Control Mechanism in Management
Category : Management Essays
Control Mechanism in Management
“Control can be defined as a device or mechanism used to regulate or guide the operation of a machine, apparatus, or system. Organizations use controls to regulate their business processes, which include production, distribution, finance, and so on. Controls help organizations to restrain and correct atypical behavior, and to reduce and prevent the spread of problems and errors.” (2006)
Traditionally, control is described as one of the four fundamental functions of management which includes organizing, planning, and coordinating where organization controls describe the primary mechanisms that managers use to direct attention, motivate, and encourage organizational members to act in desired ways to meet an organization’s objectives (1977, 1979; 1985; 1992).
Control mechanisms is also defined by (1979) as seeking compliance with established plans, standards, quality criteria, and in conformance with organizational goals and values in which can be both enabling and constraining to the organization. Control mechanisms are used to monitor progress and evaluate performance.
Businesses, like Google Company must have control mechanism in order to be more efficient in managing their business organization. In here, the researcher has identified four internal control mechanisms in which Google Company implements in their organization. Controls are implemented through internal controls, technology, social structure and culture. Internal controls are broadly defined as the standards and procedures that a company establishes to protect its assets (2006).
As a company grows, it would tend to hire more people to help conduct the business. However, without these policies and procedures in which companies implement, it would be impossible for the company to protect its assets and conflicts may arise between the people in the organization. Standards and procedures must be implemented in the company.
In the case of Google Company, four types of control mechanisms have been identified. These are personal control, social structure, culture and dialectic of control.
Personal control is defined as the dyadic relationship between the direct supervisor and subordinate. While social structure is embedded controls with policies, procedures, rules, well-defined job descriptions, career ladders and incentive schemes. On the other hand, culture is the workers' shared norms and values that shape behavior, order perception, and influence attitudes (1988; 1979). A shared ideology obviates the need for extensive and explicit procedures and rules, providing a philosophy of interests and norms from which members can deduce an almost limitless number of specific rules to suit varying conditions. Workers internalize organizational norms and socialization reinforces those goals. Another is the dialectic of control in which (1984) describes as all forms of dependence in which subordinates can influence the activities of their superiors.
In the case of Google, knowledge workers are their key assets. An informal motto “Don’t be evil” guided their company for years. The company’s Code of Conduct adheres the highest levels of ethical business practices in which guidelines for ethical conduct of directors, officers and employees are provided. It is the code in which the company put into practice. It is an expansive statement of principles of the company that should conform to their actions as part of the company. It means “being a Googler is striving toward the highest possible standard of ethical business conduct.”
In addition, the board of directors has also a set of Corporate Governance Guidelines to provide a framework so that the management and the board can operate effectively together to achieve the company’s objectives. Its corporate structure has established appropriate financial controls and internal process management.
Even though Google is rapidly growing, it still maintain as a small company within. The employees of the company eat in their café and can sit anywhere in the place. They converse with other Googler from different departments with topic ranges from different aspects of works from trivial to technical.
“Google's emphasis on innovation and commitment to cost containment means each employee is a hands-on contributor. There's little in the way of corporate hierarchy and everyone wears several hats. The international webmaster who creates Google's holiday logos spent a week translating the entire site into Korean. The chief operations engineer is also a licensed neurosurgeon. Because everyone realizes they are an equally important part of Google's success, no one hesitates to skate over a corporate officer during roller hockey.” ()
In order for Google Company to implement control to their organization, it is essential to hire the right people. “Google's hiring policy is aggressively non-discriminatory and favors ability over experience. The result is a staff that reflects the global audience the search engine serves. Google has offices around the globe and Google engineering centers are recruiting local talent in locations from Zurich to Banglore. Dozens of languages are spoken by Google staffers, from Turkish to Telugu. When not at work, Googlers pursue interests from cross-country cycling to wine tasting, from flying to frisbee. As Google expands its development team, it continues to look for those who share an obsessive commitment to creating search perfection and having a great time doing it.” ()
In order for the company to establish good control over the hired employees, it important to consider having potential employees completes an application form in their own handwriting. It is important also to have the potential employee over a series of two to three follow-up interviews with the other staff member. In the case of Google, hiring is by committee in which one person talks to different people. It is also essential to ask a potential employee tough question. In this manner control of incapable applicants may be avoided and that managing these people would to much easier.
Control mechanism also can by specialization of labor or responsibilities. In the case of Google Company, projects are made by teams. Division of responsibilities would be also a much easier to control since it would be easy to determine which work is effective and efficient and whose work are not. Performance management would be easy to accomplish. Having also specialization gives an individual more responsibilities and the sense of making works more efficient and effective.
Google Company has set policies in their company in order to protect their most valuable assets which are the knowledge workers which are mostly engineers. The following are enumerated by (2005).
Ø Hire by Committee in which the person being interviewed would actually at least half a dozen of the company’s management and staff. Hiring is a everyone’s opinion making the hiring process more fair and pushing standards higher which makes the company hire great people.
Ø Cater to their every need. Google Company provides a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses—just about anything a hardworking engineer might want.
Ø Pack them in. Because almost every project at Google is a team project, and teams have to communicate, employees are put within a few feet away from each other for ease of communication. Sitting next to a knowledgeable employee was an incredibly effective educational experience.
Ø Make coordination easy. Because all members of a team are within a few feet of one another, it is relatively easy to coordinate projects. In addition to physical proximity, each Googler e-mails a snippet once a week to his work group describing what he has done in the last week. This gives everyone an easy way to track what everyone else is up to, making it much easier to monitor progress and synchronize work flow.
Ø Eat your own dog food. Google workers use the company's own tools intensively. The most obvious tool is the Web, with an internal Web page for virtually every project and every task. They are all indexed and available to project participants on an as-needed basis.
Ø Encourage creativity. Google has a companywide suggestion box where people can post ideas ranging from parking procedures to the next killer app. The software allows for everyone to comment on and rate ideas, permitting the best ideas to percolate to the top.
Ø Strive to reach consensus. Google adhere to the view that the "many are smarter than the few," and solicit a broad base of views before reaching any decision. At Google, the role of the manager is that of an aggregator of viewpoints, not the dictator of decisions.
Ø Don't be evil. Much has been written about Google's slogan, and Google workers has live by it in particular within the ranks of management. Google foster to create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect.
Ø Data drive decisions. At Google, almost every decision is based on quantitative analysis. Google built systems to manage information internally.
Ø Communicate effectively. Every Friday Google workers have an all-hands assembly with announcements, introductions and questions and answers. This allows management to stay in touch with what knowledge workers are thinking and vice versa. Google has remarkably broad dissemination of information within the organization and remarkably few serious leaks. The company believes that a trusted work force is a loyal work force.