FUNCTIONS OF MANAGEMENT : COORDINATION AND CONTROL
“The Harmonization of activities of different work groups and departments.”
Coordination is the orderly arrangement of individual and group efforts to provide unity of action in the pursuit of a common goal. All these departments must function in an integrated manner so that the organisational goal can be duly achieved. Thus, coordination involves synchronisation of different activities and efforts of the various units of an organisation so that the planned objectives may be achieved with minimum conflict.
In other words, coordination is the orderly arrangement of individual and group efforts to provide unity of action in the pursuit of a common goal.
Types of Organization
- Internal Coordination
- Vertical – Between different persons & department at different level of an organization.
- Horizontal – Between the individual or Department at the same level in the organization.
- Procedural and Substantive Coordination-
It refers to the integration of follow and process of activites and behaviour and relations of the members in an organization.
Substantive Coordination is concerned with the content of the organization’s activities.
- External Coordination
Coordination with external environment as customers, investors, suppliers, employers, govt, political, public etc.
Difference between Cooperation and coordination:-
Cooperation is the collective will of the people in an organization to contribute the achievement of the organizational goals and cooperation is informal, voluntary & emotional.
Coordination without cooperation cant be achieved ie can be achieved through cooperation, on the other side, Cooperation without coordination is worthless.
Significance of Coordination:
- The significance of co-ordination as a function of management mainly arises from the fact that work performed by different groups, units or departments form integral part of the total work for which an organisation is established
- When there is growth in size and the volume of work, there will be more people and work groups. So there is greater possibility of people working at cross purposes as the unit and sub-unit goals may be considered more important by them than the organisational goals.
- Large organisations generally tend to have activities located at different places, which may not permit frequent and close interaction among people. Hence, the need for co-ordination becomes greater and it becomes a major responsibility for the managers.
- Growth in size of an organisation is often combined with diversification of business activities. This may be due to new unrelated products being added to the existing products. As a result, there may be more division and sub-division of activities. At the same time, there is an increase in the number of managerial levels and vertical division of responsibilities. All these make coordination more difficult as well as important
Control is the process by which Managers ensure that performance is an conformity with the plans and goals.
Controlling as a function of management refers to the evaluation of actual performance of work against planned or standard performance and taking the corrective action.
Planning and controlling are closely related and depend upon each other. Controlling depends upon planning because planning provides the targets or standards against which actual performance can be compared. Controlling, on the other hand, appraises planning. It brings out the shortcomings of planning and helps to improve upon the plans.
Process of Controlling
The process of control consists of various steps
- Establishment of Standards: Setting standard is the first requirement of control. Standards arise out of plans and provide the basis of comparison. There can be different types of standards, e.g., number of units to be produced per hour, cost of production per unit, permissible quantity of scrap and wastage per day, quality of the products and so on. As far as possible, the standards should be laid down in quantitative terms. A quantitative standard provides a concrete measure and helps in comparison. It is equally important that the standards fixed are realistic and attainable, neither too high nor very low. If these are too high, employees will be discouraged. On the other hand, if these are too low, the organisation will operate at a lower efficiency level leading to higher cost. When standards may not be achieved fully, a range of tolerable deviations should also be fixed. This can be expressed in terms of minimum and maximum limits. Performance within the permissible range may not require any corrective action.
- Measurement of Performance: When standards are established, the next step to measure the performance at regular intervals. Measurement is not difficult in case of physical operations, e.g., units produced, cost incurred, time spent, etc., as these can be easily measured. Performance can be measured by observations, inspection and reporting. Generally, at lower levels, a detailed control is exercised at frequent intervals on the basis of observation and inspection. For higher levels of management, reports are prepared at regular intervals. Performance should be measured as early as possible so that if a corrective action is called for it may be taken in time.
- Comparison of Performance with Standards: The next step in the control process is comparison of actual performance against the standards. In case the standards set are well defined and can be measured objectively, comparison becomes very simple. But, in case of activities where, it is difficult to develop measurable quantitative standards, the measurement and appraisal of performance becomes difficult. Comparison of actual and standard performance may lead to three possible outcomes: actual performance may be (a) equal to, (b) more than, or (c) less than the standard. If actual performance is equal to the standard, managers need not take any action but where deviations are noticed, corrective action becomes necessary. The managers should ascertain whether these deviations are within the permissible range or outside it. Corrective action becomes necessary only for deviations which fall outside the permissible range.
- Detecting the Reasons for Deviations: Before taking any corrective action, managers should try to ascertain the reasons for the occurrence of deviations. The fault may be that standards fixed were unattainable rather than the subordinate ‘inefficiency. Again, the deviations might have been caused by the nature of instructions issued by the manager rather than due to the subordinate’s mistake. Hence, it is essential that the reasons, which caused the deviation, be ascertained to determine the appropriate corrective action.
- Taking Corrective Action: Once the causes for deviations become known, the next step is to go in for a corrective action which may involve revision of standards, changing the methods of selection and training of workers or providing better motivation. As stated earlier, managers should concentrate only on major deviations. The minor deviations, i.e., deviations within permissible range, should not be cause of anxiety. The rectification of deviations from the standards should be undertaken promptly so that further losses are avoided.
Techniques of Control :
- Traditional Techniques : Personal observation, Setting examples, plans & policies, Charts and Manuals, Disciplinary Systems, Written instruction, Statistical Data, Special Reports and Records, Financial Statements, Operational audit, Break-even analysis, Standard Costing, Budget/Budgetary Control.
- Modern Techniques: Return on investment, Management Audit, MIS, Zero based budgeting, PERT/CPM.