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Chapter: Principles of Management : Controlling

Controlling and Control Process

Controlling: A process of monitoring the performance and taking action to ensure desired results. t sees to it that the right things happen, in the right ways, and at the right time.




Controlling consists of verifying whether everything occurs in conformities with the plans adopted, instructions issued and principles established. Controlling ensures that there is effective and efficient utilization of organizational resources so as to achieve the planned goals. Controlling measures the deviation of actual performance from the standard performance, discovers the causes of such deviations and helps in taking corrective actions


Pre Requisite Discussion


The students should be familiar with the task of evaluating the process and the tools used to control the variations involved in the process of execution.



A process of monitoring the performance and taking action to ensure desired results.

It sees to it that the right things happen, in the right ways, and at the right time.


Nature & Purpose of Control

ü Control is an essential function of management

ü Control is an ongoing process

ü Control is forward working because pas cannot be controlled

ü Control involves measurement

ü The essence of control is action

ü Control is an integrated system

Control Process

The basic control process involves mainly these steps as shown in Figure


1 The Establishment of Standards:

Because plans are the yardsticks against which controls must be revised, it follows logically that the first step in the control process would be to accomplish plans. Plans can be considered as the criterion or the standards against which we compare the actual performance in order to figure out the deviations.


2 Measurement of Performance:

The measurement of performance against standards should be on a forward looking basis so that deviations may be detected in advance by appropriate actions. The degree of difficulty in measuring various types of organizational performance, of course, is determined primarily by the activity being measured. For example, it is far more difficult to measure the performance of highway maintenance worker than to measure the performance of a student enrolled in a college level management course.


3 Comparing Measured Performance to Stated Standards:

When managers have taken a measure of organizational performance, their next step in controlling is to compare this measure against some standard. A standard is the level of activity established to serve as a model for evaluating organizational performance. The performance evaluated can be for the organization as a whole or for some individuals working within the organization. In essence, standards are the yardsticks that determine whether organizational performance is adequate or inadequate.


4 Taking Corrective Actions:

After actual performance has been measured compared with established performance standards, the next step in the controlling process is to take corrective action, if necessary. Corrective action is managerial activity aimed at bringing organizational performance up to the level of performance standards. In other words, corrective action focuses on correcting organizational mistakes that hinder organizational performance. Before taking any corrective action, however, managers should make sure that the standards they are using were properly established and that their measurements of organizational performance are valid and reliable.

Types Of Control Systems

The  control  systems  can  be  classified  into  three  types  namely  feed  forward, concurrent and feedback control systems.


1 Feed forward controls:

They are preventive controls that try to anticipate problems and take corrective action before they occur. Example a team leader checks the quality, completeness and reliability of their tools prior to going to the site.


2 Concurrent controls:

They (sometimes called screening controls) occur while an activity is taking place.

Example the team leader checks the quality or performance of his members while performing.


3 Feedback controls:

They measure activities that have already been completed. Thus corrections can take place after performance is over. Example feedback from facilities engineers regarding the completed job.


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