Henry Fayol, a Mining Engineer and Executive of France, who listed out 14 Principles of Management. Two such Management theories are Unity of Command and Unity of Direction. Unity of Command proclaims that each employee is accountable to one supervisor and thus, get orders from him, relating to the task to be performed.
Unity of Direction, on the other hand, signifies that the series of activities having similar objective should be performed as per a single plan and that too under one boss.
Unity of command is related to the effective functioning of subordinates in the organization. In contrast to the unity of direction indicates that every unit of the organization should be aligned towards the same objective, through organized efforts. In the given article, you can find out all the substantial differences between unity of command and unity of direction.
Content: Unity of Command Vs Unity of Direction
|Basis for Comparison||Unity of Command||Unity of Direction|
|Meaning||Unity of command refers to a principle of management which states that one incumbent should get orders from and report to one boss.||Unity of direction is a management principle which implies that all the activities with same objective must have one head and one plan.|
|Purpose||To prevent dual subordination.||To prevent activities overlap.|
|Focuses on||Single employee||Entire organization|
|Outcome||The principle leads to effective functioning of the subordinates.||The principle results in coordination of work of various employees.|
|Relationship||Represents relationship between superior and subordinate.||Represents relationship of activities, as per organizational plans and goals.|
|Need||It is needed to fix the responsibility of each person in the organization.||It is needed for sound organization of activities.|
Definition of Unity of Command
Unity of Command is a Principle of Management, given by Henry Fayol, which states that each subordinate in a formal organization should get an order from and report to one superior. As per this principle, dual subordination is completely ignored, i.e. an employee will be responsible to one supervisor, who in turn report to the manager, and the chain continues. The person to whom the employee should be responsible is directly above the employee’s position, called as immediate boss.
Unity of Command results in less confusion and chaos, regarding the task assigned to the employee and results in the effective discharge of duties. It indicates an integrated system of instructions, so as to enforce the command. The doctrine is based on the assumption that an employee cannot shoulder orders from more than one boss.
Definition of Unity of Direction
Unity of Direction is another management principle laid down by the French Mining Executive Henry Fayol, stating that there must exist only one superior and one plan for a range of activities seeking the attainment of the same objective. On the basis of this principle, those tasks which are aligned towards the same objective should be lead by one manager, using a single plan.
Key Differences Unity of Command and Unity of Direction
The difference between unity of command and unity of direction can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- A principle of management propounded by Henry Fayol, stating that one employee should get orders from and report to one boss, is the Unity of Command. On the contrary, a management principle which implies that all the activities with the same objective must be lead by one person as per a single plan is the Unity of Direction.
- Unity of command avoids subordination from multiple supervisors. Conversely, Unity of Direction avoids imbrication of activities.
- While the main focus of unity of command is the single employee, the focus of unity of command is the entire organization.
- The doctrine of the unity of command leads to the effective functioning of the subordinates. On the other hand, the doctrine of the unity of direction results in the coordination of work of various employees.
- Unity of Command indicates a relationship between superior and subordinate. In contrast, the unity of direction shows the relationship of activities, as per organizational plans and goals.
- Unity of command is must for an organization in order to fix the responsibility of each subordinate in the pursuit of common goals of the organization. Unlike unity of direction is required for sound organization of activities.
By and large, the two management theories are helpful in the discharging the activities of the organization satisfactorily. Unity of Command is just to ignore confusion, disorder, and chaos in the tasks assigned by different superiors. On the flip side, the unity of direction is to match the activities with the organization’s objectives.