Exploring POSDCORB: Elements and Applications

Exploring POSDCORB: Elements and Applications

4 mins readComment
Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on May 8, 2024 19:54 IST

The POSDCORB full form is Planning, Organising, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting. This acronym puts forward a framework in classical organisational theory and practice, especially regarding management and public administration. 


Developed by the well-known public administrator during Franklin J Roosevelt’s time, Luther Gulick, the POSDCORB acronym was first featured in his widely circulated document, “Notes on the Theory of Administration”, in 1937.  

According to Gulick, these are sequential functions in organisational patterns, and they are “designed to call attention to the various functional elements of the work of a chief executive.”  Despite criticisms, it has been an enduring framework. Researchers, including Robert Agranoff and Michael McGuire, believe that “to date, no readily agreed-upon set of functional activities exists that is the hierarchical equivalent of POSDCORB.”

Elements of POSDCORB

Let’s expand on the elements of POSDCORB in management. 

Planning: Setting Objectives and Devising Strategies

Planning is the systematic approach to set out to do activities that fulfil a future goal. It can be short- and long-term. 

It involves setting clear objectives and devising strategies to achieve them. For that, there are four types of planning, common to management practice. By outlining goals and identifying the steps required to reach them, it offers clarity for the organisation.

Organising: Structuring Tasks and Resources

Organising is about structuring tasks, roles, and resources within the organisation. This includes defining roles and responsibilities, establishing reporting relationships, and allocating resources efficiently. 

By organising effectively, managers ensure that the right people are in the right roles and that resources are optimally utilised to achieve organisational objectives.

Staffing: Recruiting and Training Personnel

Staffing is concerned with recruiting, selecting, and training employees to fill roles within the organisation. 

It involves identifying the skills and competencies required for each position, attracting suitable candidates, and providing them with the necessary training and development opportunities. 

Effective staffing ensures that the organisation has the right people in place to execute its plans and achieve its goals.

Directing: Leading and Motivating Employees

Directing involves providing guidance, instruction, and motivation to employees to help them perform their roles effectively. It includes setting expectations, providing feedback, and empowering employees to take ownership of their work. 

Effective directing fosters a positive work environment and ensures that employees are aligned with the organisation's goals and objectives.

Coordinating: Synchronising Efforts and Resources

Coordinating is about synchronising the efforts of individuals and departments within the organisation to achieve common goals. 

It involves establishing clear communication channels, resolving conflicts, and aligning activities to avoid duplication and inefficiencies. 

Effective coordination ensures that resources are deployed strategically, and that efforts are aligned towards achieving organisational objectives.

Reporting: Communicating Progress and Outcomes

Reporting involves communicating progress, outcomes, and performance metrics to stakeholders within the organisation. It includes collecting and analysing data, preparing reports, and presenting findings to management and other stakeholders. 

Effective reporting provides transparency and accountability under a well-defined span of management. It allows managers to make informed decisions and adjust strategies as needed.

Budgeting: Allocating Financial Resources Efficiently

Budgeting involves allocating financial resources in line with the organisation's goals and priorities. 

It starts with setting financial targets, allocating funds to different departments and projects, and monitoring expenditure to ensure compliance with budgetary constraints. 

Effective budgeting ensures that resources are allocated efficiently and that the organisation can operate within its financial means.

Applications of POSDCORB

POSDCORB is not confined to any specific industry or sector. Let's explore how POSDCORB manifests in the operations of both multinational corporations and government agencies.

Multinational Corporations

Here, POSDCORB serves as a guiding framework for streamlining operations and maximising efficiency. 

Consider a manufacturing firm as an example.


The firm meticulously plans production schedules, forecasting demand and coordinating with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of raw materials.


Tasks are structured and resources allocated efficiently, with assembly lines optimised for productivity and quality control measures implemented at each stage.


Skilled workers are recruited and trained to operate machinery and perform specialised tasks, ensuring the workforce is equipped to meet production targets.


On the factory floor, managers provide clear instructions and guidance to employees, fostering a culture of accountability and continuous improvement.


Logistics are coordinated seamlessly, with transportation schedules aligned to minimise downtime and maximise throughput.


Quality metrics are monitored and reported regularly, allowing managers to identify areas for improvement and implement corrective actions.


Financial resources are allocated judiciously, with budgets set for equipment maintenance, employee training, and research and development initiatives to drive innovation.

Government Agencies

Similarly, government agencies leverage POSDCORB principles to fulfil their mandates and serve the public effectively. Let's consider the operations of a public health department:


The department strategises disease control measures, conducting risk assessments and developing contingency plans to respond to public health threats.


Vaccination drives are organised, with vaccination sites established and healthcare professionals deployed to administer vaccines efficiently.


Healthcare professionals are recruited and trained to provide medical care and support public health campaigns, ensuring the workforce is equipped to handle emergencies.


Public health campaigns are directed at raising awareness and promoting healthy behaviours, with clear messaging disseminated through various channels.


The department coordinates with other government agencies, healthcare providers, and community organisations to share information and resources, ensuring a coordinated response to public health issues.


Epidemiological data is collected, analysed, and reported regularly, providing insights into disease trends and informing decision-making at the local, regional, and national levels.


Funding allocations are budgeted for public health initiatives, with resources allocated to priority areas such as disease surveillance, healthcare infrastructure, and emergency preparedness.

To Conclude

The POSDCORB framework by Gulick has been further defined through the classical principles of organisation, that help in understanding what modern organisational structures are today. If you are curious how this framework applies, take up short administration courses. Understanding the POSDCORB view of public administration will also further help when you are taking MA courses online in a related subject. 

About the Author
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio