Control in management

                 The meaning of the control

 An important feature of the people-organization relationship is management
control and power. Control systems exist in all spheres of the operations
of the organization and are necessary part of the process of management.
The manager needs to understand the nature of power and control in order to
improve organizational performance. Control is n integral part of the
process of management.
 Management control is primarily   process  fr  motivating  and  inspiring
people  to  perform  organization   activities   that   will   further   the
organizations goals. It is also   process  for  detecting  and  correcting
unintentional performance errors and  intentional  irregularities,  such  as
theft or misuse f resources.
  Control is also often associated with the act of delegation. However,
this does not imply that control is undertaken only b the manager. The
person to whom the task is delegated n also often effectively identify
and operate day-to-day ntrols.
 The process of control is at the centre of the exchange between the
benefits that the individual derives from membership of n organisation and
the costs of such benefits.
   Unfortunately, 'control' often has n emotive connotation and is
interpreted in  negative manner to suggest direction or command b the
giving of orders. Control systems are concerned with the regulation of
behaviors. People m b suspicious of control systems and see them as
emphasizing punishment, n indication of authoritarian management, and 
means of exerting pressure and maintaining discipline.
This is too narrow n interpretation. There is far more to control than
simply  means of restricting behavior or the exercise of authority over
others. Control is not only  function of the formal organisation and 
hierarchical structure of authority. It is also  feature of organizational
behavior and  function of interpersonal influence.
   Control is  general concept which is app1ied to both individual behavior
and organizational performance.

             Behavioral aspects of the control.

   People are the integral element of the control and all other stages of
management. Therefore developing the process of the control the manager
should consider behavior of people.

Individual behavior. Control n stand for reliabi1ity, order and
stability. Whenever  person inquires 'I would like to know how well I m
doing', this in effect n b seen as asking for ntrol. Members of staff
want to know what is expected of them and how well they are performing.
This places emphasis n the exchange of information, and feedback and
comparison of actual resu1ts against planned targets. Control is  basis
for training needs, the motivation to achieve standards and for the
development of individuals.

Organizational performance.  At the organizational level, management need
to exercise 'control' over the behavior and actions of staff in order to
ensure  satisfactory level of performance. Managerial control systems are
 means of checking progress to determine whether the objectives of the
organisation are being achieved.
  Control completes the cycle of managerial activities. It involves the
planning and organisation of work functions, and guiding and regulating the
activities of staff. Control provides  check n the execution of work and
n the success or failure of the operations of the organisation.
  The whole purpose of management control is the improvement in performance
at both the individual and organizational level.
  Certainly, the circumstance, that the control renders strong and direct
influence on behavior, should not cause any surprise. Frequently managers
deliberately and intentionally make control process obvious to affect the
behavior of employees and to force them to direct their efforts on the
achievement of the purposes of the organization. Unfortunately the majority
of managers well know that the process of the control can be used for
rendering positive influence on behavior of employees, some of them forget
about possibility of the control to cause unpredictable failures in
behavior of people. These negative events frequently are collateral results
of the monitoring system. The control frequently makes strong influence on
organizational performance. Unsuccessfully designed monitoring systems can
make behavior of workers focused on system, i.e. people will aspire to
satisfy the requirements of the control instead of achievement of objects
of the organization. Such influences can lead also to deliver the incorrect
information. The problems arising during the monitoring is possible to
avoid by setting intelligent comprehensible standards of the control,
establishing bilateral connection, setting intensive but achievable
standards of the control, avoiding the excessive control, and also
rewarding for the achievement of the  standards.

                      Elements of a control

Whatever the nature of control and whatever forms it takes there are five
essential elements in  management control system:
    .  planning what is desired;
    .  establishing standards of performance;
    .  monitoring actual performance;
    .  comparing actual achievement against the planned target
    .  rectifying and taking corrective action.

    Planning what is desired involves clarification of the aims to b
achieved. It is important that people understand exactly what should hn
and what is required of them. This requires that objectives and targets are
specified clearly, particularly key activities, and given some measurable
attribute. Planning provides the framework against which the process of
control takes place.

  Related to planning is the establishment of defined standards of
performance against which the level of success n b determined. This
requires realistic measurements b which the degree and quality of goal
achievement n b determined. There n b n control without them.
Objectives and targets, and standards of performance, should b stated
clearly and communicated to those concerned, and to those who are subject
to the operation of the control system.

   h third element of control is the need for  means of monitoring
actual performance. This requires feedback and  system of reporting
information which is accurate, relevant and timely, and in  form that
enables management to highlight deviations from the planned standard of
performance. Feedback also provides the basis for decisions to adjust the
control system, for example the need to revise the original plan. Feedback
should relate to both the desired end-results and the mns designed to
achieve them.
  Next, it is necessary to compare actual performance against planned
targets. This requires  means of interpreting and evaluating information
in order to give details of progress, reveal deviations, and identify
probable causes. This information should b fed back to those concerned to
let them know how well they are getting n.

