What Aspiring Managers Need to Know about Controlling in Management

What Aspiring Managers Need to Know about Controlling in Management

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Nov 11, 2022 17:36 IST

Controlling in management is an important organisational function which goes in tandem with planning. Find out how and why controlling in management is used.

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This blog covers a key function of management – control. 

Management is a goal-oriented process. The control function of management is necessary for meeting the defined goals. 

But what is controlling in management involved in? To what degree does it help the organisation? What are its advantages and limitations?

Let’s find out. 

  1. What is controlling in management?
  2. Purpose of controlling in management
  3. Features of controlling in management
  4. Process of controlling in management
  5. Pros and cons of controlling in management

What is Controlling in Management?

Controlling is the process by which an organisation can effectively and efficiently utilise resources – workers and budget – for meeting the planned end goals. 

With the right type of control and action, the business manager can ensure adequate progress in a consistent way. They can also take corrective action when resources are being under-or over-utilised. 

In short, controlling in management ensures there is no deviation from the plan and that, performance standards are met. 

Purpose of Controlling in Management

It is one of the main areas for managers in an organisation. For processes to run efficiently, the managers must be able to assess risks beforehand to implement effective control. This is how the goals of the organisation can be achieved.

There are two main purposes of control. 

  • To facilitate planning
  • To facilitate coordination 

Let’s understand them better in the context of change in external factors. 

Control helps in managing organisational changes. As market demands or governmental orders change, so does the organisation. It is upon the manager to ensure the organisation adapts to such changes. Now, these changes cannot happen without planning and coordination. 

Features of Controlling in Management

Some main features of controlling in management to consider are mentioned below. 

End Function 

It means that control comes in times when the performance should adhere to the plans for achieving the end goals. Corrective action is taken if the performance does not meet the standards as devised during the planning. 

Pervasive Function

Controlling is a pervasive function. Managers conduct control at any phase and at all managerial levels. 

Both Forward- and Backward-Looking 

Controlling in management looks towards the future for any correctional activity that can be doe to achieve goals efficiently. It also looks into the past for deviations to ensure they are not repeated. 

Controlling Needs Planning and Vice Versa

Controlling and planning go hand-in-hand. Without planning, control can become a negative endeavour. While planning gives the direction to implement strategies and meet end goals, controlling becomes necessary to monitor them. 

Process of Controlling in Management

The process of controlling in management involves monitoring progress. But this monitoring activity of progress requires a benchmark. That can be made possible through a control process.

This control process has four steps. 

Establishing a Performance Standard

This is where you can see planning and controlling working together. To achieve the organisational goals, managers should give employees a target. 

The controlling function of the manager here is to familiarise the employees with the target to be achieved. The target is the performance standard that every employee must be able to achieve. Once the employees are aware of the target, they must adhere to it. 

Measuring the Performance

After the planning phase and the implementation of a performance standard, the next control process is to measure the performance. 

The role of the manager is to monitor the progress of the tasks that contributes to the performance standard as planned. It is the responsibility of the employees/team members under the manager to complete the tasks and meet the targets. 

At this phase the manager must consistently monitor the progress of the tasks for each of the employees in the team. 

They can use performance metrics such as leading indicator, pacing indicator, etc. 

Related: Business management courses

Comparing the Performance Against the Standard

Here, the manager must be able to distinguish and measure whether the performance standards are met by the employees. This is like an audit to see if the performance matches the standard. 

Making Adjustments

The responsibility of the manager in this phase is to be prepared with an alternate plan or corrective action if the targets are not met. To take corrective action, it is important to know which factors caused the issue to begin with. 

Pros and Cons of Controlling in Management 

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of controlling in management. 

Advantages  Disadvantages
Creates efficiency and optimises the use of resources Can create animosity and resistance in a group or team 
Objectives are met on time Controlling is based on a quantitative approach which does not take into account the qualitative side of team members; it cannot be used for measuring qualitative performance
Deviations are controlled much before External factors are not much taken into account in controlling
Evaluates accuracy of performance standards If standards are not set correctly through poor planning, controlling becomes a futile approach

Parting Thoughts

This was all about what you needed to know about controlling in management. What do you think, is controlling necessary for every organisation?

Take some management courses and explore this concept even further. 

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio