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Meaning of Control

Control is one the most important managerial functions, Control is regarded as core management process. Control is required to ensure that what is planned is translated into results. Control is required to keep a watch on proper use of resources. Control is required for safeguarding of assets and so on.  Control process involves process of setting standard based on best industry norms. Then compare the actual results with that of set standards, for finding deviations between slandered and actual. Deviation can be favorable or adverse. Control system works on controlling deviation for channeling the resources in proper way .Control is a function to convert dream into reality and achieve the pre-determined goals and results. Control is made to measure progress to keep the system on track.



Elements of Control


The primary objectives of the organizational control is to operationalized the business in systematic ways. The objective of control is to be specific, measurable, achievable, related and time bound.



Mechanism to monitor

Mechanism to control is a managerial function to monitoring and measuring the performance of the system.

Mechanism to compare-

Mechanism of control is a system for

  1. For comparing the actual results with reference to the standards
  2. For detecting deviations from standards and
  3. For learning new insights on standards itself

Mechanism for feedback and correction



Types Of Control

There are three types of Control

  1. Operational control,
  2. Management control and
  3. Strategic control0

The thrust of operational control is on individual tasks or transactions as against total or more aggregative management functions. For example, procuring specific items for inventory is a matter of operational control, in contrast to inventory management as a whole. One of the tests that can be applied to identify operational control areas is that there should be a clear-cut and somewhat measurable relationship between inputs and outputs which could be predetermined or estimated with least uncertainty. For example EOQ is used for controlling a specific inventory.

               A set of standards are formulated. A fixed plans are formulated. Specific instructions are formulated to control individual items or transaction. Some of the examples of operational controls can be control (maintaining stocks between set limits), production control (manufacturing to set programmers), quality control (keeping product quality between agreed limits), cost control (maintaining expenditure as per standards), budgetary control (keeping performance to budget).


Management Control

When compared with operational control, management control is more inclusive and more aggregative, in the sense of embracing the integrated activities of a complete department, division or even entire organization instead of small units.

               The basic purpose of management control is the achievement of enterprise goals – short range and long range – in a most effective and efficient manner. The term management control is defined by Robert Anthony as ‘the process by which managers assure the resources are obtained and used effectively and efficiently in the accomplishment of the organization’s objectives. Controls are necessary to influence the behavior of events and ensure that they conform to plans.


Strategic Control

According to Schendel and Hofer “Strategic control focuses on the dual questions of whether: (a) the strategy is being implemented as planned; and (b) the results produced by the strategy are those intended.”

There is often a time gap between the stages of strategy formulation and its implementation. A strategy might be affected on account of changes in internal and external environments of organization. There is a need for warning systems to track a strategy as it is being implemented. Strategic control is the process of evaluating strategy as it is formulated and implemented. It is directed towards identifying problems and changes in premises and making necessary adjustments


Types of Strategic Control

There are four types of strategic control as follows:

Memory code – control premises, with surveillance & alert control implementation

Premise control

Strategic surveillance

Special alert control

Implementation control


Premise control

A strategy is formed on the basis of certain assumptions or premises about the complex and turbulent organizational environment. Over a period of time these premises may not remain valid. Premise control is a tool for systematic and continuous monitoring of the environment to verify the validity and accuracy of the premises on which the strategy has been built.

Premise control primarily involves monitoring two types of factors:

  • Macro environmental factors such as Political, Economic such as inflation, liquidity, interest rates, Social, Technology, Legal and environmental.
  • Industry factors such as competitors, suppliers, substitutes.

It is neither feasible nor desirable to control all types of premises in the same manner. Different premises may require different amount of control. Thus, managers are required to select those premises that are likely to change and would severely impact the functioning of the organization and its strategy.

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