When we plan, we predetermine a course of
action that will enable us to reach an objective. Whether or not we
can stay on our predetermined course depends on how well we perform
the management function of controlling.
We can define control as the work a
leader has to perform to assess and regulate work that is being
done and results achieved, by measurement, and evaluation of the
work by means of standards, and if necessary, to take corrective
Effective control enables you to analyze and
appraise the work being performed in your unit. It depends on your
ability to collect, store, analyze and report information. The more
effectively you can monitor work in progress and compare results to
your plan, the more quickly you can take the corrective action
necessary to get back on course.
By exercising control, the educational
leader is assured that tasks are effectively carried out, and he
remains the one responsible for the use and execution of delegated
authority. Thus, the better the control, the more effective the
The Purpose of
- It’s sole purpose is to ensure efficacy
throughout the organization,
- to keep things in line and to make sure
your plans hit their targets,
- to ensure that employees are at work on
- to ensure that materials are not wasted or
- to ensure that some persons do not exceed
- to guide you and your department to
production goals and quality standards
- to realize planning
- to evaluate planning and if
- to make necessary adjustments
- to establish if the actual activities are
the same as the planned activities
The principle of the
“In any given group of occurrences, a small
number of causes tends to give rise to the largest proportion of
results” The key to effective control is to put your major efforts
behind the few important things and not waste time and energy on
For example, in controlling quality, a small percent of defects
will cause the bulk of rejects. So, once you have identified the
critical few causes, you can determine where to give most attention
for the greatest results for the least investment of energy and
The principle of point of
“The greatest potential for control tends to
exist at the point where the action takes place
In many cases, control information is initiated at higher
organisational levels, where the total control effort slows down.
It is vital to catch mistakes and correct errors as soon as
possible after they have happened.
To anticipate and prevent them before they occur, the better. Make
sure that leaders receive direct information to control their own
operations. Pro-active control is not likely to happen at the point
where the work is actually being done.
The principle of
“Self-control tends to be the most effective
To give people self-control, means that they must have standards
they understand and accept, and from which the receive direct
information that tells them where they stand with respect to the
Make sure they receive frequent feedback on the results, so that
they know where they stand according to the work they have done.
People have to correct mistakes themselves and this leads to
greater work satisfaction.
Ways of Control
Control may be exercised mainly in two
This is achieved by means of personal
discussions and observations, where the actual situation is
observed and evaluated and can be corrected at once. Much paper
work is reduced in this way, but not always possible, due to time.
This control by inspection may cause staff to feel that they are
This is done by means of oral or written
reports. With this way of exercising control, the staff feel that
they are trusted and time is better utilized. the staff can also
try to correct their own mistakes instead of waiting to be told how
to correct a mistake.
The control process follows four sequential
- Establishment of standards
- Simply stated - what criteria will provide
evidence that performance is at the desired level?
- State what is the expected standard (e.g..
quality, quantity, time)
- State how much of the deviation can be
tolerated if the person or process fails to come up to the
All these standards serve as guidelines for
future action. The more specific the standard is the better. For
example, “waiting time of less than 5 minutes per customer with a
tolerance of one out of ten who might have to wait
Standards are determined by management after
consultation with clients, specialists and leaders. They are
influenced by materials, machines and equipment, skills of the
workers, and the degree of competition from other companies that
manufacture similar products.
Collect data to measure
What information do you need to compare
actual performance to the standards? Every time a leader or an
employee fills in a time card, prepares a production tally, files a
receiving or inspection report, or simply by watching, data is
Compare results with
Measure and Analyze
The reasons must be found for any deviations
from the standards. The extent of deviation from the plan must be
determined and the factors identified that contributed to the
confirmation to the plan.
Compare and Evaluate
What is the assessment of actual performance
compared to the standards?
The control system flashes a warning light
if there is a gap between what was expected (the standard) and what
has taken place (the result). If the gap is too big - action is
Take corrective action
- What must be done to bring performance to
the desired level of excellence?
- First find the cause of the gap (deviation
- Then you must take action to remove or
minimize the cause.
