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Controlling is one of the managerial functions like planning, organizing, staffing and directing. It is an important function because it helps to check the errors and to take the corrective action so that deviation from standards are minimized and stated goals of the organization are achieved in a desired manner. According to modern concepts, control is a foreseeing action whereas earlier concept of control was used only when errors were detected. Control in management means setting standards, measuring actual performance and taking corrective action. Thus, control comprises these three main activities. Characteristics of Control

* Control is a continuous process
* Control is a management process
* Control is embedded in each level of organizational hierarchy * Control is forward looking
* Control is closely linked with planning
* Control is a tool for achieving organizational activities * Control is an end process.

The four basic elements in a control system
1. Characteristic or condition to be controlled
The first element is the characteristic or condition of the operating system which is to be measured. We select a specific characteristic because a correlation exists between it and how the system is performing. The characteristic can be the output of the system during any stage of processing or it may be a condition that is the result of the system. For example, it may be the heat energy produced by the furnace or the temperature in the room which has changed because of the heat generated by the furnace. In an elementary school system, the hours a teacher works or the gain in knowledge demonstrated by the students on a national examination are examples of characteristics that may be selected for measurement, or control. 2.The sensor

The second element of control, the sensor, is a means for measuring the characteristic or condition. For example, in a home heating system this device would be the thermostat, and in a...
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