complex function that includes all those activities which are designed to encourage subordinates to work effectively and efficiently in both short and long term.”

In the words of Ernest Dale, “Direction is telling people what to do and seeing that they do it to the best of their ability. It mistakes are corrected, providing on-the-job instructions and, of course, issuing orders.”


In the words of Theo Haimann, “Directing consists of the process and techniques utilized in issuing instructions and making certain that operations are carried on as originally planned.

Essential Components:

Thus, we see that direction has three essential components:

Issuing of Instructions and Orders: Fayol has identified ‘direction’ as the function of command. While a manager issues orders, he should have it in his mind that he is dealing with people.


Guiding the people: Management is the process of getting things done, or to get the work done, a manager will have to guide and teach the subordinate in the proper method of work.

Supervising the people: Lastly, management will have to supervise the subordinates to ensure that their performance conforms to the plans. That is why koontz and O’Donnell have defined directions as an executive function of guiding and observing subordinates.

Characteristics / Nature / Elements / Essential of Direction:

Direction has the following characteristics as its inherent nature:

Management Function: direction is a managerial function performed by all the managers or supervisors at all the levels of an enterprise.

Guiding Process: Direction is not limited to the issuing of orders as well as instructions but it also includes the process of guiding and inspiring subordinates.

Continuous Activity: Direction is the continuous activity. It start from planning function throughout and there is no end to it and directing function continues at all the levels of the management process till the end.

Flow of Direction: The flow of direction in an organisation initiates from the top level to the bottom level.

Direction has Wide Dimensions: Direction has wide dimensions. It is not concerned with only issue of orders and instructions to the subordinates. It also includes communication, motivation and supervision of subordinates.

Readily Acceptable: Direction should be such which is readily acceptable to the subordinates. It should be both oral and written keeping in view the time factor and the capability of subordinates.

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