For example, if travelers are waiting too
long in the airline’s ticket line, the leader may find that there
is an unusually high degree of travel because of the holiday. The
corrective action should be to add another ticket clerk.
Where in the Process to
Leaders should look for key places
(make-or-breakpoints) in their operations and then focus most of
their attention on these areas. There are three distinct types of
This takes place at the input stage before
the process begins. Materials and machinery are inspected.
Employees are selected for each assignment. By catching problems
before they can affect later operations gives preventative control
the greatest potential for savings.
Concurrent control take place during the
conversion phase of a leader’s operations. Pressures and
temperatures are checked and on-line inspections are made as
partially converted products flow through the process. Concurrent
control make their biggest contribution by catching and correcting
problems before they get out of hand.
This takes place at the output-stage after
an operation is completed, a product is finished, or a service is
delivered. Such “final inspections” occur too late to do much good
for what has already happened. The value of this type of control,
is in alerting leaders to ongoing performance problems to be
avoided in the future.
Types of organizational
The following control types are most likely
to aid or restrict leader's actions:
The quantity of production required is the
demand of almost every organization. A leader must first make sure
that output quantities measure up to standards.
Quantity and quality go hand in hand. The
inspection function is intended to make sure that the final product
or service lives up to its quality standards (specifications).
Quality control is a way of predicting quality deviations in
advance so that a leader can take corrective action before a
product is spoiled.
There must be certain deadlines in every
organization. A product must be transported on a certain date. A
service must be performed on an agreed-on day. A project must be
completed as scheduled. It is not enough just to get the job done,
if it isn’t finished on time.
The leader must make sure that the minimum
material is wasted and that the maximum number of skirts (for
example) are cut out of a roll of cloth.
The final crunch in exercising control
involves costs. A leader may meet the quantity and quality
standards, but if in so doing the department has been over staffed
or has been working overtime, it probably wont meet its cost
Here it focuses on individuals or groups of
employees, rather than on a department, a chine, or a process. Such
control may be concerned with employee absences, tardiness, and
accidents as well as with performance that is directly related to
the quantity or quality of the employees’ work.
Aids to Exercising
There are various aids to exercising
control. The following are the most important:
- Formulating objectives
- Formulating policy
- Projections and planning
- Procedures, rules and standards
- Task descriptions
- Task descriptions
- Organisational structures
- Personal observation
- Oral and written reports
- Control times
- Budgets and other statements.
Exercising control is not a negative action
or activity, but is a positive management action. Exercising
control is aimed at making the planning and organising succeed and
to achieve results/objections and not at the activity of the
How to Soften Employee
Resistance to Control
Many people do not like to be told
what to do, they feel boxed in when faced with specific standards.
Yet criticism or correction is what control often comes to. Control
can have a negative effect on employees, and to minimize the
negative aspects of control, the leader can consider any of the
following more positive approaches:
Emphasize the value of
control to employees
Standard provide employees with feedback
that tells them whether they are doing well or not, and also
minimize the need for the leader to interfere and thus allow the
employee to choose a way of doing the job as long as standards are
Avoid arbitrary or punitive
Employees respond better to standards that
can be justified by past records that support the standards.
Standards based on analysis, especially time studies, are more
acceptable to see how long it takes to complete a job and that you
can be sure the standard is reasonable.
Be specific: use numbers if
Avoid such vague expressions as “improve
quality” and “show us better attendance”. Be specific and use
numbers such as, “fewer than two days’ absence in the next six
months” or “decrease your scrap percentage from 7% to
Aim for improvement rather
When the work is below standard, try to help
employee to find out what it is that is preventing him from meeting
standards. If it takes too long, perhaps he missed a special
Avoid threats that you
can’t or won’t back up
Don’t say, “if you don’t get your production
up to 150 a day by the first of April, I will recommend that you be
laid off for good”. If you make a specific threat, it is good to
make certain in advance that the company will help you make it
Be consistent in the
application of control
Make sure that everyone measures up to the
standards you have set. If there are exceptions, be prepared to
defend that position.