Principles of Controlling

"Controlling"Definition of Controlling

Controlling is the process managers go through to control.

Controlling is the basic managerial function. It is the process of ensuring the actual activities confined to planned activity.

It is a systematic effort to compare performance to predetermined standards, plans, or objectives to determine whether performance
is in line with those standards or needs to be corrected.

Types of Control

Three types of management control are possible:

Precontrol: Precontrol is control that takes place before some unit of work is actually performed.

Concurrent: Concurrent control is control that takes place as some unit of work is being performed.

Feedback: Feedback control concentrates on the past organizational performance.

The controller

The controller is the staff person whose basic responsibility is to assist line managers with the controlling function by gathering appropriate information and generating necessary reports that reflect this information.

Controllers ensure the transparency of business results, finance, processes and strategy and thus contribute to higher economic effectiveness.


Power is the extent to which an individual is able to influence others so that they respond to orders.

Total Power

Total power is the entire amount of power an individual in an organization possesses. It is made up of position power and personal power.

Position power

Position power is power derived from the organizational position a manager holds.

Personal power

Personal power is the power derived from a manager’s relationships with others.

Steps for Increasing Total Power

To increase personal power, a manager should attempt to develop the following attitudes and beliefs in other organization members:

  • A sense of obligation toward the manager.
  • A belief that the manager possesses a high level of expertise within the organization.
  • A sense of identification with the manager.

Potential Barriers to Successful Controlling

  • Control activities can create an undesirable overemphasis on short-term production as opposed to long-term production.
  • Control activities can increase employee frustration with their jobs and thereby reduce morale.
  • Control activities can encourage the falsification of reports.
  • Control activities can cause the perspective of organizational members to be too narrow for the good of the organization.
  • Control activities can be perceived as the goals of the control process, rather than the means by which corrective action is taken.

Making Successful Controlling

Managers should make sure that:

  • Various facets of the control process are appropriate for the specific organizational activity being focused on.
  • Control activities should be used to achieve many different kinds of goals.
  • Information should be used as the basis for taking corrective action that is timely.
  • The mechanics of the control process should be understandable to all individuals who are in any way involved with implementing the process.
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