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The above case reveals how important it is to instill leadership qualities in all managers. Business organisations have always given due importance to its managers who are capable of leading others. A manager needs to use various ways to lead, motivate and inspire the subordinates and to communicate with them suitably. These ways, discussed in the present chapter, are collectively called the directing function of management.
In the ordinary sense, directing means giving instructions and guiding people in doing work. In our daily life, we come across many situations like a hotel owner directing his employees to complete certain activities for organising a function, a teacher directing his student to complete an assignment, afilm director directing the artists about how they should act in the film etc. In all these situations, we can observe that directing is done to achieve some predetermined objective.
In the context of management of an organisation, directing refers to the process of instructing, guiding, counselling, motivating and leading people in the organisation to achieveits objectives. You can observe here that directing is not a mere issue of communication but encompasses many elements like supervision, motivation and leadership. It is one of the key managerial functions performed by every manager. Directing is a managerial process which takes place throughout the life of an organisation.
The main characteristics of
directing are discussed below:
(i) Directing initiates action: Directing is a key managerial function. A manager has to perform this function along with planning, organising, staffing and controlling while discharging his duties in the organisation. While other functions prepare a setting for action, directing initiates action in the organisation
(ii) Directing takes place at every level of management: Every manager, from top executive to supervisor performs the function of directing. The directing takes place wherever superior – subordinate relations exist.
(iii) Directing is a continuous process:Directing is a continuous activity. It takes place throughout the life of the organisation irrespectiveof people occupying managerial positions. We can observe that in organisations like Infosys, Tata, BHEL, HLL and the managers may change but the directing process continues because without direction the organisational activities can not continue further.
(iv) Directing flows from top to bottom:Directing is first initiated at top level and flows to the bottomthrough organisational hierarchy. It means that every manager can direct his immediate subordinate and take instructions from his immediate boss.
Importance of Directing
The importance of directing can be understood by the fact that every action in the organisation is initiated through directing only.Directing integrates people towards achievement of common objectives. Through directing, managers not only tell the people in the organisation as to what they should do, when theyshould do and how they should do but also see that their instructions are implemented in proper perspective. Very often, this becomes important factor in the efficient and effective functioning of the organisation.
The points which emphasise the importance of directing are presented as follows:
(i) Directing helps to initiate action by people in the organisation towards attainment of desired objectives. For example, if a supervisor guideshis subordinates and clarifies their doubts in performing a task, it will help the worker to achieve work targets given to him.
(ii) Directing integrates employeesefforts in the organisation in such a way that every individual effort contributes to the organisational performance. Thus, it ensures that the individuals work for organisational goals. For example, a manager with good leadershipabilities will be in a position to convince the employees workingunder him that individual efforts and team effort will lead to achievement of organisational goals.
(iii) Directing guides employees to fully realise their potential and capabilities by motivating and providing effective leadership. A good leader can always identify the potential of his employees and motivate them to extract work up to their full potential.
(iv) Directing facilitates introduction of needed changes in the organisation. Generally, people have a tendency to resist changes in the organisation. Effectivedirecting through motivation, communication and leadership helps to reduce such resistance and develop required cooperation in introducing changes in the organisation. For example, if a manager wants to introducenew system of accounting, there may be initial resistance from accounting staff. But, if manager explains the purpose, provides training and motivates with additional rewards, the employees may accept change and cooperate with manager.
(v) Effective directing helps to bring stability and balance in the organisation since it fosters cooperation and commitment
1. Which one of the following is not an element of direction?
(a) Motivation (b) Communication
(c) Delegation (d) Supervision
2. The motivation theory which classifies needs in hierarchical order is developed by
(a) Fred Luthans (b) Scott
(c) Abraham Maslow (d) Peter F. Drucker
3. Which of the following is a financial incentive?
(a) Promotion (b) Stock Incentive
(c) Job Security (d) Employee Participation
4. Which of the following is not an element of communication process?
(a) Decoding (b) Communication
(c) Channel (d) Receiver
5. Grapevine is
(a) Formal communication
(b) Barrier to communication
(c) Lateral communication
(d) Informal communication
6. Status comes under the following type of barriers
(a) Semantic barrier (b) Organisational barrier
(c) Non Semantic barrier (d) Psychological barrier
7. The software company promoted by Narayana Murthy is
(a) Wipro (b) Infosys
(c) Satyam (d) HCL
8. The highest level need in the need Hierarchy of Abraham Maslow:
(a) Safety need (b) Belongingness need
(c) Self actualisation need (d) Prestige need
9. The process of converting the message into communication symbols is known as-
(a) Media (b) Encoding
(c) Feedback (d) Decoding
Short Answer Type
1. Distinguish between leaders and managers.
2. Define Motivation
3. What is informal communication?
4. What are semantic barriers of communication?
5. Who is a supervisor?
6. What are the elements of directing?
7. Explain the process of motivation?
8. Explain different networks of grapevine communications?
Long Answer Type
1. Explain the principles of Directing?
2. Explain the qualities of a good leader? Do the qualities alone ensure leadership success?
3. Discuss Maslow’s Need Hierarchy theory of motivation.
4. What are the common barriers to effective communication? Suggest measures to overcome them
5. Explain different financial and non-financial incentives used to motivate employees of a company?
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