Luther Gulick Principles of Organization

Luther Gulick Principles of Organization

Inspired by earlier management thinkers particularly, F.W. Taylor and Henry Fayol, Gulick and Urwick developed the classical theory of organization on the basis of their belief that a science of administration is possible if certain principles are evolved basing on the practical experience of administrators.  But, the notable feature of the theories constructed by these two authors is that they overemphasized the structure and process of organization giving least importance to human beings working in it.  Gullick identified 4 basis of departmental organization (popularly known as 4 p):  Purpose, Process, Person and Place.

The principles of organization which are advocated by Luther Gulick as below:

  1. Division of work
  2. Basis of departmental organizations
  3. Coordination through hierarchy
  4. Deliberate coordination
  5. Coordination through committees
  6. Decentralization
  7. Staff and line
  8. Unity of Command
  9. Delegation
  10. Span of control

Among the ten principles of administration listed out, Gulick lays special emphasis on division of work.  According to him large scale organizations require many men to carry out their different tasks.  Wherever many men work together best results can be achieved when there is a division of work among these men.  The theory of organization, therefore, has to do with the promotion of coordination among different units of an organization created by the principle of division of work.  Thus, Gulick says that “division of work and integration are the boot straps by which mankind lifts in the process of civilization”.

Gulick made up an acronym POSDCORB which indicates those universal functions which every administrator should accomplish.  Each letter in the POSDCORB stands for a task to be performed by the Chief Executive in the organization.  POSDCORB, each letter of which stands for a particular function i.e., P-stands for Planning, O-stands for Organization, S-stands for Staffing, D-stands for Directing, CO-stands for Co-ordination, R-stands for Reporting, B-stands for Budgeting.


              It needs a broad outline of the things that need to be done and the methods for doing them to accomplish the purpose or the goal of the organization.


Establishment of a formal structure of authority through which division of work is done defined and coordinated for the achievement of the goals of organization.


The whole personnel function of selecting and training the staff and maintaining favourable conditions of work.


This is the continuous task of making decisions and embodying them in specific and general orders and instructions and serving as the leader of the enterprise.


The important duty of interrelating the various parts of the work.


Keeping those to whom the executive is responsible, informed about what is going on which includes keeping himself and his subordinates informed through records, research and inspection.


All the activities connected with the planning, accounting and control.

In way POSDCORB   outlines, an operational philosophy for public administration that has three consequences i.e.,

  1. The division of work, both functionally and structurally is the primary mode for organizing public administration activities.
  2. There is an assumption, that Woodrow Wilson dichotomy between politics and administration, with a particular emphasis on the democratic those and the political context.
  3. Efficiency in terms of best utilization of resources appropriate to the larger political context has permanent value for public administration.

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