Principles of Management

Principles of Management: Principles of Management are generalization based on experience and careful analysis of case studies. These are universally applicable. These are not rigid; change in circumstances would require adoption of these.

Principles of management are a powerful tool in the hands of a manager but these must be used rather carefully after analysis of the problem and its diagnosis. Good management can be learned only through practice and by solving problem rather than by memorization of principles which may have only limited relevance to actual problem.

Henri Fayol was the first to put forward a list of general administrative principles. On the whole, his observations are valid, even today. Fayol used scientific approach. Fayol formulated the following fourteen management principles. These are the first categorized on management and these have not lost their relevance in modern management policy. These are the basic management principles.

i) Division of Work: In any organization the division of work, duties, and activities is a must. The division of work lead to specialization. If possible only that work should be assigned to a person in which field he has specialization. The principles of division of work are based on common principle of experience that every person cannot do every job.

ii) Authority and Responsibility: An individual should be given authority equal to his responsibility. Possession of authority means responsibility for actions. Actual work in the library may be done by different persons but the ultimate responsibilities lie with the chief librarian. The responsibilities without authority will lead to lack of confidence.

iii) Discipline: Discipline encompasses regularity, behaviors, conduct and interpersonal relationship among the staff workers. In the best interest of the organization there should be complete obedience, diligence, energy and outward marks respect. This is equally applicable to everybody.

iv) Unity of Command: An organizational structure should be such that each employee is supervised by only one supervisor. An employee should be responsible to and also receive orders from only one superior. The command should generally come from the immediate superior.

v) Unity of Direction: In a planned administrative setup, direction should come from one end and one person should be responsible for similar type of jobs.

vi) Subordination of Individual’s Interest to General Interest: Where there is a conflict of general interest with individual interest, general interest should get the priority over the individual interest. It is desirable in any social order.

vii) Remuneration: Remuneration should be reasonable and should commensurate to the qualification, experience, technical knowledge, seniority, performance and such other factors. Employees should be given incentives for successful efforts.

viii) Centralization: There should be judicious distribution of work of the library in terms of centralization and decentralization. Anything that increases the importance of the role of a subordinate should be decentralized. On the other hand any thing that decreases the importance of the role of a subordinate should be centralized. For example book selection and managerial function should be decentralized because in case of book selection the heads of the departmental libraries knows more about their field of specialization. But ordering should be centralized so that there is no duplication of bibliographical tool.

ix) Scalar Chain: This refers to hierarchy. A hierarchy consists of a series of steps extended in an unbroken line from the chief librarian to the lowest employee. This principal implies that authority and responsibility should flow in a clear, unbroken line from the highest executive to the lowest rank. Orders go down the line traveling from top to bottom. However, information and appeal travel in the reverse direction.

x) Orders: Orders indicate the disciplined flow of discharging the respective duties and the systematic organization of work flow. It refers to the best possible management to achieve the most efficient operation of the organization.

xi) Equity: In dealing with employees treatment of equality must be put into practice. Justice must be combined with friendliness and kindness by those in the executive towards staff.

xii) Stability of Tenure of Personnel: Stability of tenure indicates a longer service period of an employees and uninterrupted working period. It assures better service, steady growth and systematic planning of work schedules. Rapid turnover of staff can cause anxiety.

xiii) Initiative: One should not only do his job assigned to him, but he should feel inspired to perform his duties. In working situation anybody may have suggestion for improvement and better work or redesigning the works schedule for better result, all the suggestion should be taken with trust by the management. Due attention, proper consideration should be given to them. This will inspire the person working with incentives and ultimately institution will get better result.

xiv) Esprit de Corps: The management should create environment which leads to harmony and unity. The entire employees should not feel as an assemblage of individuals but recognize their identity with the institution. Thus a sense of co-operation, a sense of belonging, a feeling of identification with the institution, a corporate sense over self, a team spirit, a feeling of unity make the institution as a organic whole.

Besides the principles put forward by Fayol, other principles often included are as follows-

xv) Span of Control: This refers to the persons with whom a manager must deal directly. For efficient management there should be a few people to be controlled directly by each head.

xvi) Coordination: Aim of co-ordination being to achieve harmony of individual efforts toward accomplishment of group goals. Co-ordination is concerned with interrelating of the various parts of an organization so that all procedures, operation and activities lead to maximum contribution to the person to person relationship. Co-ordination in an organization is balancing and interrelating of the various parts of an organization and keeping together all the staff for getting best result with the minimum resources at hand.

xvii) Accountability: Accountability means liable to account. In any organization, the emphasis should be given to measure the quality and quantity of performance.