7 MIN READ
What Is POSDCORB?
Running Your Team in the Most Efficient Way
Imagine that you manage a passionate team, that's creative and known for its innovative ideas. You've no doubt that its members have the skills and energy needed to succeed, but you want to provide them with the structure and direction that will support them in doing so, and help them to work as efficiently as they can.
POSDCORB can help you do this. It was developed in 1937 by Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick – members of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administrative committee – to organize the U.S. government's administrative system.
Based on the work of French industrialist Henri Fayol, Gulick's paper, "Notes on the Theory of Organization," asks, "What is the work of the chief executive? What does he do?" He summarizes the answer in the acronym POSDCORB.
In this article, we'll explain what POSDCORB stands for, how it can help your team or organization to focus on its administrative duties, and its potential pitfalls.
Although POSDCORB is almost 80 years old, its underlying theory can still be useful for today's managers.
POSDCORB is an acronym for what Gulick and Urwick considered to be the main organizing responsibilities within a team or an organization. It stands for Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting.
It's one of a number of early management theories, such as Henri Fayol's Principles of Management and Frederick Taylor's Scientific Management. It's formed the basis of management concepts like "span of control," which looks at the number of team members one manager can supervise, and "unity of command," which talks about team members taking direction from just one person....