Controlling -Definition, Meaning , Importance

Controlling – Definition, Meaning , Importance

Controlling function can be defined as comparison of actual performance with the planned performance. If there is any difference or deviation then finding the reasons for such difference and taking corrective measures or action to stop those reasons so that future thee is match between actual and planned performance.

Definitions by different authors:
1. “Controlling is determining what is being accomplished, that is, evaluating the performance and, if necessary, applies corrective measures so that performance takes place according to plans.

2. “Controlling consists of verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with the plans adopted, the instructions issued and the principles established. It has for its object to point out weaknesses and errors in order  to rectify them and prevent recurrence”.

3. “Controlling is measurement and correction of the performance of the subordinates to make sure that enterprise objective and plans devised to attain them are being accomplished”.

4. “Controlling function leads to goal achievement; an organisation without effective control is not likely to reach its goal”. Controlling is not last function of management but it is the function which being back the management cycle to planning.

Scope:– Controlling is very wide in scope as it does not end only by comparing the actual performance with planned performance but it tries t o find the reasons and solutions for such problems also. For example, if the planned output is 1,000 units and actual output is 800 units, then controlling function will look for  reasons of this deviation. If the reason is fault in machinery or inefficiency of  workers then the corrective measures are taken by instructing the maintenance department to keep regular check of machinery and if it is due to inefficiency of  workers then they are sent of training so that their efficiency can be improved.

There are two aspects of controlling function. These are: strategic control and operational control.
Strategic control refers to check hoe effective the strategies and the plans are because sometimes there can be deviation in actual performance and planned performance due to plans and strategies.

The operational aspect refers to focus on managerial and other activities of  the organisation. It is to find out whether the mismatch is due to fault in the actions or activities. In both the aspects the managers try to finds out the reasons for mismatch and take corrective measures.



1. Helps in achieving organisational goals.

When the plans are made in the organisations these are directed towards achievement of organisational goals and the controlling function ensures that all the activities in the organizational take place according to plan and if there is any deviation, timely action is taken to bring back the activities on the path of planning. When all the activities are going according to plan then automatically these will direct towards achievement of organisational goal.

2. Judging accuracy of standards.

Through strategic controlling we can easily judge whether the standard or target set are accurate or not. An accurate control system revises standards from time to time to match them with environmental changes.

3. Making efficient use of resources.

Like traffic signal control guides the organisation and keeps it on the right track. Each activity is performed according to predetermined standards. As a result there is most and effective use of resources.

4. Improving employee motivation.

An effective control system communicates the goals and standards of appraisal for employees to subordinates well in advance. A good control system also guides employees to come out from their  problems. This free communication and care motivate the employees to give better performance.

5. Ensures order and discipline.

Control creates an atmosphere of order and discipline in the organisation. Effective controlling system keeps the subordinates under check and makes sure they perform their function efficiently. Sharp control can have a check over dishonesty and fraud of  employees. Strikes control monitor, employees work on computer monitor  which bring more order and discipline in work environment.

6. Facilitate coordination in action.

Control helps to maintain equilibrium between means and ends. Controlling makes sure that proper direction is taken and that various factors are maintained properly. All the departments are controlled according to predetermined standards which are well coordinated with one another. Control provides unity of direction.

7. Controlling helps in improving the performance of the employees.
Controlling insists on continuous check on the employees and control helps in creating an atmosphere of order and discipline. Under controlling function it is made sure that employees are aware of their duties and responsibilities very clearly. They must know clearly the standards against which their performance will be judged. These standards help the employees to work efficiently.

Control can be exercised on employees’ performance through following measures:

(a) Self-appraisal report.

The employees are asked to prepare a report of  their performance and to explain whether their performance is in accordance with plan or not. In this report employees specify their  achievements.

(b) Performance appraisal report by supervisors.

The superiors continuously monitor and observe the employees when they are performing the job and comparison between the standard and actual performance is done. On the basis of this observation the managers prepare performance appraisal report.
These reports become the base for giving promotions, increments bonus etc. to the employees. To have good report the employees perform
efficiently and effectively.

8. Controlling helps in minimizing the errors.

Small errors or small mistakes may not seriously affect the organisation. But if these ramrods are repeated gains and again it will become a serious matter and can bring disaster for the organisation. An effective controlling system helps in minimizing the errors by continuous monitoring and check. The managers try to detect the error on time and take remedial steps to minimize the effect of error.

Limitations of controlling

1. Difficulty in setting quantitative standards. Control system loses its effectiveness when standard of performance cannot be defined in quantitative terms and it is very difficult to set quantitative standard for  human behavior, efficiency level, job satisfaction, employee’s morale etc. in such cases judgment depends upon the discretion of manager.

2. No control on external factors.

An enterprise cannot control the external factors such as government policy, technological changes, change in fashion, change in competitor’s policy etc.

3. Resistance from employees

Employees often resist control and as a result effectiveness of control reduces. Employees feel control reduces or curtails their freedom. Employees may resist and go against the use of cameras, to observe them minutely.

4. Costly affair.

Control is an expensive process. It involves lot of time and effort as sufficient attention has to be paid to observe the performance of  the employees. To install an expensive control system organisations have to spend large amount. Management must compare the benefits of controlling system with the cost involved in installing them. The benefits must be more than the cost involved then only controlling will be effective otherwise it will lead to inefficiency.

Sachin Thorat

Sachin is a B-TECH graduate in Mechanical Engineering from a reputed Engineering college. Currently, he is working in the sheet metal industry as a designer. Additionally, he has interested in Product Design, Animation, and Project design. He also likes to write articles related to the mechanical engineering field and tries to motivate other mechanical engineering students by his innovative project ideas, design, models and videos.

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