Summary of Major principles of Control

The management control, there have emerged certain essentials, or basic truths. These, which are referred to as “principles”, are designed to highlight aspects of control that are regarded as especially important. In view of the fact that control, even though representing a system itself, is subsystem of the larger area of management, certain of these principles are understandably similar to those identified in discussions of the other managerial functions. Principles of control can be grouped into three categories, reflecting their purpose ands nature, structure and process.

The purpose and nature of control may be summarized by the principles listed below.

Principle of the purpose of control: The task of control is to ensure that plans succeed by detecting deviations from plans and furnishing a basis for taking action to correct potential or actual undesired deviations.

Principle of future-directed controls: Because of time lags in the total system of control, the more a control system is based on feed forward rather than simple feedback of information, the more managers have the opportunity to perceive undesirable deviations from plans before they occur and to take action in time to prevent them.

These two principles emphasize that the purpose of control in any system of managerial action is ensuring that objectives are achieved through detecting deviations and taking, corrective action designed to attain them. Moreover, control, like planning, should ideally be forward-looking. This principle is often disregarded in practice, largely because the present state of the art in managing has not regularly provided for systems of feed forward control. Managers have generally been dependent on historical data, which may be adequate for collecting taxes and determining stockholders’ earnings but are not good enough for the most effective control. If means of looking forward are lacking reference to history on the questionable assumption that “what is past is prologue” is better than you not looking at all. But time lags in the system of management control make it imperative than greater efforts be undertaken to make future directed control a reality.

Principle of efficiency of controls: Control techniques and approaches are efficient of they detect and illuminate the nature and causes of deviations from plans with a minimum of costs or other unsought consequences.

Control techniques have a way of becoming costly complex, and burden some. Managers may become so engrossed in control that they spend more than it is worth to detect a deviation. Detailed budget controls that hamstring a subordinate complex mathematical controls that thwart innovation, and purchasing controls that delay deliveries and cost more than the item purchased are instances of inefficient controls.