Definition Of Coordination

You must have seen that in an orchestra, its conductor directs activities of the group in such a manner that it produces harmony and melody in music. Similarly, in an enterprise a manager (conductor) must also direct the activities of the group in such a manner that it brings harmonious and united action to achieve the common goal.

In every organisation, division and sub-division of activities become necessary to derive the benefits of specialisation and smooth operation. Individuals and members of groups are expected to contribute maximum efforts in the performance of their tasks. But, to ensure that their efforts are non conflict with each other, individual and group activities are to be harmonised so that there is unity of action. The process by which a manager brings unity of action in an organisation is coordination. Thus, managers at all levels are required to coordinate the efforts of their subordinates.

Coordination refers to the orderly arrangement of individual and group efforts to ensure unity of action in the realisation of common objectives. It involves synchronisation of different actions or efforts of the various units of an organisation to provide the requisite amount, quality, timing and sequence of efforts so that the planned objectives may be achieved with minimum of conflict.

According to Brech, “Coordination is balancing and keeping together the team by ensuring suitable allocation of tasks to the various members and seeing that the tasks are performed with the harmony among the members themselves.”

According to McFarland, “Coordination is the process whereby an executive develops an orderly pattern of group efforts among his subordinates and secures unity of action in the pursuit of common purpose.”

The Haimann defines Coordination as “the orderly synchronising of efforts of the subordinates to provide the proper amount, timing and quality of execution so that their united efforts lead to the stated objectives, namely the common purpose of the enterprise.” From the above definitions we can infer that coordination is a conscious process of assembling and synchronising various kinds of activities with a view to achieve specific objectives.

The following five points emerge from the above discussion :


1)    Harmonisation of group efforts : Most of the management thinkers have emphasised on harmonisation of group efforts to point out that organisation is not merely a collection of men, money, material, machines, methods, but these resources need to be properly organised. Besides, subordinates efforts must also be synchronised to ensure proper timing and quality of execution so that the organisational objectives are realised.


2)    Unity of action : Each individual in the organisation performs certain unique and different types of tasks. He is not only related with others in the organisation (through structure) but his function also affects other’s functions. A manager tries to synchronise individual efforts to attain unity of efforts in the pursuit of common objectives. Coordination, therefore, applies to group efforts.


3)    Pursuit of common purpose : Each employee has goals, perceptions, values, beliefs, attitudes etc, and makes every effort to achieve his own goals. When individuals and groups work for achieving their objectives, they also contribute something for the achievement of organisational goals. The conflict, if any, between personal and organisational goals gets resolved through coordination. Managers have to persuade individuals and groups to work for a common purpose while achieving their own objectives as well.


4)    Continuous process : Coordination is not a one-shot deal but a continuous process. It starts with the very first action in the process of establishment of business and runs through until its closure. It is a continuous process for achieving unity of purpose in the organisation.


5)    Responsibility : It should be noted here that coordination is the most important responsibility of every manager in the organisation as he tries to synchronise the efforts of his subordinates with others. When this is not felt or realised by managers, there is a need to appoint special coordinators.

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