Urwick’s ten principles of management

According to Urwick’s notes on the Theory of Organisation, 1952, organisations are built on ten principles. His common sense approach made his ideas popular amongst managers.

 Lyndall Urwick (1943)

  1. The principle of the objective – the overall purpose of an organisation it its raison d’être.
  2. The principle of specialisation – one group, one function.
  3. The principle of coordination – the purpose of organising is to facilitate coordination or unity of effort.
  4. The principle of authority – in every organised group, supreme authority must be located somewhere, and there should be a clear line of authority to every member of the group.
  5. The principle of responsibility – a superior may be held accountable for the actions of subordinates.
  6. The principle of definition – jobs, duties and relationships should be clearly defined.
  7. The principle of correspondence – in every position, responsibility and authority should correspond with one another.
  8. The principle of span of control – no person should supervise more than 5–6 line reports whose work is interlocked.
  9. The principle of balance – it is essential that the various units of an organisation are kept in balance.
  10. The principle of continuity – reorganisation is a continuous process and provision should be made for it.

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