Braverman was a Marxist and in his arguments for alienation and the degradation of work did not take into account the fact that some workers prefer deskilled jobs, and he “underrates the knowledge needed by unskilled workers. ” (Attewell P, 1987) Output control works on the principal that a given amount of output (finished product, small part) can be completed in a given amount of time. This means that by working at a constant rate the worker completes so many units of output.
This output can then be rewarded if it is good or not as discussed previously. In this way control is achieved through output. This system is however open to abuse as workers can rate-bust or artificially slow down their work in order to achieve a comfortable output for themselves. In some situations it is also hard to measure what a unit of output is (e. g. in a law firm. ) Output control is used extensively today in call centres where workers have to complete a given number of calls (or sales) per day.
Targets are set and a reward system works (refer to earlier notes on control through rewards and punishments). Call centres have become the new production line. Controls are required to be in place for the organisation’s success. Humans at work have a psychological need to be controlled. Control gives feedback on performance, gives structure and definition to the work and encourages dependency on the control system. The control system in fact encourages work that is good for the organisation.
Control can be through social pressures. This works by the fact that there is an informal organisation at work within the organisation. This informal organisation exerts pressure on all members to work at the same rate as the others, and shapes their day by the social networks that it provides them with. Management in the form of team working can create informal organisations, which can be an effective control strategy for increased output as Elton Mayo found in the Hawthorne Studies.
There is definitely a need for a management control system in every organisation. Control is needed to ensure the correct allocation of resources and to keep workers on their toes to ensure that they work for the organisation with the same aims as the management team. Management control systems work on the basis of the control procedures outlined previously in this essay, through the structure, recruitment and selection, budgets, rewards and punishments, rules and regulations, machinery, output, social pressures and psychological means.
The object of management is to create a balance between enough controls to get the job done and enough control to maintain a comfortable working environment. With enough control the organisation is effective, the workers are well motivated, the task is getting done, and management is meeting the aims of the organisation. The balance occurs because there must not be too little control, which results in the job not being done, and too much control, which stifles motivation and causes rebellion.