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Two Forms of Organizational Control

Using two of the four forms of control (Knights and Willmott, 2012) as a framework, use any of the material in Unit 2 to discuss the benefits and challenges of these methods of management. You should also explore the implications these managerial issues provoke in relation to your own practice as a manager or as an employee.

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Provide a reflective commentary on the implications of Tony Watson’s article for both:

The organizational control is an indispensable part of the management system. According to Knights and Willmott, (2012) the management control is defined as the process through which the organization controls and influences the behavior and performance of the members of the organization so as to attain the objectives of the organization. Organization control is an important component in the management function which is responsible to ensure that the goals of organization are achieved and that there are no deviations in the standard performance and actual performance (Hannan, Polos and Carroll 2011). Organization control, according to Miller and Rice (2013) includes the processes that are designed to assure that the plan of the organization and the employee’s performance are according to the set objectives and are achieved with effective basis. The control process is not the end process rather at every level of the management function management controls is required. Managers monitor and evaluate the system, process and performances from time to time in all management in finance, operations, marketing, manufacturing, human resources management and serving customers (Kotler 2012). The control system is vital for all these functions to meet the standards and achieve objectives.

There are various forms of organizational control and every organization adopts it own controlling methods. Here the essay discusses the four frameworks of organization control given by Knights and Willmott (2012) as direct supervision, bureaucratic procedures, cultural control and output and self regulation. These four frameworks of organizational control have their own relevance in the organization to control various functions and activities. These techniques not just controls the performances but have the motivational techniques to encourage the employees to meet the actual level and standards of performance (Griffin 2013). Here the discussion is on the two factors of organizational control- Bureaucratic Control and Cultural Control.

Bureaucracy and Culture are the most important and major topics in organization and management and each of them plays a vital role in motivating, performing and controlling the employees and their actions (Hall and Götz 2013). The organization control has always been a factor regulated not just by the management but by the employees self regulation, on the contrary, Knights and Willmott (2012) states that the organizational culture regulates the behavior of employees and provide them with the workplace which motivates the employees and help them to achieve their targets. The organization control function must consist of the control mix of bureaucratic control and cultural control and must be implementing by managers effectively (Daft 2012). This would help the organization to achieve an optimal mix of formal control with bureaucratic form and an informal control through cultural form.  The performance management, motivation among staff and enhancing corporate culture requires the bureaucratic control in the organization with effective leadership (Miles 2012).

Benefits of Bureaucratic Control

The organizational control, bureaucratic control form in the present context in management refers to managing and controlling the performance and output of the employees through punishments and rewards so as to make sure that the employees work performance, output and conduct matches the standards and expectations of senior management to achieve the organizational objectives (Novikov 2013). Bureaucratic control was first introduced in the technical control during and post years of World War II and greatly increased its importance thereafter. Bureaucratic control and the other forms of control system differ in homogenous feature on the organization control that mixes within the structure of the organization itself. On the contrary, Robbins and Coulter (2012) states that the organization structure is dependent on the culture that the organization and its managers follow which refers to the set practices, norms and rules in professional life. According to Schermerhorn (2013) Culture is the form of controlling the employees behavior, sense of belonging and motivation towards performing in organization and providing the stability within the workplace.

The main focus of the organization control is to make the employees meet the targets effectively, motivate and perform according to the standards of the organization (Sinnott 2013). The leaders of the company focus on developing the culture controls and the bureaucratic controls creating the social norms, sense of shared values, performance enhancements, punishments, rewards and appraisals within the organization (Burke 2013). Cultural controls include organizations mission statement that employees needs to keep in mind while working, the unwritten social norms, etiquettes, behavior, working ethics, rules and regulations including anti-discrimination policies, standards of conduct and non disclosure agreements, expected work schedules and lastly the deliberate role modeling where new staff is given training to understand and enhance skills and knowledge required at the workplace and career development of existing employees (Thygesen 2012). Hence these are the benefits for the employees if the organization follows the right process and procedure for cultural and bureaucratic control.

The organization structure on the other hand provides the backbone on which the organization’s policies and work procedures are built (Simons 2013). The bureaucratic control in an organization thus helps the managers and individuals to build the system of standards in the organization through rules, regulations, methods of process and verifications (Swift 2013). This is the way of ensuring efficient operation in the organization through bureaucratic control. One of the drawbacks in bureaucratic control is, in case the implementation and procedure is not followed properly then there is a possibility of deviation of actual performance with the standard performance (Tracy 2013). The bureaucratic control fails to provide scope for face to face communication and to involve any informal and practical method of enforcing the compliance program. On the contrary the author Knights and Willmott (2012), refers that the bureaucratic control is a centralized form of control within the organization’s administrative department where the rule for one individual is same as for the others also. It helps in establishing the hierarchies within the organization so as to communicate all the policies and procedures to all the employees (Ziviani, Poulsen and Cuskelly 2013). Hence, the organizational structure and culture go hand in hand to provide the staff with a workplace.

