Co-ordination: Principles and Types

Meaning and Definition of Co-ordination

Co-ordination is that hidden, unseen and intangible factor which gives a sense of unity and purpose to the activities of a group or an organization.

According to Henri Fayol___” Coordination harmonises, synchronises and unifies individual efforts for better action and for the achievement of the business objectives”.

According to George Terry___” Co-ordination is the orderly synchronization of efforts to provide the proper amount, timing, and directing of execution resulting in harmonious and unified actions to a stated objective”.

Coordination function is termed as an ‘essential ingredient’ of management. It helps the manager in integrating and synchronising the efforts of the employees for attaining the organizational goals. It combines the inputs of the employees with the help of effective tools and techniques and provides support for pursing mutual objectives.

Principles of Coordination

  1. Principle of Initial Stage: It states that it is possible to coordinate employees with managerial operations, as the beginning of the planning stage by involving them in the process of decision-making.
  2. Principle of Continuity: It states the coordination should be considered as a continuous process. It should be endless and regularly practiced.
  3. Principle of Direct Contact: As er this principle, it is possible to attain coordination by establishing direct contact with the people who need to be coordinated through proper communication channels and by maintaining relationships of mutual trust.
  4. Principle of Reciprocal Relations: As per this principle, two or more parties affect the working of each other. The modification in each other’s working is done in a way that only brings positive changes.
  5. Principles of Clarity of Objectives: According to this principle, only clear and well-defined goals of an organization can help in attaining co-ordination. These goals should be clearly defined, so that there is no element of doubt. Besides, it is quite easy to attain clear organizational goals.

Types of Co-ordination

  1. Internal Co-ordination:
    1. Vertical Coordination: This refers to co-ordination within the hierarchy in an organization. It is related to co-coordinating the undertakings between a manager and his department members. All organizational members from the top managers to the lower level managers are entrusted with the task of ensuring co-ordination amongst the persons reporting to them.
    2. Horizontal Co-ordination: Horizontal co-ordination refers to the co-ordination between various employees at the same level of organizational hierarchy and also between various units or divisions operating at the same level. Achieving co-ordination across various operating areas like marketing, finance, human resource, operations, etc., can be and Example of horizontal co-ordination. Horizontal co-ordination ensures that all the employees and divisions are working according to the plans and for the achievement of common organizational objectives. It also seeks to integrate the operations of all the departments as per the predefined standards. Horizontal co-ordination is generally achieved by a common chain of command under a supervisor or a manager.
    3. Diagonal Co-ordination: There are certain centralized which anyone within the organization may need, irrespective of the hierarchy and the chain of command. Canteen services, library services, typing services, etc., Here, direct access is available to all those who may require the centralized services. In case of conflicting demands, generally the principle of ‘first come first service’ is followed to avoid conflicts and to achieve diagonal coordination.
  2. External Co-ordination: There are several external factors that influence and affect an organization, e.g., the market, competition, labour market, raw material supplier, transport services, government policy, technology, etc. Every successful organization needs to co-ordinate amongst these external and conflicting factor. External coordination between these uncontrollable factors is essential for the organization to survive and grow in the competitive business environment.