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DIRECTING is said to be a process in which the managers instruct, guide

and oversee the performance of the workers to achieve predetermined goals.
Directing is said to be the heart of management process. Planning, organizing,
staffing have got no importance if direction function does not take place.

Directing is influencing people's behavior through motivation,

communication, group dynamics, leadership and discipline. Managers give this
function a variety of names. Higgins calls it leading. Other labels are: influencing,
coaching, motivating, interpersonal relations, and human relations.
Planning,Organising and staffing are merely preparatory functions to do the
work. But the work actually starts when the manager performs the functions of
directing ie, issuing instructions, guiding and overseeing activities. Controlling
function is performed to find out whether or not the goals are being achieved.Thus
direction function act as a link between the planning and controlling function of
Directing initiates action and it is from here actual work starts. Direction is
said to be consisting of human factors. In simple words, it can be described as

that operations are carried on as originally planned.”

Earnest Dale describes “Directing is telling people what to do and seeing
that they do it the best of their ability.”

Basic Concepts about Directing

 Direction consists of the process and techniques utilizing in issuing

instruction and making certain that operations are carried out as originally
 Direction is a complex function that includes all those activities which are
designed to which encourage subordinates to work effectively and efficiently in
both short and long run.
 Direction is telling people what to do and seeing that they do it to the best
of their ability.
 Directing deals with the steps a manager takes to get subordinates and
others to carry out plans.
 Direction provides link between different functions in an organization.
Directing Function of Management

• Directing is influencing people's behavior through motivation,
communication, group dynamics, leadership and discipline. The purpose of
directing is to channel the behavior of all personnel to accomplish the
organization's mission and objectives while simultaneously helping them
accomplish their own career objectives.
• Managers give this function a variety of names. Higgins calls it leading.
Other labels are: influencing, coaching, motivating, interpersonal relations,
and human relations.
• The directing function gives the manager an active rather than a passive role
in employee performance, conduct and accomplishments. Managers
accomplish their objectives through people. In blaming others for her or his
human resource problems, a manager is denying the management
responsibilities inherent in the directing function.
• The directing function gives managers a second responsibility: helping
people in the organization accomplish their individual career goals.
Organizations do not succeed while their people are failing. Helping people
in the organization with career planning and professional development is an
integral part of the directing function.
• In Management Excel, the directing function in Managing for Success has
included: motivation, communication, performance appraisal, discipline and
conflict management. Several Management Excel teams have offered
situational leadership as an advanced course for Managing for Success
graduates. Management Excel team leader in-services have included group
dynamics and team building.

Direction has got following characteristics:

1. Pervasive Function - Directing is required at all levels of organization.

Every manager provides guidance and inspiration to his subordinates.
2. Continuous Activity - Direction is a continuous activity as it continuous
throughout the life of organization.
3. Human Factor - Directing function is related to subordinates and therefore
it is related to human factor. Since human factor is complex and behaviour is
unpredictable, direction function becomes important.
4. Creative Activity - Direction function helps in converting plans into
performance. Without this function, people become inactive and physical
resources are meaningless.
5. Executive Function - Direction function is carried out by all managers and
executives at all levels throughout the working of an enterprise, a
subordinate receives instructions from his superior only.
6. Delegate Function - Direction is supposed to be a function dealing with
human beings. Human behaviour is unpredictable by nature and conditioning
the people’s behaviour towards the goals of the enterprise is what the
executive does in this function. Therefore, it is termed as having delicacy in
it to tackle human behaviour.

Elements of Directing

The directing functions of the manager include the following:

1. Guiding
2. Supervision
3. Motivation
4. Leadership
5. Communication
6. Coordination

1. Guiding
It is the first step in the process of directing. It means anchoring the
subordinates. After delegation of authority and assigning duties the supervisor
should issue the orders and guide the subordinates to accomplish the preplanned
objectives. Guiding simply means leading the subordinates to achieve the
common objective through different ways of motivation.

Supervision has been defined as overseeing the subordinates at work. It means
observing the subordinate while one performs. Observing the subordinates at work
means and includes monitoring, watching and being in touch with performance of
The term supervision consists of two words ‘super’ and ‘vision’.Super means
over and above vision means the art of seeing objects or viewing mental images or
looking over. Thus supervision in management context means overseeing the
subordinates work.
“ Supervision refers to the direct and immediate guidance and
control of subordinates in performance of their task”
Supervision is an essential element of directing and important function of manager.

Role of Supervisor
Supervisor plays important role in an organization. He acts as the connecting line
between management and workers. He issues orders and instructions to the
workers, direct their activities. He explains the idea and plans of management to
the workers. Also he brings the complaints, suggestions and difficulties of the
workers before attention of top management. He is also called foreman, gang man,
charge man, overseer, section officer or superintendent.
Function of Supervisor
Supervisor has to perform several functions. He performs almost all functions of

i. Planning or scheduling of work:

Supervisors should formulate and plan the procedure and methods of the work
to be done by the workers. He assigns the work among the workers and
information about the goals and aims of organization.
ii. Giving orders and instructions:
As a representative of management he should bring all the orders and
instructions from top level in front of the workers.
iii. Guidance and motivation:
he guide the workers to achieve the common aim at organization. He
motivate them through proper incentives and create a team spirit among.
iv. Enforcing discipline:
He always remind about the rules and regulations of the organization to
ensure the discipline among his subordinates.
v. Ensuring effective communication:
As he is the connecting line between the subordinates and management he
always ensure a smooth flow of communication.
vi. Ensure safety:
He should develop awareness about the safety measures of the organization.
He conducts regular inspection of machine tools and to minimize the chance
of accidents.

End here…

“Supervise” comes from the word “supervide” which means to oversee or view

It means personally observing a function or activity, providing leadership in
the process of nursing care, delegating functions or activities while retaining the
accountability, evaluating and ensuring that the nursing care provided is adequate
and delivered appropriately.

Main goal:
• work schedules are finished on time.
• Enhances collaborative efforts resulting in efficient, smooth and
harmonious flow of work
• Convey clearly defined polices, standard operating procedures,
policies and guidelines using the proper channels of communication.

So far we discussed regarding the definition, functions, Concepts, Elements,

philosophy and components of directing pertaining to nursing management.


By this seminar we gain orientation to the styles, importance and need for
directing in the management process. It is necessary for the nursing personnel who
are working in the education as well as in hospitals.