Organizational Control Systems as a Managerial Tool

by Eric Flamholtz



Defective organizational control systems can be caused by an inadequate understanding of the nature of organizational control or a lack of knowledge about the criteria of an effective control system. This article deals with the organizational control system as a managerial tool. It focuses upon four basic questions: (1) what is an "organizational control system"?, (2) what managerial functions are performed by an organizational control system?, (3) what are the elements of an organizational control system?, (4) how can organizations design control systems which are effective in influencing human behavior in the desired ways? The term control is used in a variety of ways. Our concern is with organizational control, the process of influencing the behavior of members of a formal organization. An organizational control system may be defined as a set of mechanisms designed to increase the probability that people will behave in ways that lead to the attainment of organizational objectives. This definition has several elements. A control system is goal-oriented. Its purpose is to help ensure that the organization's goals are fulfilled.

California Management Review

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