Controlling is the process of monitoring, comparing, and
correcting work performance.
According to Heinz Weihrich and Harold Koontz,
“Controlling is the management function of measuring
and correcting individual and organizational performance
to ensure that events conform to plans”.
According to Ricky W. Griffin , “Controlling is the process of
monitoring and correcting ongoing activities to facilitate
In fact, controlling determines what is being accomplished—
that is, evaluating the performance and, if necessary,
taking corrective measures so that the performance takes
place according to plans.
The value of the control function can be seen
in three specific areas:
Planning: Goals, which provide specific
direction to employees and managers, is the
foundation of planning. However, just stating
goals or having employees accept goals
doesn’t guarantee that the necessary actions
to accomplish those goals have been taken.
Controlling provides a critical link back to
Empowering employees: Many managers are reluctant
to empower their employees because they fear
something will go wrong for which they would be held
responsible. But an effective control system can provide
information and feedback on employee performance
and minimize the chance of potential problems.
Protecting the workplace: Today’s environment brings
heightened threats from natural disasters, financial
scandals, workplace violence, global supply chain
disruptions, security breaches, and even possible
terrorist attacks. Comprehensive controls and back-up
plans will help assure minimal work disruptions.
The control process is a three-step process of
measuring actual performance, comparing
actual performance against a standard, and
taking managerial action to correct deviations
or to address inadequate standards.
Step 1: Measuring Actual Performance
To determine what actual performance is, a
manager must first get information about it.
Thus, the first step in control is measuring.
HOW WE MEASURE: Four approaches used by
managers to measure and report actual
WHAT WE MEASURE: What is measured often
determines what employees will do. What control
criteria might managers use? Some control
criteria can be used for any management
situation. Criteria such as employee satisfaction
or turnover and absenteeism rates can be
Step 2: Comparing Actual Performance Against
The comparing step determines the variation
between actual performance and the standard.
Although some variation in performance can be
expected in all activities, it’s critical to determine
an acceptable range of variation.
Managers can choose among three possible courses of action: do
nothing, correct the actual performance, or revise the standards.
CORRECT ACTUAL PERFORMANCE
Depending on what the problem is, a manager could take different
corrective actions. For instance,
If unsatisfactory work is the reason for performance variations,
the manager could correct it by things such as training
programs, disciplinary action, changes in compensation
practices, and so forth.
One decision a manager must make is whether to take
immediate corrective action, which corrects problems at once to
get performance back on track
To use basic corrective action, which looks at how and why
performance deviated before correcting the source of deviation.
REVISE THE STANDARD
It’s possible that the variance was a result of an
unrealistic standard—too low or too high a
goal. In that situation, the standard needs the
corrective action, not the performance. If
performance consistently exceeds the goal,
then a manager should look at whether the
goal is too easy and needs to be raised.
FEEDFORWARD CONTROL: The most desirable type of
control—feedforward control—prevents problems because
it takes place before the actual activity. The key to
feedforward controls is taking managerial action before a
problem occurs. That way, problems can be prevented
rather than having to correct them after any damage
(poor-quality products, lost customers, lost revenue, etc.)
has already been done.
CONCURRENT CONTROL: Concurrent control, as its name
implies, takes place while a work activity is in progress.
The best-known form of concurrent control is direct
supervision. Another term for it is management by walking
around, which is when a manager is in the work area
interacting directly with employees.
FEEDBACK CONTROL :The most popular type
of control relies on feedback. In feedback
control, the control takes place after the
activity is done.
Feedback controls have two advantages.
First, feedback gives managers meaningful
information on how effective their planning
Second, feedback can enhance motivation.
People want to know how well they’re doing
and feedback provides that information.
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