In an ideal scenario, if a company has laid out the organizational objectives very clearly and has clear strategies for achieving those objectives, there is no need to identify the controls and implement them in carrying out the strategies. Do you agree with this statement? Give reasons and examples to support your views.
I do not agree with the statement above. Even when we are assuming an ideal scenario, and that the company has followed the perfect path and approach to defining and laying down their goals and objectives and formulating strategies to achieve those goals, control will still play an important role in its management.
The reason being that even with perfectly defined objectives and strategies, the operation and performance will ultimately depend on how well the individual associated with a particular task is able to handle it. And we all know that humans are error prone. This is where control would come in. The moment we observe a deviation in performance from the ideal path that has been laid out before, we would need control, in order to bring back the performance on the ideal path.
One of the most famous theorists in the area of Strategic Management is Henry Mintzberg, and he believes that no matter how well an organization plans its strategy, a different strategy may emerge (The Importance of Strategic Control). He refers to 5 main types of strategies and relates them in the following manner:
Intended strategies that are Realized, may be termed as deliberate strategies
Intended strategies that are not Realized, may be termed as unrealized strategies
Realized strategies that weren’t intended may be termed as emergent strategies
The numerous ways in which intended and realized strategies may differ highlights the importance of evaluation systems and control mechanism so that the firm can monitor its performance and take corrective action if the actual performance differs from the intended strategies and planned results (The Importance of Strategic Control).
Another problem with the given scenario is that, if we consider quality controls, lets say, the standards of control vary from place to place. Even if we consider an ideal scenario, the organization’s culture plays an important role. A real life example can be considered here, IBM Canada Ltd. Ordered some parts from a new supplier in Japan. The company stated that the acceptable quality was 1.5 percent defects. The Japanese sent the order with a few parts packaged separately in plastic. With it was a letter that read “we don’t know why you want 1.5 percent defective parts, but for your convenience we have packaged them separately” (Robbins, 2004).
This story highlights the difference in control mechanisms. And that Canadian companies still follow a top-down pyramidal control style, where top management expects to control everything (Robbins, 2004). However, that is not the case with companies in Japan.
Robbins, Stephen P. (2004). Organizational Behavior. New York: Pearsons.
The Importance of Strategic Control. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from Startegic Management Web site: http://www.strategic-control.24xls.com/en115