Challenges of Bureaucratic Control

A German Sociologist Max Weber proposed Bureaucratic management first, for promoting the virtue of birthright as alternative to system of monarchy (Hall and Götz 2013). According to his definition the effective control through bureaucracy is by efficient knowledge. This was to promote the merits, appraisals, recognitions of staff in order to ensure maximum output through utilization of resources of most qualified rather than connected which refers to social norms, relationship building in the organization (Burke 2013). Bureaucratic form of control states the idea of fairness versus favoritism, which increases the efficiency of overall management ensuring accomplishment of the organization’s objectives (Daft 2012). According to Miller and Rice (2013) it is the management culture within the organization to built the bureaucratic control that is significant to enhance practices in supervision and provide the logical rules, regulations and policies so that managers easily evaluate any deviation of actual performance from standard performance. On the other hand Hatch and Cunliffe (2012) argues that these policies, set rules and procedures are effective when the organization follows cultural controls in the workplace and work ethically by obeying all the relevant regulations in management functions. The managers are motivated to work in an ethical and culturally sound organization where the organization makes it possible to sustain all the output and performance of its employees (Hannan, Polos and Carroll 2011).

The bureaucratic structure serves the purpose of the organization only when the culture, stability and continuity exist in the organization. Bureaucratic control is regarded as the formal mode of control which measures the performance in relation to behaviors and outcomes (Simons 2013). The managers of the organization idealize the culture of the organization and enhance the cultural control and bureaucratic controls in the organization. The bureaucratic control results in motivation of employees as they know their targets and the ways to achieve them (Clegg 2013). The evaluation of performance by the managers depends on the formal exchange of the written documents and information like the performance reports and operating procedures (Hewison and Holden 2011). The manager in bureaucratic control of organization rewards and punishes in the form of bonuses, pay, incentives and promotions or demotions depending on the employee’s performance and output. Finally the relationships and roles in the organization between the employees are the subjects to bureaucratic control form in the organization.

The model of organization control is of various concepts being it direct supervision, self regulation bureaucratic and cultural control, all includes the methods that focus on enhancing the performance of the employees and achieve the organizational goals. Thus, organization control is an important component in the management function which is responsible to ensure that the goals of organization are achieved and that there are no deviations in the standard performance and actual performance The concepts of cultural control and bureaucratic control are of great relevance for the organization and the managers to control the management functions with effectiveness with underlying rules, policies and procedures. The managers implementing these forms of control in the organization enhance the employee’s performance, motivate them to achieve the targets and guide them the ways of achieving goals with effectiveness.

Benefits of Cultural Control

In the article, “Motivation: That’s Maslow isn’t it?” by Tony Watson in 1996 states the organization management theory of motivation, control culture and much more not said by the theorists but by the teachers, professors and the management students (WATSON 1996). The article refers to the reflection of the students and teacher’s perspectives and the experiment was carried on the business and management. Practically the management of an organization needs to adhere to the principles and theories of the motivation and manage people’s need so that they are motivated to perform for the organization (Hall and Götz 2013). The knowledge imparted to the students in the university and management courses as per the author recorded to be built on the theoretical aspects of the study and the professors use tape recorders, assignments, text books and presentation for discussing the study materials (Ziviani, Poulsen and Cuskelly 2013). This mainly provoked for the discussion of the topic in the class and students are motivated to discuss with all relevant points.

The main idea of the article was to know the motivational experiments done by the managers and the teachers in various stages to achieve the results (WATSON 1996). The motivation defined by the author is the main source or the need that helps the individuals to achieve what they want through various means, motivation is different for different people and so are their needs (Swift 2013). The relevance of all the theories theory X and theory Y or the Hierarchy Theory and Mintzberg theory are applied differently by different organizations at different situations (Ziviani, Poulsen and Cuskelly 2013). All the above theories were studied and the article suggested the motivation through the theory of Hierarchy given by Maslow as the different individuals have different level of needs which are mentioned in each level of hierarchy (Hall and Götz 2013). The culture of the organization management helps the manager to develop and encourage the employee’s performance and effectiveness (Tracy 2013). The managers ensure that the employees get training, career development opportunities in the organization along with performance appraisals, bonus, incentives and promotions that benefits them and fulfill their needs (Hall and Götz 2013). These are the applied motivational practices by the organizations in various ways that suits their business and the level of employees (WATSON 1996). The motivational learning as the student has been stated with the motivational needs of Physiology that includes the need for food, sleep, breathing and other basic needs, the second need of Safety including morality, family, health and needs of employment as with this need the further needs will get fulfilled when students may get motivated to earn their living (Hall and Götz 2013). Lastly, the motivation of students for fulfilling their Social needs including belonging with family, friends and partners will make them realize their responsibility and help them to get motivated to achieve the other two needs of Self-esteem where student gets confidence of achieving their target and get placed in an organization, and get respect of others and respect others as well; and Self Actualization needs is achieved at long term set targets (Tracy 2013). The lowest four needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy theory are known as D-needs (Deficiency Needs) including Physiological, Safety, Social and Self Esteem of which the students aim to fulfill.


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