Organizing is one of the major functions of management. It is a continuous process performed by managers of all levels. The success or failure of the organization depends upon sound and efficient organizational structure. Hence, there is a need to follow certain 14 basic principles of organization (organizing) to formulate and develop sound and efficient organization.

These principles are as follows:

14 Basics Principles of Organization

  1. Unity of Objectives/Goals
  2. Specialization
  3. Span of Control
  4. Exception
  5. Scalar Principle
  6. Unity of Command
  7. Delegation of Authority
  8. Responsibility
  9. Authority
  10. Efficiency
  11. Simplicity
  12. Flexibility
  13. Balance
  14. Unity of Direction activities

(1) Unity of Objectives/Goals

The goals of the organization influence the organization structure. Hence, the goals and objectives must be clearly defined for the entire organization, for each department and even for each position in the organization structure.

If there is contradiction among the various levels of objectives, then entire goals o organization cannot be achieved. Thus, there must be unity of objectives so that all efforts can be concentrated on the set goals.

(2) Specialization

The total task in an organization should be divided in such manner that every person is confined to a single job. This leads to the specialization. An individual employee repeatedly performing a specific single job becomes an expert in that job.

The work assigned should be according to his abilities and aptitude. Then he can work with greater economy and efficiency. Thus, specialization is necessary to increase the output of the employees.

(3) Span of Control

Span of control represents a numerical limit of subordinates to be supervised or controlled by a manager. There is a limit to the s number of subordinates that can be supervised effectively However, the exact number of subordinates will vary depending upon the nature of job, competence of the manager, quality of subordinates, etc.

The ideal span control cannot be predetermined. If subordinates are kept without considering the span of control, then supervision and control cannot be effective.

Narrow span permits more effective and close supervision of subordinates since there are only a limited number of subordinated under the manager. On the other hand, a wide span implies general and flexible supervision of subordinates.

(4) Exception

Each manager should make all decisions within the limitation of delegated authority. However, exceptionally complex matters should only be referred to the higher levels for their decision. This will enable the executives at higher levels to devote time to more important and crucial issue.

(5) Scalar Principle

This principle sometimes known as the "chain of command" It is unbroken line of authority from the top level to the bottom an organization. This links all the managerial positions from top to bottom. It makes clear about who will work under whom.

The chain of command (scalar chain) should be short and clear which makes decision making and communication more effective. Scalar chain means a step wise chain. The amount of command authority decreases as one goes down the chain.

(6) Unity of Command

The principle of command suggests that an employee should have one and only one boss. Each subordinate should have only one superior whose command he has to obey.

This principle is based on the fact hat that an employee cannot effectively serve two managers. Directions from several superiors may result in confusion, chaos, conflict and indiscipline.

(7) Delegation of Authority

Proper authority should be delegated at all levels of management. Without adequate delegation effective performance is not possible.

The authority delegated should be equal to responsibility so as to enable each manager to accomplish the task assigned to him.

(8) Responsibility

According to this principle, the responsibility of all employees should be made clear. The superior should not be allowed to avoid subordinates. It means the superiors should be held responsibility by delegating authority to his subordinates.

It means the superiors be held responsible for the acts of his subordinates. The responsibility cannot be delegated under any circumstances.

(9) Authority

Authority is the tool by which a manager is able to accomplish the desired goals. Hence, the authority of each manager should be clearly defined and it should be equal to responsibility.

In the absence of adequate authority, responsibility leads to frustration and ineffective performance. 

(10) Efficiency

The efficiency of an enterprise (organization) is measured though the ability of achieving the predetermined goals at minimum cost.

The organization structure should enable accomplishment of organizational goals. efficiently. Hence, it should ensure optimum utilization of all resources.

(11) Simplicity

The organizational structure should be simple with minimum numbers of levels so that each member can understand his duties and authority relationships.

An organization with few levels is a simple organization. A large number of levels in organization means difficulty of communication and coordination.

(12) Flexibility

The organization structure should be adaptable to changing environment and needs of the organization. For this, organization structure should be flexible.

It should permit expansion and replacement without dislocation and disruption of the basic design.

(13) Balance

The principle of balance should be followed while designing the structure of the organization. There should be a reasonable balance in the size of various departments and between centralization and decentralization.

Overemphasis of any type should be avoided. Balanced structure brings efficiency and economy to the operation of the organization.

(14) Unity of Direction activities

There should be one objective and one plan for a group of activities having the same objective. The organization struct should be designed on such a way that there should be one official or each group of the same activity.

By this there will be unity o direction. This facilitates verification and coordination.