Structure of Control

The principles that follow are aimed at pointing out how control system and techniques can be designed to improve the quality of managerial control.

Principle of reflection of plans:

The more that plans are clear, complete, and integrated, and the more that controls are designed to reflect such plans, the more effectively controls will serve the needs of managers.

It is not possible for a system of controls to be devised without plans, since the task of control is to ensure that plans work out as intended. There can be no doubt that the more clear, complete, and integrated these plans are, and the more that control techniques are designed to follow the progress of these plans, the more effective they will be.

Principle of organizational suitability:

The more that an organizational structure is clear, complete, and integrated and the more that controls are designed to reflect the place in the organization structure where responsibility for action lies, the lore they will facilitate correction of deviations from plans.

Plans are implemented by people. Deviations from plans must be the responsibility primarily of managers who are entrusted with the task of executing, planning programs. Since it is the function of an organization structure to define a system of roles, it follows that controls must be designed to affect the role in which responsibility for performance of a plan lies.

Principle of individuality of controls:

The more that control techniques and information are understandable to individual managers who must utilize them, the more they will actually be used and the more they will result in effective control.

Although some control techniques and information can be utilized in the same form by various kinds of enterprise and managers, as a general rule controls should be tailored to meet the individual needs of managers. Some of this individuality is related to position in the organization structure, as noted in the previous principle. Another aspect of individuality is the tailoring of controls to the kind and level of managers’ understanding. Company presidents as well as supervisors have thrown up their hands in dismay (often for quite different reasons) at the unintelligible nature and inappropriate form of control information. Control information which a manager cannot or will not use has little practical value.