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Best laid plans, well-designed organization structures, effective dire actions and intelligent staff can be ineffective if organizational activities are not controlled scientifically. Authority-responsibility relationships may not always be cordial, managers may not always be able to motivate, lead and guide the subordinates towards desired goals and actual performance may not always be according to planned performance. Since deviations occur in carrying our managerial functions, managers take steps to minimize these deviations. This is possible if effective control system exists in the departmental activities also increases. It becomes difficult for managers to coordinate and integrate departmental activities with overall organizational activities and, therefore, the need for controlling arises. Controlling minimizes deviations so that organizational goals are achieved efficiently.

Controlling cannot prevent deviations; it can only minimize them by taking actions that reduce their recurrence. Controlling is taking steps to ensure that actual performance conforms to planned performance; by preventing deviations and taking corrective measures to reduce their recurrence. Different authors have defined controlling as follows:

“Controlling is determining what is being accomplished-that is, evaluating the performance and, if necessary, applying corrective measures so that the performance takes place according to plans.”

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

“Controlling is the process of regulating organizational activities so that actual performance conforms to expected organizational standards and goals.”

Controlling, thus,
1.    measures actual performance.
2.    compares actual performance with planned performance.
3.    finds and corrects deviations between actual and planned performance.
4.    ensures that organizational goals are accomplished with minimum deviations.

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