Limitations Of Control

The limitations of control are discussed below.

1) No control over external factors: Control is intended to be exercised on factors which are internal to an enterprise. But there are external factors like government action, change of market conditions, discovery and invention of new techniques and material of production, innovation and so on, which are often beyond the control of management. So, controls may be ineffective in the face of changing external factors.


2) Want of satisfactory standards: Satisfactory standards help control operations. But there are many areas and activities with intangible nature of performance which do not permit accurate measurement. No satisfactory standards can be established for them, e.g. results of management development, public relations, human relations, advice of staff service, loyalty of workmen, and such other human behaviour.


3) Measurement of imperfections:Intangible performance presents difficulties in setting up standards. It is also a complicated matter to measure its results in quantitative or qualitative terms. It is then left to managerial judgement and interpretation which cannot be taken as perfect measurement. Moreover, results of day-to-day activities involving uneconomic expenditure cannot be evaluated or measured properly on grounds of economy.


4) Limitations of corrective actions: Business can be run on an even keel if all deviations and mistakes can be corrected properly in time. This will guard against losses. Control operations are carried out in assumption of fixed personal responsibility and the person concerned is expected to adopt necessary corrective and remedial actions. It is not uncommon that many deviations occur, but nobody in particular can be held responsible for them. Control becomes ineffective in such cases.


5) Adverse reaction against control: Control operations as a rule are not liked by the subordinates over whom they are exercised. Such operations curtail their freedom of action and interfere with their individual thinking and initiative. Control thus invites opposition and adverse reaction of the subordinates.


6) Practical impediments to application: Control involves analysis of deviations to find out their causes. But it faces great obstacles in such analytical work. First of all, it involves considerable expenditure. Secondly, it requires skilled and experienced staff to cope with the situation. Thirdly, corrections and deviations may require some time and even stoppage of work which may result in loss to the concern.

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