Principles of Management 


The Principles of Management are the essential, underlying factors that form the foundations of successful management. A principle is a fundamental truth and is generally slated in the form of cause and effect inter-relationship. Management principles are the statements of general truth providing guidelines to thoughts or actions. According to Herbert G. Hicks, “Principles of management are the guiding rules for managerial action.”

According to koonzt and O’ Donnell, “Management principles are fundamental truth of general validity.” These truths are the guiding pillars in the managerial execution of functions and solution to problems. Every social science has developed its own principles. Management is also a social science and thus it has developed a number of management principles.


  1. Universal Applicability:

The principles’ of management are universal in nature which means that, they can be applied to all types of organizations irrespective of their size and nature. Their results may vary and application may be modified but the principles are suitable for all kinds of organizations. For example, the principle of division of labor can be applied to all the organizations and results in specialization although the degree of specialization may vary depending upon the nature and size of the organization.

  1. General Guidelines:

The principles of management are not definite like the principles of physics and chemistry, the principles of physics rind chemistry are very clear and definite, and their outcomes can he predicted. The principles of management, on the other hand, are by nature of general guidelines, and they-cannot be applied strictly. A management principle gives guidelines to solve the problems. These principles therefore do not provide ready-made solution for all the problems, for example, the principle of fair remuneration insists on fair or adequate salary to employee but what amount of salary is lair depends upon the nature, size and financial capacity of the company.

  1. Management principles are not static or absolute statements.

The principles of management cannot be applied blindly in all the situations. The applicability of management principles depends on the conditions, requirements and the nature of organization.

  1. Management principles are Evolutionary and flexible

The management principles are developed through practice and experiments, after deep and thorough research work. Proper observations and experiments are conducted before developing them. These are the expressions of deep experiences of the leaders of management thoughts. When political, economic and social environment changes take place, new kinds of problems arise. Old principles arc altered and new principles are propounded. Therefore, the principles of management are evolutionary in nature.

  1. Management principles are Behavioral:

Management principles are shaped to guide and influence the behavior of employees. These principles insist on improving relationship between superior, subordinates and all the members of organization. They also establish relations between human and material resources. For example, principle of Discipline improves commitment of employees towards the organization and principle of Esprit de Corps shape the behavior of employees towards team spirit.

  1. Causal relationship

The principles of management establish cause and effect relationship between management variables. They explain wlial the outcome of a given action would be if work is done in a particular manner. For example, if according to the principle of division of work, the work is divided into different parts, each part being assigned to a particular person according to his interests and capability, then it will result in an increase in overall efficiency. In this case, the division of work is the cause and the increase in efficiency is the effect. In the same manner, the other principles of management also establish relationship between cause and effect.

  1. Management Principles are contingent:

Principles of management are contingent or dependent upon the situations prevailing in organization. Their application and effect depend upon the nature of organization. The application of principle has to be changed according to the nature, size and type of organization. Management principles can be applied differently under different conditions. Some changes can be made in application of principles according to the requirement of the company. For example, according to the principle of division of labor a worker should be assigned a definite part of a job time and again to increase his efficiency. But on the contrary, if a worker is becoming bored due to the monotony of doing a job repeatedly, the application of this principle will not be beneficial. Therefore, it will have to be changed.

  1. Equal importance

All the management principles have equal significance.

  1. Decision-making

Management in always concerned with decision making relating to the various aspects of the enterprise.



  1. Principles of management provide managers with useful insight into reality. The principles improve knowledge, ability and understanding of managers under various managerial situations. They help the managers to learn from their mistakes and help managers in making (he right decisions.
  2. They facilitate optimum utilization of the enterprise’s scarce resources, for example, (he Principles are designed to get maximum benefits from the human efforts and other organizational resources; scientific principles recommend cutting down on wasteful movements and setting up of standard time to complete a task. By saving time, energy and efforts activities can be made economical and result in maximum utilization of resources.
  3. The management principles insist on planned activities and systematic organization of men and materials in the organization.
  4. The principles facilitate scientific decisions that are balanced and based on careful analysis and evaluation. The management principles enable the managers to approach various problems systematically and scientifically. The management principles stress on scientific judgements and logical thinking
  5. The principles of management provide the necessary training to the managers so that they can lake scientific-balanced decisions. In the absence of these principles the managers have to adopt the method of trial and error.
  6. The principles of management help managers in designing jobs for maximum efficiency. Taylor’s scientific principles, for instance insisted on replacement of rule of thumb methods with a scientific approach. The principles suggested that time study should be conducted to establish the standard time required to perform a job rather than leaving it at the discretion or will of manager.
  7. Application of the principles enables the organization to meet the changing environment requirement. Every businessman lias to make changes in the organization according to changes taking place in the business environment. Management principles provide guidelines lo the managers on how to implement organizational changes.
  8. Application of the principles facilitate effective administration: Administration is the function of top-level management in which major plans and policies arc formulated. The management principles act as guidelines and base to formulating various administrative policies which arc systematic and free from personal prejudices and biases,
  9. The application of the principles enables an organization to fulfil Social responsibilities in addition to attainment of economic goals, for example, fair remuneration of employees enhances the wellbeing of employees as well as providing incentive for better staff work.
  10. The principles of management provide a basis for Training, Education and Research. As the principles provide organized body of knowledge to perform research work and generate more and more knowledge, they have provided new ideas, imagination and base for research and development,



Henry Fayol who is known as the father of modem management propounded the following fourteen principles of management which he argues will enhance administrative efficiency of the firm and subsequent attainment of the organizational goals. These principles of management include:

  1. Unity of direction

An organization should have a common purpose or goal towards which all the organizational effort is directed to achieve.

  1. Unity of command

A worker should only report directly to one boss and there should be no other conflicting lines of command. Multiple reporting lines lead to confusion, conflict and overall inefficiency.

  1. Scalar chain of principle

A scalar chain refers to the chain of command from the most senior person to most junior person in the organization. An organization should be hierarchically structured with the flow authority from the top to the bottom clearly shown.

  1. Principle of responsibility and authority

Responsibility is the obligation placed on a person occupying a given position while authority is the right to exercise power. According to this principle there should be parity between authority and responsibility.

  1. Stability of tenure

Employees need a period of stability in a job to perform at their best.           ,

  1. Subordination of individual interest

According to the principle the interest of the organization should come before individual needs.

  1. Division of labor

The larger and complex task of the organization should be broken down into components each assigned to a different person who specializes in the assigned task.

  1. Centralization

There should be a central forum where decisions are centrally made to avoid conflicting decisions.

  1. Discipline

Behavior of organizational members should be regulated a system of rules and regulations. In every organization today code of conduct to guide the employee behavior which is embedded in the employment contract.

  1. Order

People and materials should be at their designated locations to enhance maximum efficiency.

  1. Esprit de corps

The management should foster harmony and cohesion among the organization members.

  1. Fair remuneration

The workers should be paid competitive wages as money is an important motivation.

  1. Equity principle

Employees should be treated fairly and equitably.

  1. Initiative principle

Managers should encourage employees to show initiative.

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