July 22, 2016

Summary of Principles - Directing - Leading

14th Edition,  Management: A Global, Innovative, and Entrepreneurial Perspective

Heinz Weihrich, Mark V. Cannice, and Harold Koontz

Major Principles or Guides for Leading

1. Principles of Harmony of Objectives

The more managers can harmonize the personal goals of individuals with the goals of the enterprise, the more effective and efficient the enterprise will be.

2. Principles of Motivation

Since motivation is not a simple matter of cause and effect, the more managers carefully assess a reward structure, look upon it from  a situational and contingency point of view, and integrate it into the entire system of managing, the more effective a motivational program will be.

3. Principle of Leadership

Since people tend to follow who,in their view, offer them a means of satisfying their personal goals, the more managers understand what motivates their subordinates and how these motivators operate, and the more they reflect this understanding in carrying out their managerial actions, the more effective they are likely to be as leaders.

For effective communication, the following principles have to be applied.

4. Principle of Communication Clarity

Communication tends to be clear when it is expressed in a language and transmitted in a way that can be understood by the receiver.

5. Principle of Communication Integrity

The greater the integrity and consistency of written, oral or nonverbal messages, as well as of the moral behavior of the sender, the greater the acceptance of the message by the sender.

6. Principle of Supplemental Use of Informal Organization

Communication tends to be more effective when managers utilize the informal organization to supplement the communication channels of the formal organization

Articles on the Function of Leading

Human Factors and Motivation
Leadership - Koontz and O'Donnell - Review Notes

Supervision - Introduction - Public Administration Point of View
Committes and Group Decision Making - Review Notes

Communication - Koontz and O'Donnell - Review Notes
Summary of Principles - Directing - Leading


Earlier Editions

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

Updated 22 July 2016, 11 December 2011

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