Control has a great importance in the society we live in, most things in this world need to be controlled some way or the other. Just take for example a set of traffic lights at a road junction; the lights must be controlled perfectly to maintain the objective of organising cars at the junction and therefore maintaining safety on the roads. If the traffic lights were not controlled and kept changing every second there will be chaos at the junction and a higher amount of accidents will occur.
In the same way organisations seek to control their employees towards their objectives perfectly, but people are different they have their own minds, different personalities etc…. The concept of control has a number of positive meanings. It stands for predictability, order, reliability and stability. The absence of control from this point of view means anarchy, chaos, disorder and uncertainty. (Huczynski and Buchanan, 1991)
Organisations that know the importance of control and realise what control brings for them, strive to control individuals towards to achieving their organisation objectives. This matter in itself should really be an objective for the organisation. Huczynski and Buchanan also describe this in the textbook. It is psychologically necessary to create stable and predictable conditions within which people can work effectively. Control is thus a means of establishing predictability as psychological well being and work.
performance can be disrupted by uncertainty, ambiguity and disorder. It is a political process in which certain powerful individuals and groups dominate others. Decisions in the control process are taken by managers who resist attempts to let others, particularly subordinates, interfere. Control is thus a means of perpetuating inequalities of power and other resources in organisations. Organisations then form a process called Management Control, which involves a recurring sequence of activities.
Objectives and standards provide guidelines for performance and set the targets for activities and procedures. They normally tell what performance levels are expected, or what levels of performance are going to be regarded as satisfactory, unsatisfactory and exceptional. The sources of management control are, technology, pay and rewards, hierarchy, through the power to set the agenda and through the power to exclude. From these sources of management control four particularly significant strategies of control in organisations are developed and explained by Child and they are.
Technology control is most popular in process industries where chemicals are manufactured with very little human intervention. But in a world where technology keeps on changing we start to see this control dominate firms that mass produce products like cars, clothes etc. Technology reduces the labour in organisations; new technological machinery can capture process performance information, compare it with pre-programmed standard performance criteria, and decide automatically on corrective action necessary.
They can even control other machinery and the need for human controllers is reduced. Organisations can control individual employees by providing rewards like monetary incentives and associated fringe benefits such as cheap loans, company car, free meals etc. Rewards also can include satisfying work, personal responsibility and autonomy. These rewards are motivators and are aimed to get the individual work harder. An example in real life has happened to me at my place of work Safeway.
The store manager gave us a 10 gift voucher for our department exceptionally achieving our targets in sales and wastage. Whether a i?? 10 gift voucher was enough I don’t know but this is just example of this source of management control in practice. Part of Weber’s (1970) account of bureaucracy one basic element The hierarchy, or division of power involves the ranking of offices to provide clear lines of command. In bureaucracies the hierarchy also is typically very complex, its many levels providing a highly differentiated structure of authority.