- Understand the importance of planning and why organizations need to plan and control.
Planning is the process through which managers establish goals and detail how these goals will be attained.
- Outline the planning and controlling processes.
There are five major stages in the planning process. First, an organization establishes its preplanning foundation, which reviews past events and describes the current situation. In the second step, the organization sets forth goals based on the preplanning foundation. In the third step, managers forecast what is likely to happen in the organization’s internal and external environments in order to develop alternative courses of action. Then, managers identify possible courses of action for meeting their objectives, evaluate each alternative, and select a course of action. Finally, planners develop the supportive plans necessary to accomplish the organization’s major plan of action. Once implemented, that plan is monitored and controlled so that it meets the goals established in the second step.
- Identify different types of plans and control systems employed by organizations.
Managers create many types of plans based on hierarchical level, frequency of use, time frame, and organizational scope. Contingency plans to be used in case of unexpected events or wrong assumptions are critical for effective management in highly turbulent environments.
- Explain the individual and organizational effects associated with goal setting and planning.
Goal development is an important part of the planning process. Goals developed for employees, for departments, and for entire organizations greatly enhance organizational effectiveness. Evidence reveals that performance is higher when organizations, as well as individuals, operate under difficult (but attainable), specific goals.
- Understand how planning occurs in today’s organizations.
Plans reduce uncertainty and risk, focus attention on goals, and enhance understanding of the external environment. Although most major organizations engage in formal planning, many managers fail to plan appropriately. Lack of time, uncertainty about the future, and fear of failure are among the reasons given by managers for their failure to plan.
- Discuss the impact that control has on organizational members.
The primary purposes of the controlling function are to monitor the extent to which an organization’s plans are being followed and their effectiveness and to identify when and where it is necessary to take corrective action. To accomplish these ambitious tasks, managers construct control systems that touch most aspects of an organization’s functional areas, its relationship with the external and internal environments, and its relationships across different hierarchical levels.
The control process consists of four steps. In Steps 1 and 2, managers create standards and monitor ongoing organizational behavior. In Step 3, they examine the degree to which ongoing activity is consistent with their goals and means objectives and the relationship between the two. In Step 4, managers develop prescriptions to correct problems, to maintain strengths, and to provide feedback to an organization’s planners.
Whereas all control systems have the same general purposes, they differ in their specifics. Some are self-managing cybernetic systems; noncybernetic systems require regular external supervision to be effective. Other variations in control systems include the point at which control activities are applied: before the work has begun (precontrols), while work is in progress (concurrent controls), and after work has been completed (postaction controls). A hybrid control system engages a variety of control activities at many points in time.
Although there are variations in control systems, all good systems have characteristics that enable them to work well in a given organization. Managers evaluating a control system might thus gauge its adequacy in providing accurate, timely, objective information to appropriate people in the organization. They also should examine whether the system focuses on the most critical aspects of their organization’s conditions in a feasible, flexible manner that will be accepted by organizational members. Because of the importance of the information it provides, a good control system should also be integrated with planning activities.
Any control system can produce both positive and negative effects. If it is well designed, a control system provides needed structure and feedback and facilitates the development and execution of effective goal-setting programs. The result can be a satisfied, motivated, and productive workforce. Inappropriate control systems, however, can cause frustration, dissatisfaction, and poor performance. Being aware of a control system’s potential effects on organization members helps managers capitalize on its positive aspects, reduce the impact of negative effects, and promote workers’ acceptance of the system.
The effort to maintain control is not restricted to managers. All employees have a need for personal control, a need that sometimes conflicts with their organization’s need to maintain control. To achieve effectiveness, managers must balance the control needs of both the organization and its members.
- Describe management by objectives as a philosophy and as a management tool/technique; describe its effects.
Management by objectives (MBO), with its emphasis on goal setting, participation, and feedback, frequently contributes to increased employee goal commitment, motivation, and performance. If performance matches the employee’s aspirations, job satisfaction is likely to be an important by-product of the organization’s planning and controlling activities.
- Differentiate between the execution of the planning and controlling activities under control- and involvement-oriented management practices.
Planning and controlling are approached with distinctive differences under control-oriented and involvement-oriented approaches to management. In the mechanistic organization, both activities tend to be lodged with management in the organizational hierarchy, often above the point in the organization where the plans are being carried out. The hierarchy plays an active role in both the planning and controlling process, and the employee is often a passive player carrying out the planning directives and the target of the control activity.