Principles of Control

Controlling in Management - The Principles of Control : Methodologies and Techniques

Controlling is a crucial activity of managers. Controlling plays a vital role in management which involves several procedures, principles, methods, etc. All the managers are required to understand the importance of controlling and the methods involved in it. Let us know about the principles of control in management and explaining each principle in detail makes the readers have prior knowledge on this.


Definition and List of the Principles of Control

The Principles of control can be defined as different methodologies, techniques used by the managers to control and monitor various business activities which help for the growth of the organization. These principles also help to protect and safeguard the organization, its assets, liabilities, resources, etc. Given below are the list of principles of controlling:

  • Principle of Reflection of Plans - Planning and controlling go hand in hand. If any entity has a proper plan then it is much easier to make a control system for that entity. Overall, a proper plan means the control will be more effective. It is the basic principle of control. The principle of reflection of plants plays a predominant role in the organization for its growth in terms of quality and quantity. Planning and controlling are like side by side of a coin. This principle helps to reflect all the plants that were designed in the first stage of the organization.

  • Principle of Prevention - There is a concept named as prevention is better than cure. This will apply to the control function as well. Hence, control does not always focus on the improvement but also on solving the problems as well. It is another important principle of control that helps to prevent the negative aspects of the firm at the initial stage. From the ancient days as we believed prevention is better than cure, this principle helps to realize defects in the beginning and also tries to find remedies for them. Feedforward control is a famous technique used in the principle of prevention.

  • Principle of Future Directed Control - Control is a function which looks forward. With the help of relevant information controls can be directed towards the future and can help in making things much better.

  • Principle of Efficiency of Control - It is very necessary and important that there needs to be efficiency in the approaches and techniques of the system of control. 

  • Principle of Action - Control function will only be justified only when there will be remedial action to take. Pointing out the drawbacks will not be enough. There is a need to take action as well to make the management effective and efficient. Every task cannot be made with a plant design on paper. It should take a physical form and put it into action. Then only we can move forward either in Life or in work. This principle of action is also an extension of finding out defects and deviations. It helps to take necessary remedial actions for the findings.

  • Principles of Standards - There are predetermined standards which are already being set up by the company and that needs to be achieved by the workers. 

  • Principles of Assurance of Objectives - Just by detecting the deviations in the work, the company's objectives can be achieved on a quick and more efficient and effective basis. 

  • Principle of Organizational Suitability - For having an efficient and effective control, the business organisation structure must be well integrated and clear. It is the most important principle of control in management. Every organization needs to choose a set of principles that are suitable for that particular organization because every organization may vary from its type, size, methodologies, etc.


  • Principle of Responsibility:- Apart from the principles of control, responsibility is the basic duty that should be owned by every employee from a lower level to a higher level of the organization for its smooth and safe growth. It was also helpful in gaining name and fame for the organization.


  • Principle of Exception:- This principle majorly concentrates on minor exceptional cases that may deviate slightly from the standards stated at the beginning of the organization. It also takes care that these exceptions may not disturb or affect the growth of the organization.


  • Principle of Critical Points:- Each organization plays several critical points because of various factors. At that time, the principles of control in management help the managers to pay more attention to these critical points, whether they are expected or unexpected.


  • Principle of the Pyramid:- It is also one of the principles of control that explains the delegation of authority as well as the direction of a message which can pass from the lower level to a higher level. Even though it seems to be General, it plays a very significant role as certain issues may arise for the middle-level employees because of superiors and subordinates.


  • Principle of Future-directed Control:- This principle of control is completely contrasted to the above principle, which is the feedback principle. It is simply known as the feed-forward principle. Along with the low-level employees, planning and controlling the action, the high-level employees will forecast and monitor the activities going on in The firm, and it takes care of all the activities that need to move smoothly without any deviations or disturbances.


  • Principle of the Standard:- Every organization has a set of standards that need to be obeyed and followed by all levels of the organization. These should be productive and qualitative, for example, punctuality, delegating work, reporting to the required people, etc., all these Commander standards should be transparent and specific to their organization.


  • Principle of Objective:- It is the most common principle of control. Because every organization's motive is to achieve its objective either monetary benefit or fame or any other, this principle always monitors the works for the final objective. It also controls all the deviations and looks after the remedies facilitated to that particular deviation.


Meaning of Controlling

Controlling is one of the important elements in the field of management process and is one of the managerial functions. Controlling is the last managerial function after planning, organizing, staffing and directing. Basically, controlling makes sure that the activities which are already planned are accomplished or not. It helps in achieving the desired goals by planning. Controlling is all about comparing the actual results with the standards which are pre determined and take necessary corrective measures. In other words, it is the process of analysing the work by comparing it with the goals and taking steps to make it better. 


Nature of Controlling

  • Controlling is a function of management or we can say that actually is actually a follow up action for the other functions of management. 

  • Under control, actual performance is determined against the predetermined standards and makes necessary changes or actions. Its work is based on the actual plan which was made at the start. Hence, control is based on planning. 

  • Controlling is all about reviewing the standards of performance on a continuous basis and taking corrective measures based on that. Hence, it is a dynamic process. 

  • Controlling works on comparing the actual work and the standards made for it. Corrective actions are also made for improving its future performance. Hence, it is to be said that controlling aims at the future. 

  • Controlling is a continuous process and not only one step process as it involves constant analysis of actual and planned performance. 

FAQs on Principles of Control

1. What are the Different Types of Controls Available in the Organization?

We have three different types of organizational controls. They are

  • Feedforward Control:- the supervision of various activities, finding defects are the function of controlling. The feedforward controls act as a spontaneous remedy or action needed to take unexpected deviations to occur in the organization.

  • Concurrent Control:- it is like a continuous control that looks after the ongoing activities in your project. It also Bridges the gap between high-level employees to low-level employees to run the project smoothly.

  • Feedback Control:- it is the last step of the controlling activity. The feedback is an opinion or a suggestion taken from all employees, customers, whoever is involved in the organization seeing the output. This helps to rectify the mistakes and develop the organization by knowing the requirements of the people.

2. What is the Process of Controlling?

Controlling is a process that helps to monitor, analyze, rectify, control all the ongoing activities in an organization in a structured way. It involves a set of sequential steps.

  • Establishing a set of standards and certain methods to measure organizational growth.

  • Implementing those methods and measuring organizational growth.

  • Determining and submitting reports regarding the growth of the organization, whether it meets the ultimate object or not.

  • Taking necessary actions based on the obtained report and analysis made.

3. What is the Nature of Control?

Based on the nature and the functions of controlling only, it will use more in the management. Some of the features of controlling are- 

  • It is a dynamic process that changes from time to time.

  • It always accomplishes with planning.

  • It is a continuous and never-ending process.

  • Information is the basic element of control.

  • Delegation of authority and work majorly depends on controlling.

4. Name the principles of control ?

The principles of control are as follows - principle of reflection of plans, principle of prevention, principle of future directed control, principle of efficiency of control, principle of organisational suitability, principle of action, principles of standards. 

5. What are the characteristics of controlling ? 

Controlling is considered to be a fundamental management function as all other functions will be meaningless without a controlling function. It is one of the essential functions for every manager as it makes sure that the actual progress should be the same as that of the predetermined plans. It is a continuous process as it is very necessary to assess the progress continuously. Controlling is related to results because we analyse the progress on the basis of the results and the pre planned work. 

6. What are the other managerial functions other than controlling ? 

There are a total five functions of management. Those are planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. Each of these functions is very important as they all play their roles individually. They also depend on each other. These are considered to be the most fundamental functions of management. 

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