Characteristics Of Control

Control is a device or a procedure which keeps the manager informed as the activities for which he is responsible and which assures him that his plans and policies are being carried out according to schedule. The nature of control function will be clearly understood from the following characteristics of control:


1)     Control is all pervasive function: Control is essential at all levels of organisation. It is a follow-up action to the other management functions. Every manager performs the control function irrespective of his rank and nature of job. Control is the essential counterpart of planning. It is the control function which completes the management process.


2)     Control is a continuous process: Control is an ongoing and dynamic function of management. It involves continuous review of performance and revision of standards of operations. As long as an organisation exists, control continues to exist. It is amenable to change with the external environment. Therefore, it is a highly flexible process.


3)     Planning is the basis of control: Control can be exercised only with reference to and on the basis of plans. Effective control is not possible unless the management spells out clear objectives of the organisation. In fact, measurement of performance requires certain standards which are laid down under planning. Planning sets the course and, control ensures that actual action conforms to the planned action.


4)     Action is the essence of control: Control is an action-oriented process. A manager initiates action which guides the operation within the sphere of plans. In order to prevent a recurrence of deviations, a manager modifies or improves the existing plans.


5)     Control is a forward looking process: Control aims at future. Although past experience is the criteria for future standards, control is concerned with checking the current performance and providing guidelines for the future. Therefore, control is both backward-looking and forward-looking. It looks at future through the eyes of past.


6)     Delegation is the key to control:Effective control requires adequate delegation of authority. An executive can perform the control function properly if he enjoys the authority to take remedial action and is to be held accountable for results.


7)     Control allows the organisation to cope with uncertainty: Control helps in regulating the uncertain events of the organisation. It anticipates any shift in task and preferences of consumers and directs the organisation to modify its process in order to meet the contingencies of the future.

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