What is Controlling? Nature and Importance

Controlling is considered to be as indispensable function of management in an organization. The process of management remains incomplete without proper controlling. It seeks to make sure that all other processes likewise planning, organizing, staffing, and directing are properly executed and conducted to achieve the same organizational goal. It is a function of management that strive to measure the performance and take the remedial actions when needed.

Meaning and Definition of Controlling

  • According to E.F.L. Breach___ “Controlling is checking performance against pre-determined standards contained in the plans, with a view to ensuring adequate progress and satisfactory performance”.
  • According to Robert N.Anthony___” Management control is the process by which managers assure that resources are obtained and used effectively and efficiently in the accomplishment of an organization’s objectives”.
  • According to H. Koontz and O’Donnell___” Controlling is the measuring and correcting of activities of subordinates to ensure that events conform to plans”.


Nature of Controlling

  • Pervasive Function: It is a pervasive function in the overall management process. It is carried out as a follow-up activity for other functions of management. Managers at all the levels of management perform controlling functions to keep control over activities in their respective areas.
  • Continuous Process: It is not a short-term process, but is rather a continuous analysis of actual performance and measuring the deviation against the set standards. It also modifies the plans, policies, objectives, procedures, etc., to handle the negative implications of such deviations.
  • Evaluates Performance: The basic motive behind controlling is to evaluate the actual performance and compare the outcomes against the planned results. This allows the managers to establish the necessary principles so that action can be taken smoothly in future.
  • Allows Coping with Environment: It analysis the environmental factor and predetermines the future changes in those factors so that it can guide the employees to tackle the future uncertainties.
  • Three-Dimensional Process: It is three dimensional as it looks back to evaluate past activities, takes corrective actions if required, to continue those activities in present as well as concern the activities which would be conducted in the future. Therefore, considering it only as a uni-dimensional process is a mistake.
  • Closely Related to Planning: Planning is a pre-requisite for controlling. This process involves setting standards and measuring actual performance with those standards. These standards of performance which serve as the basic of controlling are provided by planning. When there is no plan, there is no basis of controlling.

Importance of Controlling

  • Aids in Achieving Organisational Goals.
  • Enables Optimum Utilization of Resources.
  • Ensure Discipline and Order.
  • Improves Coordination.
  • Helps in Better Planning.
  • Makes Employees Accountable.
  • Motivates Employees.
  • Facilitates Delegation.