Nature and Scope of Control

What is control?

Meaning of Control: – Control or controlling can be defined as a systematic process through which managers make sure that organizational activities are in line with the goals and objectives established in plans, targets, and standards of performance. Nature of Control is that it’s a Function of Management based on Planning. Scope of control is a primary goal-oriented task of management in an organization. Control is a Dynamic Process. 

nature of Control

Control is a primary goal-oriented function of management in an organisation. It is a process of comparing the actual performance with the set standards of the company to ensure that activities are performed according to the plans and if not then taking corrective action.

Control is a primary task which is goal-oriented of management in an organization. It is a process of comparing actual performance with the set standards of the company to ensure that the activities are carried out according to the plans and if not, corrective action is taken.

Each manager is required to monitor and evaluate the activities of his subordinates. It helps the manager take corrective action in the given time to avoid contingency or loss of the company.

Lower, middle and upper levels of management are controlled.

What are the features of Controlling?

An effective control system has the following characteristics: –

  1. It helps in achieving organizational goals.
  2. Facilitates optimal utilization of resources.
  3. It evaluates the accuracy of the standard.
  4. It also determines discipline and order.
  5. Motivates employees and boosts employee morale.
  6. Ensures future planning by revising standards.
  7. Improves overall performance of an organization.
  8. It also reduces errors.
nature of control

Controlling and planning are interlinked for control which gives an important input in the next planning cycle. Control is a backward-looking function that returns the management cycle to the planning function. Planning is a forward-looking process as it relates to forecasts about future conditions.

What is the nature of control?

Based on the above definitions, the following nature or characteristics of controlling can be presented below: –

  1. Control is a Function of Management: – Actually control is a follow-up to other tasks of management performed by managers to control the activities entrusted to them in the organization.
  2. Control is based on the Plan: – Control is designed to evaluate actual performance against predetermined standards in the organization. Plans serve as the desired performance standards. The plan sets the course in the organization and the control ensures action according to the chosen course of action in the organization.
  3. Control is a Dynamic Process: – This includes continuous review of performance standards and the outcome of corrective action, which may lead to changes in other management functions.
  4. Information is Guide to Control:Control depends on information about actual performance. Timely and accurate availability of feedback is essential for effective control action. Sound control systems require an efficient system of reporting. This requires continuous monitoring and review of operations.
  5. The Essence of Control is Action: – Demonstration of control is achieved only when corrective action is taken based on reactive information. It is simply action, which adjusts the performance of predefined parameters whenever there is a deviation. A good system of control is timely action so that there is minimal waste of time and energy.
  6. Control is a Continuous Activity: – It is not a one-step process but a continuous process. It involves continuous modification and analysis of standards arising from deviations between actual and planned performance.
  7. Delegation is the Key to Control: – An executive can take corrective action only when he is assigned the necessary authority for it. A person has the right to control these actions for which he is directly accountable. Furthermore, control becomes necessary when authority is delegated because the delegate remains responsible for the duty. Standards of control help to extend the duration of management.
  8. Control aims at Future: – Control involves comparison between actual and standards. So corrective action is designed to improve performance in the future.
  9. Control is a Universal Function of Management: – Control is a basic or primary function of management. Each manager must control the performance of subordinates, no manager can function without a process of control. Once a plan is put in place, follow-up actions are needed to measure progress, highlight deficiencies and take corrective action.
  10. Control is Positive: – The act of control is positive. It is to do things to happen i.e. to achieve the goal, or to hinder through planned activities. Control should never be seen as being negative in character.

What is scope control?

The scope of control is very wide. A well-designed scheme of control (or control system) covers almost all management activities. According to Holden, Fish and Smith, the main areas of control are as follows: –

  1. Control Policies: – The success of any business organization depends to a large extent on how far its policies are implemented. Therefore the need to control policies is self-evident. In many enterprises, policies are regulated through policy manuals.
  2. Control over Organization: – Control over the organization is accomplished through the development of organization charts and organization manuals. The organization manual attempts to resolve organization problems and conflicts to enable rationalization of the organization structure to help in the proper design of the organization and department.
  3. Control over Personnel: – The statement that the Management is getting the job done through the people adequately underlines the importance of personnel control.
  4. Control over Wages and Salary: – Such control is done by a program of job evaluation and salary and wage analysis. This work is done by either the Personnel Department or the Industrial Engineering Department. A salary and pay committee is often formed to assist these departments in the task of controlling wages or salaries.
  5. Control Over Costs: – Cost control is used by the cost accountant by setting cost standards for materials, labor, and heads, and comparing actual cost data with standard costs. Cost control is complemented by budgetary control systems.
  6. Control Over Method: – Control of methods is accomplished by periodically analyzing the activities of each department. The tasks performed, the methods and time adopted by each employee are dedicated, studied to eliminate non-essential motions, tasks and methods.
  7. Overall Control: – It is effected through budgetary control. The master plan should be designed for overall control in the organization and all departments should be included in this process. Active support of the top management is required for effective control through the master plan.

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