Meaning of Controlling Part 2

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Managerial planning results in the framing of objectives and laying down of targets. To achieve the objectives, a proper organisational structure is designed; people are assigned the various tasks; and are directed to perform their respective jobs. The actual performance is then assessed from time to time to ensure that what is achieved is in conformity with the plans and targets. This exactly is the controlling function. Thus, 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, if necessary.

According to Henri Fayol, “Control consists in verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with the plan adopted, the instructions issued and principles established.”

According to Brech, “Control is checking current performance against predetermined standards contained in the plans, with a view to ensure adequate progress and satisfactory performance, and also recording the experience gained from the working of these plans as guide to possible future needs. 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.

Hence, the managers have to take steps so that the quality of work is improved and the wastage is reduced.

Thus, controlling involves

  • Knowing the nature, quantum and time frame of the work;

  • Comparing the performance with the plan;

  • Analysing deviation, if any;

  • Taking corrective steps; and

  • Suggesting revision of plans, if necessary.

Characteristics of Control

The following are the basic characteristics of control.

Image of Characteristics of control

Image of Characteristics of Control

Image of Characteristics of control

Planning is the Basis of Control

Control is said to be checking performance as per what has been planned. So, planning precedes controlling and sets the standards and targets of performance.

Control is a Continuous Process

It is an ongoing and dynamic function of management. It involves a continuous review of performance and is not a one-time exercise. The period of control normally depends upon the nature of work, the amount of work and the policies of management.

Control is All Pervasive

Control is exercised at all levels of management, and is done in every functional area and at each unit or department. Thus, control is all pervasive.

Action is the Essence of Control

Control is an action-oriented process. The very purpose of control is defeated if corrective action is not taken for improvement of performance or the revision of plans.

Control is Forward Looking

Control is futuristic in nature. It measures current performance and provides guidelines for the corrective action. This ensures future performance as per plans. Thus, it is forward looking.