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.