Learn and Study, Explain Management As a Control System!


Planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, directing and controlling are various! Steps in a management process. All the steps prior to a control are necessary but are not necessarily self-assuring the results unless it is followed by a strong control mechanism. The management experts have viewed these steps as Management Control System. They postulate the hypothesis that unless a control is exercised on the process, the goals will not be achieved. They advocate a system of effective control to ensure the achievement of the business objectives. Also learn, Management as, What? As an Art…As a Process! Explain Management As a Control System!

A definition of control is the process through which managers assure that actual activities conform to the planned activities, leading to the achievement of the stated common goals. The control process measures a progress towards those goals and enables the manager to detect the deviations from the original plan in time to take corrective actions before it is too late. Robert J Mockler defines and points out the essential elements of the control process.

The management is a systematic effort to set the performance standards in line with the performance objectives, to design the information feedback systems, to compare the actual performance with these predetermined standards, to identify the deviations from the standards, to measure its significance and to take corrective actions in case of significant deviations. This systematic effort is undertaken through the management control system.

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The control system is essential to meet the environmental changes discussed earlier, to meet the complexity of today s business, to correct the mistakes made by the people, and to effectively monitor the delegation process. A reliable and effective control system has the following features.

Early Warning Mechanism:

This is a mechanism for predicting the possibility of achieving the goals and the standards before it is too late and allowing the manager to take corrective actions.

Performance Standard:

The performance standard must be measurable and acceptable to all the organization. The system should have meaningful standards relating to the work areas, responsibility, and managerial functions and so on. For example, the management would have standards relating to the business performance, such as production, sales, inventory, quality, etc.  The operational management would have standards relating to the shift production, rejections, downtime, utilization of resources, sale in a typical market segment and so. On. The chain of standards, when achieved, will ensure an achievement of the goals of the organization.

Strategic Controls: 

In every business there are strategic areas of control knows the critical success factors. The system should recognize them and have controls instituted on them.

Feedback: 

The control system would be effective; it continuously monitors the performance and sends the information to the control center for action. It should not only highlight the progress but also the deviations.

Accurate and Timely: 

The feedback should be accurate in terms of results and should be communicated in time for corrective action.

Realistic: 

The system should be realistic so that the cost of control is far less than the benefits. The standers are realistic and are believed as achievable. Sufficient incentive and rewards are to be provided to motivate the people.

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The Information Flow:

The system should have the information flow aligned with the organization structure and the decision makers should ensure that the right people get the right information for action and decision making.

Exception Principle:

The system should selectively approve some significant deviations from the performance standards on the principle of management by exception.

A standard is control system has a set of objectives, standards to measure, a feedback mechanism and an action center as elements of the system. They need to be properly evolved and instituted in the organization with due recognition to the internal and the external environment. The system as a whole should be flexible to change with ease so that the impact of changed environment is handled effectively.


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