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Principles of Control

The concept of control is based on the following principles:

1.  Principle of the purpose of control:

The purpose of control is to detect and correct deviations from plans ad provide a basis for sound planning in future.

2.    Principle of future-directed controls:

Rather than controlling the deviations when they occur, controls should provide for predicting deviations and prevent them from occurring. Feed forward controls are better than feedback controls. Though the general notion is “planning is looking ahead and control is looking back, the feed forward controls helping identifying control as a function of looking ahead rather than looking back. Though not much in use, managers have to orient themselves to feed forward control. Managers generally base their decisions on past data and performance and, therefore, have to put in great efforts to make future-directed control a reality”.

3.    Principle of control responsibility:

The responsibility of controlling organizational activities lies with the managers who devise plans.

4.    Principle of efficiency of controls:

Though controls are important for highlighting deviations in the actual work performance, excessive emphasis on controls may be costly. Managers should carry out a cost-benefit analysis before designing a control system and adopt the system only if its benefits are more tan the costs.

5.    Principle of preventive control:

Controls should prevent the dilations.” The more qualified the managers are, the more they will perceive deviations from plans and take timely action to prevent them.”

6.    Principle of reflection of plans:

As controls are based on plans, quality of control can be improved by designing clear, complete and integrated plans with effective implementation and follow up.

7.    Principle of organizational suitability;

Controls are implemented by human beings. If position of people in the organization structure and authority-responsibility relationships amongst them and the various responsibility centers are clear, controls will be effective in correcting deviations from the planned performance

8.    Principle of individuality of controls:

The control system should be designed in a manner that managers understand and utilize it to meet its intended purpose.

9.    Principle of standards:

Standards form the basis for control (actual performance is measure against standards). They must, therefore, be objective and accurate and accepted by superiors and subordinates.

10.    Principle of critical point control:

Controls should focus on salient factors of performance where deviations hamper the organizational efficiency. Factors critical to evaluating performance against plans must be clearly focused by managers.

11.    The exception principle:

Only significant deviations should be reported to top managers for their information and necessary action.

12. Principle of flexibility of controls:

Unforeseen contingencies may require plans to be restructured. Controls should be flexible to accommodate changes. Flexible control systems economies on designing and implementing a new control system.

13.Principle of action:

Control implies action. If deviations are found in the planned performance. It may require redrawing the plans or making additional plans or reorganization or improved motivation, leadership and communication. The action can, thus, be planning, organizing, staffing or directing.

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