Summary of Principles - Directing - Leading

Related to the Purpose of Directing

Principle of harmony of objectives

Effective directing depends on the extent to which individual objectives in cooperative activity are harmonized with group objectives.

Principles Applicable to Process of directing

Principle of unity of command

The more completely an individual has a reporting relationship to a single superior, the less the problem of conflict in instructions and the greater the feeling of personal responsibility for results.

Principle of direct supervision

Effective direction requires that management supplement objective methods of supervision with direct personal contact.

Principle of supervisory techniques

Since people, tasks, and organizational environment vary, techniques of supervision will be most effective if appropriately varied.

Principles of Delegation

Principle of functional delegation

The more a position or department has clear definitions of results expected, activities to be undertaken, organization authority delegated, and authority and informational relationships with other positions, the more adequately individuals responsible can contribute toward accomplishing enterprise objectives.

Principle of delegation by results expected

The authority delegated to an individual managers should be adequate to assure his ability to accomplish the results expected of him.

Principle of absoluteness of responsibility

No superior can escape, through delegation, responsibility for the activities of subordinates, for it is he who delegated authority and assigned duties.

Principle of parity of authority and responsibility

The authority delegated has to be consistent with the responsibility assigned to a subordinate.


Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell, Principles of Management: An Analysis of Managerial Functions, 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1968

Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell, Principles of Management: An Analysis of Managerial Functions, 2nd Ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1959
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