Controlling is one of the most important functions of management. It is something that every manager needs to carry out effectively at each level. Good controlling measures often increase the effectiveness of other functions of management as well. In order to perform this venture properly, managers must be aware of the features and importance of controlling.
Features of Controlling
The following are some basic features of the controlling process:
Controlling is a forward-looking process because all of its efforts dictate future courses of action. Managers often use experiences from the past to make corrections for the future.
ii) Exists at all levels
The process of controlling is all-pervasive. In other words, managers at all levels of management hierarchies have to use controlling. The nature of controlling measures that managers use might differ but they all have to use them.
For example, top-level managers use controlling for making policies and setting organizational goals. On the other hand, middle and lower level managers use controlling for effectively carrying out the organization’s activities.
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iii) Continuous activity
Controlling is not a one-off activity that managers have to perform once in a while. It is generally a continuous process that goes on permanently in different ways. Managers have to constantly compare their actual results with their targets and make changes accordingly.
iv) Positive purpose
The objective of control is to create positive impacts at both organizational and individual levels. At the organizational level, it aims to fulfill the organization’s goals. At an individual level, control strives to increase productivity and make individuals benefit as well. Hence, control has a largely positive purpose in every way.
Importance of Controlling
The following are some factors contributing to the importance of controlling:
a) Decentralization of authority
Since managers at every level of an organization have to exercise control, the controlling process leads to decentralization. This, in turn, enables middle and lower level managers to have some autonomy in making decisions. An organization that distributes authority at every level always works smoothly and efficiently.
b) Increasing managerial abilities
By enabling all managers to possess the autonomy to make decisions, controlling enhances their managerial abilities. With these skills, managers can further their organization’s goals by adapting to diverse situations and problems. Furthermore, this also helps managers grow and develop at an individual level by giving them new experiences.
c) Using resources effectively
The most important function of controlling is to compare actual performances with expected results. This, in turn, helps managers understand where they are lacking and how they can improve their performances. Using this knowledge, managers can use all available resources optimally and prevent their wastage.
d) Facilitating coordination
In every business organization, managers and employees always have to coordinate and work with each other collectively. Controlling improves this coordination by basically demarcating all activities and efforts into fixed boundaries. It brings together all the resources of an organization and enables its personnel to work together with unified efforts.
e) Structuring human behaviour
Since all organizations have to depend on humans for functioning, they need to regulate human behaviour of their employees. Controlling rationalizes this human behaviour and prevents employees from behaving arbitrarily and badly. It basically does so by providing for sanctions in case employees do not prescribe to expected standards of behaviour. For example, managers often take disciplinary action against employees who take unauthorized leaves.
f) Achieving efficiency and effectiveness
A good control system can always greatly boost an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. It generally does this by identifying deficiencies in an organization’s functioning and suggesting improvement measures. Managers use control to achieve their targets in this manner.
Solved Questions on Importance of Controlling
(1) Controlling creates a __________ impact on an organization as well as its employees.
(2) By distributing autonomy at all levels, controlling facilitates __________ of authority.
(3) Controlling bridges the gap between an organization’s actual performances and __________.
Answers: (1) positive (2) decentralization (3) expected results