Why is it important to understand the principles of management?

The success of all organizations depends solely on how they are managed. Every manager must have a proper understanding of management principles to fully appreciate the gravity of driving an organization towards its goals. Hit and run guerrilla tactics have no place in modern-day business organizations. Principles of management guide all the functions of management through their respective challenges and teach them to recognize and take advantage of opportunities.

Key principles of management

Let us look at Henri Fayol’s 14 principles of management, a classical theory on command, and understand the significance of each.

  1. Division of Workdeals with breaking down an organizational objective into a series of manageable tasks, distributed across to various employees. It is based on the theory that if workers are given a specialized job, they will become skillful and more efficient in it.
  2. Authority is necessary to ensure that managerial decisions are carried out. Without authority, an organization would lack the ability to achieve its goals.
  3. Discipline is a mandatory requirement for an organization to run effectively. In addition, organizational rules, policies, and structures help build a culture of mutual respect and motivation.
  4. Unity of commandis a transparent chain of command that ensures the smooth functioning of an organization. Therefore, all employees should have complete clarity on whom to follow.
  5. Unity of direction means that every individual in an organization works in harmony towards a shared objective or goal, diligentlyfollowing shared methods or processes.
  6. Subordination of individual interests to collective interests means that the interests of the organization as a whole will always take precedence over the interests of any particular employee or a group of employees. Again, this emphasizes team spirit and collective effort.
  7. Remunerationfor work is no doubt the fulcrum on which employee motivation and incentive is placed on. The better the remuneration, the more proficient will be the talent that an organization stands to attract.
  8. Centralization relates to thestructure of the decision-making processes. Whether it isa centralized, top-down process or involves workers at lower levels, severaldecision-making processes are appropriate for different types of decisions.
  9. Chain of Communication relates to the principle of a clear and transparent chain of communication between employees and their supervisors. The chain is sacrosanct but should also be prepared for situations that may bypass the communication chain.
  10. Orderliness relates to the proper utilization of resources and their effective deployment in an organized manner.
  11. Equitydictates that all managers should profess ethical standards of approach towards those they manage. Therefore, organizations will be governed by stated policies and procedures by staff at all levels.
  12. The stability of tenure of personnelis the principle that has the well-being of employees at its heart. Therefore, it deals with ways to maintain low attrition rates by focusing on the retention of employees through well-defined processes and policies.
  13. Initiativein an organization is an invaluable trait. Where employee initiative is encouraged, there is more likelihood of employees being more motivated and respected.
  14. Morale and team spirit are essential to build and sustain a highly productive organization. Therefore, the focus should be on maintaining a happy and motivated workforce.

The benefits of understanding the principles of management

Management principles improve managers’ skills, knowledge, and capabilities to arrive at effective decisions at the right time. They teach us the art of optimizing resources and approaching problem-solving in a systematic manner. The management principles also show ways and means to deftly steer organizations through changes in the marketplace or shifting trends in the overall business environment.

Most critically, principles of management provide us effective templates to structure excellent administrative practices and policies. And since the emphasis is on scientific temperament and logical thinking, the guides also lay out clear directions for employee training, education, and research.