STUDENTS' CORNER - 11
Unity of Direction.
Fayol explains this principle in one very effective statement: “One head and one plan for a group”.
The first part of the statement focuses on One head. It implies a lot of facts connected with administration. Under any circumstances, for an organization, there must be only one head, one leader. And it is his exclusive responsibility to lead the organization to its chosen goal, its objective which has been arrived at after a lot of deep deliberations with experts. Clarity of perception marks the operations of the Head who never wavers from the chosen path of the goal, the mission of the organization. The plan of actions is derived from the One Leader’s goal. So, the Head conceives the total structure of the task ahead along with its pertinent path of action. The group has simply to execute it with full commitment to the work.
This implies that the action that emerges from the organization is strictly focused on the goal. Various departments get their relevant assignments of work which they have to fulfill so that the coordinated whole of action takes the organization closer to its goal. Action of every employee of any department contributes to the whole work- structure of the organization without miscalculation and misdirection. His action is not duplicate therefore nor ineffective. It leads to maximum utilization of the resources, money of the organization and the time of the men employed. Minimal wastage is a hallmark of an efficient organization. Each employee knows what he does and why he does; and much more importantly, he knows what he should not do. This is where better understanding and consequent cooperation naturally emerge. Employees learn by experience the value of adaptability which effectively helps one to live through surroundings and environment with least friction and fight.
There is another vital advantage of this principle of the Unity of Direction. When properly implemented, the employee gets great sense of satisfaction because he knows he contributes to the total objective of the organization and therefore he is indispensable to the organization. This is a fundamental human need to feel that he is important and wanted by the organization. This provides a great delight in the job; there is definite job satisfaction.
There is another subtler layer of psychological advantage to this sense of job satisfaction. He knows he is doing his job alright matching to the requirement of the institution. This leads to the next level of mental experience: I am confident that I will not fail when I am evaluated by the management for my work. I know what I do is right and I am confident I will be evaluated right.
Of course, the two principles, the Unity of Command and the Unity of Direction may look alike; but they are not. The one is concerned with the source of command and the other, with the direction of the efforts. In one sense, both are interlinked though are not same. The one without the other is incomplete and therefore inadequate and ineffective.