   The final element of  management control system is the taking of
corrective action to rectify the situation which has led to the failure to
achieve objectives or targets, or other forms of deviations identified.
This requires consideration of what n b done to improve performance. It
requires the authority to take appropriate action to correct the situation,
to review the operation of the control system and to  n necessary
adjustments to objectives and targets or to the standards of performance.

                             Forms of control
 . Control is far-reaching, it n serve  number of functions  and  n  
   manifested in  number of different forms.
 . Control systems n focus n the measurement of inputs, outputs,
   processes or the behavior of people.
 . Controls n  concerned with general results or with specific actions.
 . Controls n  concerned with an evaluation of overall performance of
   the organization as  whole or with major parts of it. This requires
   broadly based standards of performance and remedies for corrective
   action. Total quality control, concerned with  areas of the
   organization, n  seen as part of Total Quality Management programmes.
 . Controls n  concerned with the measurement and performance of day-to-
   day operational activities. This calls for more specific standards of
   performance and speedy corrective action

 Some authors identify three main forms of control:
    Direct control  orders, direct supervision and rules and  regulations.
Direct controls m  necessary, and more readily acceptable, in    crisis
situation and during training. But in organizations where people  expect  to
participate in decision making, such forms of control m    unacceptable.
Rules and regulations which are not accepted as reasonable, or at least  not
unreasonable, will offer some people  challenge to use their  ingenuity  in
finding ways round them.
      Control through standardization and specialization. This  is  achieved
through clear definition of the inputs to  job, the methods to  used  and
the required outputs. Such bureaucratic control makes clear  the  parameters
within which one act and  paradoxically  makes  decentralization  easier.
Provided the parameters are not unduly restrictive  they    increase  the
sense of freedom. For example, within clearly defined  limits  which  ensure
that one retail chain store looks like  another,  individual  managers  
have freedom to do the job as they wish.
   Control through influencing the way that people  think  about  what  they
should do. This is often the most effective method  of  exercising  control.
It m  achieved through selective recruitment of people who  see  likely
to share  similar approach, the training and socialization of  people  into
thinking the organizations  way,  and   through  peer  pressure.  Where  
organization has  very strong culture, people who do not fit in,  or  learn
to adapt, are likely to  pushed out, even though they m appear to  leave
of their own volition.

             Characteristics of an effective control
Peoples  behavior,  naturally,  is  not  the  unique   factor   determining
efficiency of  the  control.  In  order  to  achieve  the  purposes  of  the
organization the control should possess several important characteristics:
 . It must be understood by those involved in its operation.
 . Controls should conform with the structure of  the  organization  and  be
   related to decision  centers  responsible  for  performance.  Information
   should  supplied to those managers  who  have  the  responsibility  for
   specified areas of activity and who are  of using this  information
   to evaluate the degree of  success  in  achievement  of  objectives:  for
   example, the cause of excess expenditure in  manufacturing operation.
 . An effective control system should  report  deviations    the  desired
   standard of performance as quickly as possible. Ideally,  indications  of
   likely deviations should  discovered before they actually occur.
 . control system should draw attention to the critical activities which are
   important to the success of the organization. An  unnecessary  number  of
   controls over comparatively unimportant  activities  are  uneconomic  and
   time-consuming; they  have  demoralizing  effect    staff  and  
   possibly resu1t in lack of attention to the key control points.
 .   effective,   control  system  must    flexible.  It  must  yield
   information  which  is  not  influenced    changes  in  other   factors
   unconnected to the purpose of the control system. Control systems  should
    designed  to  improve  the  operations  of  the  organization  and  
   adaptable to changing environmental circumstances.
 . The control system  should    consistent  with  the  objective  of  the
   activity to which it relates. In addition to locating deviations from the
   planned  standard  of  performance,  the   control   system   should   
   sophisticated enough  to  indicate  ways  in  which  performance    
 . Control systems should themselves  subject to    continual  review  to
   ensure that they are effective and appropriate in terms  of  the  results
   they produce. They should not  too  costly  or  elaborate,  but  should
   satisfy the characteristic features.


      The control is effective if it has strategic character,  is  aimed  at
achievement  of  concrete  results,  and  is  duly,  flexible,  simple   and
     When the organizations carry out the business in the  foreign  markets,
function of the control gets an additional degree of complexity.
    The  control  over  the  international  scale  is  especially  difficult
business because of the big  number  of  various  spheres  of  activity  and
communication barriers. Productivity of the  control  can  be  improved,  if
uu to carry out meetings of responsible heads in  headquarters  of
the organization and abroad. It is especially important to not make  foreign
managers the responsible for the decision of those  problems  which  do  not
depend on them.
  Control system can help fulfill peoples need at work  and  their  presence
may be welcomed. Often control over behavior is resented and perceived as  a
threat. The manager should, therefore, enlist the  co-operation  of  control
systems. The  effective  function  of  control  systems  is  influenced  by:
motivation of staff; the operation of groups and the informal  organization;
organization structure; leadership style and systems of management.

"Control in management "