Directing Part 1

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The managerial function of directing is like the activities of a teacher in a classroom. In order to teach, a teacher has to guide his students, maintain discipline, inspire them and lead them to the desired goal. It is a very important function in the management of any enterprise. It helps the managers in ensuring quality performance of jobs by the employees and achievement of organisational goals. It involves supervision, communication and providing leadership to the subordinates and motivating them to contribute to their best of capability.

Meaning of Directing

While managing an enterprise, managers have to get things done through people. In order to be able to do so, they have to undertake many activities, like guide the people who work under them, inspire and lead them to achieve common objectives. The office manager can plan, organise and appoint people, but he cannot get things done, unless he assigns specific duties to his subordinates and motivates them to perform well. All these activities of a manager constitute the directing function.

Image of Meaning of Directing

Image of Meaning of Directing

Image of Meaning of Directing

Thus, directing is concerned with instructing, guiding, supervising and inspiring people in the organisation to achieve its objectives. It is the process of telling people what to do and seeing that they do it in the best possible manner. The directing function thus, involves:

telling people what is to be done and explaining to them how to do it;

• Issuing instructions and orders to subordinates to carry out their assignments as scheduled;

• Supervising their activities;

• Inspiring them to meet the mangers expectation and contribute towards the achievement of organisational objectives; and

• Providing leadership.

Managers plan and take decisions. They organise to define the work and create suitable positions in the enterprise. People are employed to perform the jobs, but the actual work of getting the job done comes under the directing function. Thus, directing is ‘management in action’. It is through the exercise of this function that managers get things done through people.

Objectives

After studying this lesson, you will be able to:

• State the meaning and importance of directing function;

• Identify the elements of directing;

• Describe the meaning and importance of communication;

• State the different types of communication;

• Explain the meaning, functions and importance of supervision;

• Describe the meaning and importance of motivation;

• State the various ways of motivation;

• Explain the meaning and importance of leadership; and

• Identify the qualities of a good leader.

Importance of Directing

Plans remain mere plans unless they are put into action. In the absence of direction, subordinates will have no idea as to what to do. They will probably not be inspired to complete the job satisfactorily. Implementation of plans is, thus, largely the concern of directing function. As a function of management, directing is useful in many ways.

• It guides and helps the subordinates to complete the given task properly and as per schedule.

• It provides the necessary motivation to subordinates to complete the work satisfactorily and strive to do them best.

• It helps in maintaining discipline and rewarding those who do well.

• Directing involves supervision, which is essential to make sure that work is performed according to the orders and instructions.

• Different people perform different activities in the organisation. All the activities are interrelated. In order to co-ordinate the activities carried out in different parts and to ensure that they are performed well, directing is important.

• Directing involves leadership that essentially helps in creating appropriate work environment and build up team spirit.

Elements in Directing

Communication, Supervision, Motivation and Leadership are the four essential elements of directing. In the subsequent sections we shall discuss about the nature and significance of each of these components.

Communication

Communication is a basic organisational function, which refers to the process by which a person (known as sender) transmits information or messages to another person (known as receiver). The purpose of communication in organisations is to convey orders, instructions, or information so as to bring desired changes in the performance and or the attitude of employees. In an organisation, supervisors transmit information to subordinates. Proper communication results in clarity and securing the cooperation of subordinates. Faulty communication may create problems due to misunderstanding between the superior and subordinates. The subordinates must correctly understand the message conveyed to them.

Thus, in communication:

• There are two parties, one is known as the sender and the other is known as receiver;

• There is a message sent by the sender to the receiver; and

• The receiver receives the message and understands it.

Communication does not always flow from supervisor to subordinate. It can also be from a subordinate to a supervisor.

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