Control in the Context of an Organisation

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Clearly define the term control in the context of an organization. Give examples and lucid explanation of the various types of control that can be used by a Manager. Why is the control function so very important to the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization?

According to Robbins & Coulter, “control refers to the process of monitoring, comparing and correcting work performances.” The control process is a three step process of measuring actual performance, comparing actual performance against a standard and taking managerial action to correct deviations or to address inadequate standards. The process assumes that performance standards already exist. For the most part they do as the organization would have set goals and objectives against which performance can be measured and there are a number of tools/concepts that can assist Managers in monitoring and measuring organizational performance. Some of these concepts include feed forward, concurrent and feedback control. Feed forward control is the most desirable type of control. This concept anticipates problems and provides the Manager with the opportunity to prevent problems before they take place. For example, in the budgeting process specific targets are set which allow the manager to plan how resources will be allocated across departments with a view to ensuring that the organization meets its objectives. Another example would be in the implementation of a preventative maintenance programme where tasks (such as generator load tests) are scheduled to check systems and equipment on a frequent basis to alleviate or minimize loss time or breakdowns before they occur. The generator load test would ensure that in the event of a power outage, the generator has the capacity and ability to allow the company to continue operation with minimal interruption. Another type of control is referred to as concurrent control. This takes place when the work activity is in process and seeks to correct problems as...
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