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Foundations of Control

Principles of Management

By Mutahir AhsanPublished about a year ago 3 min read

What is Control?

• Control is the management function that involves monitoring activities to ensure that they are being accomplished as planned and correcting any significant deviations. Control in management includes setting standards, measuring actual performance and taking corrective action the decision making.

• The process of monitoring activities to ensure that they are being accomplished as planned and of correcting any significant deviations.

• An effective control system ensures that activities are completed in ways that lead to the attainment of the organization’s goals.


1. Market Control: An approach to control that emphasizes the uses external market mechanisms, such as price competition and relative market share.

2. Bureaucratic Control: An approach to control that emphasizes organizational authority of administrative and hierarchical mechanisms to ensure appropriate employee behaviors and to meet performance standards.

3. Clan Control: An approach to designing control systems in which employee behavior regulates by the shared values, norms, traditions, rituals, beliefs, and other aspects of the organization’s culture.

Importance of Control

• It involves determining whether objectives are being accomplished as planned.

• Useful for determining whether delegated authority is being abused.

Control Process

1. Measuring Actual Performance

 Management by Walking Around (MBWA)

2. Comparing Actual Performance against a Standard

 Range of Variation

3. Taking Managerial Action to Correct Deviations or Inadequate Standards.

 Immediate Corrective Action

 Basic Corrective Action

 Revising the Standard

Types of Control

1. Feedforward Control: Control that prevents Anticipated Problems.

2. Concurrent Control: Control that takes place while an Activity is in Progress.

3. Feedback Control: Control that takes place after an Action.

Control Implications for Managers

Qualities of an Effective Control System

 Accuracy

 Timeliness

 Economy

 Flexibility

 Understandability

 Reasonable criteria

 Strategic placement

 Emphasis on the exception

 Multiple criteria

 Corrective action

Factors affect Control

 Size of the Organization.

 The Job/Function’s position in the Organization’s Hierarchy.

 Degree of Organizational Decentralization.

 Type of Organizational Culture.

 Importance of the Activity to the Organization’s Success.

Controls and Cultural Differences

 Methods of Controlling Employee Behavior and Operations can be quite different in different Countries.

The Dysfunctional Side of Control

 Controls can be dysfunctional when they redirect behavior away from an organization’s goals.

 Due to inflexibility or unreasonable standards.

 When rewards are at stake, individuals are likely to manipulate date so that their performance will be perceived positively.

Contemporary Issues in Control

1. Is my Work Computer Mine?

Right to Personal Privacy in the Workplace:

I. Employer’s monitoring of employee activities in the Workplace.

II. Employer’s Liability for employees creating a Hostile Environment.

III. Employer’s need to protect Intellectual Property.

2. Employee Theft

I. Industrial Security: The Opportunity to steal presents itself through Lax Controls and Favorable Circumstances.

II. Criminologists: Employees steal to relieve themselves of Financial-based or Vice-based Pressures.

III. Clinical psychologists: Employees steal because they can Rationalize whatever they are doing as being Correct and Appropriate Behavior.

Entrepreneurs and Control

1. Control for Growth

I. Planning for growth: By addressing Growth strategies as part of business planning but not being overly rigid in Planning.

II. Organizing for growth: The Key challenges include finding capital, finding people, and strengthening the Organizational Culture.

III. Controlling for growth: Maintaining good financial records and Financial controls over cash flow, inventory, customer data, sales orders, receivables, payables, and costs.

2. Exit the Venture

I. Cashing out of the Investment in a Venture.

II. Exiting due to poor financial returns or Organizational Performance of the Venture.

III. A desire to pursue other Ventures.

Control is basically a function that helps the management check errors and then takes the corrective decision. It is one of the integral parts of a manager’s job whose responsibility is to manage the organization in the most optimal manner.

Supply chain management is an important process for most companies and involves many links at large corporations. For this reason, supply chain management requires a lot of skill and expertise to maintain. Therefore, control systems play a very vital role in both these chains which are integral to management.

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