Fayol's Unity of Direction Principle of Management

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Principles of Management - Fayol > Best Practices > Fayol's Unity of Direction Principle of Management

Fayol's Unity of Direction Principle of Management
Sanjeev Ravishankar, Student (Other), Member
I'm looking for some further explanation and examples of UNITY OF DIRECTION as the 5th principle of Fayol's Principles of management? The 12manage summary says: "People engaged in the same kind of activities must have the same objectives in a single plan. This is essential to ensure unity and coordination in the enterprise. Unity of command does not exist without unity of direction but does not necessarily flows from it."
Many thanks...

What is Unity of Direction by Fayol
Mutaka Musitafa, Student (University), Uganda, Member
Hello, the fifth principle of management "Unity of Direction" by Fayol can be understood further in the following ways:
That all activities in the organization aiming at attaining a specific objective and goal must be supervised by one person. For instance, if the organization aims at improving on the performance of its employees, the supervision of this, with its range of strategies must be supervised by one person or department from the many that may be available.

Meaning of Unity of Direction
Jack Mwangi, Interim Manager, Kenya, Member
Hello Sanjeev.
Unity of direction as depicted by Fayol simply means an objective of being administered in a group and hence coming in line with the organisation goals.
It may as well involve having a unitary resolution in a group work or project.
A situation where all members, or rather the majority, have the same understanding of an objective and the direction headed for. Thus the goal is realised under the supervision of a common leader among the members.

Explanation of Unity of Direction
Aastha khanna, Student (Other), Member
Unity of direction means all the units of an organisation should be moving towards the same objectives through coordinated and focused efforts. Each group of activities having the same objective must have 1 head + 1 plan. This ensures unity of action and coordination for example if a company is manufacturing motorcycles as well as car then it should have 2 separate divisions for both of them. And each division should have its own in charge plans and execution resources. On no account should the working of the two divisions overlap.

Unity of Direction versus Unity of Command
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Mutaka Musitafa: I believe what you are describing is unity of command; not unity of direction.
Unity of direction means the people in the organization share a common understanding / feeling about in what direction the organization should go / develop in the future.
This is to be seen separately from the issue if each employee should have one person who is supervising him/her. This is the principle of Unity of Command.
Both of these 2 principles are aiming at establishing a clear, firm, single minded situation, but in another way.

Management by Fayol
Alka Jain, Teacher, India, Member
Good discussion! And opening eyes further on Fayol's fifth principle of unity of direction. Group! Keep it up.

Fay's Unity of Command & Direction
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
Henry Fayol's 4th & 5th Principles are Unity of Command & Direction. These two are hand-in-hand principles.

- This advocates only one boss should give orders so that people can understand well and work systematically.
- With responsibility;
- It prevents dual sub-ordination;
- Becomes easy to fix responsibility on individuals;
- Brings harmonious and cordial relations in management;
- Performance will be effective and increasing;
- ADVANTAGES are: better relationships between superiors and sub-ordinates; clear authority, responsibility and accountability; prompt decisions;

- One mind, one plan;
- Activities can be grouped;
- All efforts are towards common goal;
- There will be unity of actions;
- ADVANTAGES are: efficiency improves; better coordination among all; systematic working environment.

While Unity of Command builds and boosts morale and builds positive attitudes, Unity of Direction builds commitment, trust and loyalty.

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