ch18

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First year
Ch 18
Controlling
WHAT IS CONTROL?
It’s the process of monitoring, comparing, and correcting work performance.
All managers should be involved in the control function even if their units are
performing as planned. Managers can’t really know whether their units are
performing properly until they’ve evaluated what activities have been done and
have compared the actual performance with the desired standard. An effective
control system ensures that activities are completed in ways that lead to the
attainment of goals.
The criterion that determines the effectiveness of a control system is how
well it helps employees and managers achieve their goals.
WHY’S CONTROL IMPORTANT?
The value of the control function can be seen in three specific areas: planning,
empowering employees, and protecting the workplace.
I. Planning In reality managing is an ongoing process. As the final step in the
management process, controlling provides the critical link back to planning. If
manages didn’t control, they’d have no way of knowing whether their goals
and plans were on target and what future actions to take.
II. Empowering employees The second reason controlling is important is because
of employee empowerment. Many managers are reluctant to empower their
employees because they fear employees will do something wrong for which
the manager would be held responsible. Many managers are tempted to do
things themselves and avoid empowering. But an effective control system can
provide information and feedback on employee performance, thus reducing
potential problems.
III. Protecting the workplace The final reason that managers control is to protect
the organization and its assets. Today’s environment brings heightened threats
from natural disasters, financial scandals, workplace violence, supply chain
disruptions, security breaches, and even possible terrorist attacks.
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THE CONTROL PROCESS:
I. Measuring
To determine what actual performance is, a manager must acquire information
about it. The first step in control, then, is measuring. Let’s consider how we
measure and what we measure.
II. Comparing The comparing step determines the degree of variation
between actual performance and the standard. Although some variation
in performance can he expected in all activities, it’s critical to determine
the acceptable range of variation. Deviations that exceed this range
become significant and need the manager’s attention. In the comparison
stage, managers are particularly concerned with, the size and direction of
the variation.
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III. Taking Managerial Action
The third and final step in the control process is taking managerial action.
Managers can choose among three possible courses of action: They can do
nothing; they can correct the actual performance; or they can revise the
standards. Because “doing nothing” is fairly self-explanatory, let’s look more
closely at the other two.
1) Correct Actual Performance
If the source of the performance variation is unsatisfactory work, the manager
will want to take corrective action. Examples might include changing strategy,
structure, compensation practices, or training programs; redesigning jobs; or
firing employees.
2) Revise the Standard
It’s- possible that the variance was a result of an unrealistic standard; that is, the
goal may have been too high or too low. In such instances, it’s the standard that
needs corrective attention, not the performance
Tools for controlling organizational performance
Managers need appropriate tools for monitoring and measuring organizational
performance. Before describing some specific types of organizational
performance control tools managers might use, let’s look at the concept of
feedforward, concurrent, and feedback control
Managers can implement controls before an activity begins, during the time the
activity is going on, and after the activity has been completed. The first type is
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called feedforward control, the second is concurrent control, and the last is
feedback control.
a) Feedforward Control
The most desirable type of control—feedforward control—prevents anticipated
problems since it takes place before the actual activity.
 The key to feedforward controls is taking managerial action before a
problem occurs.
Feedforward controls are desirable because they allow managers to prevent
problems rather than having to correct them later after the damage (such as
poor quality products, lost customers, lost revenue, and so forth) has already
been done. Unfortunately, these controls require timely and accurate
information that often is difficult to get. As a result managers frequently end up
using the other two types of controls.
b) Concurrent control
Its takes place while an activity is in progress. When control occurs while the
work is being performed, management can correct problems before they come
too costly.
 The best-known form of concurrent control is direct supervision. When
managers use management by walking around, which is a term describing
when a manager is out in the work area interacting directly with
employees, they’re using concurrent control.
c) Feedback Control
The most popular type of control relies on feedback. In feedback control, the
control takes place after the activity is done.

The major drawback of this type of control is that by the time the
manager has the information; the problems have already occurred—
leading to waste or damage.
 Feedback controls do have two advantages:
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a) First, feedback provides managers with meaningful information on
how effective their planning efforts were. Feedback that indicates
little variance between standard and actual performance is evidence
that the planning was generally on target. If the deviation is
significant, a manager can use that information when formulating
new plans to make them more effective.
b) Second, feedback control can enhance employee motivation. People
want information on how well they have performed and feedback
control provides that information.
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