Techniques of coordination in Management10/03/2020
Co-ordination is a continuous process and it is done at all levels of management. Mangers use a variety of techniques in the business organisation to achieve co-ordination.
These techniques may be divided as:
- General techniques and
- Specific techniques.
Technique 1. General:
Co-ordination can easily be achieved if managerial functions are properly designed and executed. Thoughtful and proper design of managerial functions is the key to successful co-ordination. Almost all managerial functions directly affect co-ordination, for example planning, organisation, departmentation, supervision, leadership and control. Policies and procedures should be co-ordinated while planning the objectives and goals of the business concern.
If the policies and procedures are in consistent with objectives, it will create problems to the business concern. Therefore there should be clear-cut and effective delegation of authority and specified relationships to avoid many conflicts and misunderstanding. This promotes co-ordination. It is the duty of top executives to create various departments based on various functions and establish relationship between various departmental heads, managers, executives and subordinates.
People, leadership and supervision, too, promote co-ordination which ultimately results in team spirit and honest effort for achieving ultimate objectives. Control techniques also help the organisation towards achieving common objectives of the organisation as well. The co-ordination can be achieved if manager starts co-ordination efforts of unifying, blending and harmonizing from the very early stage of planning and continues to the last stage of controlling.
Technique 2. Specific:
It is managers’ duty to see that the co-ordination exists in the entire organisation although he cannot order for it. It is the product of efforts undertaken in the enterprise.
Following are some specific techniques that can be used by managers for ensuring co-ordination:
i. Co-Ordination by Meetings and Conferences:
Periodic meetings of staff of various levels of management is an effective technique of co-ordination. Weekly group meeting or conference of the departmental heads under the chairmanship of the general manager is a very effective device for coordination, suggested by Henri Fayol. It provides them an opportunity for direct contact, asking them how the things are going on.
Their problems difficulties, management’s expectation from them, solving their problems, exchanging various ideas, opinions, points of view, problems, and solutions are effectively discussed and resolved in such meetings. All this leads to harmony and unity in working.
ii. Co-Ordination by Committees:
Establishment of departmental committees is another technique to ensure effective co-ordination. These committees meet periodically and discuss various managerial problems and find solutions to these problems. Sometimes there are some permanent committees for the purpose of coordinating the activities of two or more departments. The committees usually comprise of representatives from all departments. Thus committees solve many managerial problems and serve as a sound technique of co-ordination.
iii. Co-Ordination by Liaison Officer:
Instead of establishing permanent co-ordination committees, appointing a liaison officer and entrusting him the co-ordination work is less expensive and more effective as this liaison officer is always available. This liaison officer would do the work of establishing and maintaining co-ordination among important departments. In modern days this practice is not prevalent.
iv. Co-Ordination by Order and Command:
This is one of the effective techniques of coordination. A manager, by issuing orders and commands to their subordinates, achieves effective coordination. The manager can also clearly define the work of his subordinates, their role, function, and timing of performing the work, in order to achieve co-ordination. In modern days this technique is not considered good, since, it neglects significance of human relations.
v. Co-Ordination by Goals or Targets:
The top boss fixes targets for all the departments and entrusts the job of fulfilling them to his subordinates’ i.e. departmental heads. He, by his own means, ensures achievement of such goals and completion of the targets. This, indirectly, establishes coordination.
vi. Co-Ordination by Departmentation:
Departmentation facilitates co-ordination in a better way than other techniques. It is one of the important means of dividing the large scale business concern into smaller administrative units. Departmentation is done on the basis of functions products, customers, territories and so on. As these departments are interdependent, co-ordination is automatically established.
vii. Co-Ordination by Communication:
Proper communication is a successful system of coordination. As such adequate facilities for good communication should be provided. Defective communication system may result in ineffective co-ordination.
viii. Co-Ordination by Special Coordinators:
In big industrial concerns, along with various managers, a project coordinator is appointed. His main duty is to co-ordinate various activities relating to a particular project. The function of this co-ordination cell is to collect information and send it to the various departments. Smooth co-ordination and ultimate success of the enterprise is assumed by such a special co-ordination cell.
A company may adopt any type of technique from the above. Its choice depends upon the type, size and objective of the business concern. Sometimes a company may adopt a combination of some of the above techniques to achieve the desired results.
When a group of people works to achieve a common objective or purpose, co-ordination becomes a must to synchronise their efforts. And when sub-division of work is not possible then co-ordination becomes compulsory. Co-ordination is essential when diversified tasks are undertaken by some persons, co-ordination starts as soon as the operations begin. Without proper co-ordination the organisational objectives cannot be achieved. It is essential for the survival of an organisation.
Co-ordination is the essence of management. In all small and big organisations there are individuals and groups competing for influence and resources. There are differences of opinion and values, conflicts of priorities and of goals. Individuals as well as groups have different roles, different goals and different skills. The overall task of management is to co-ordinate and integrate or blend these differences into one united wholeness. Co-ordination is a central problem of the organisation.
Ideally co-ordination spreads throughout all managerial activities. Management has to secure effective coordination of human efforts and non-human resources. Management of a big business is essentially a task of co-ordination. All departments, sections etc. are duly welded into one united and integrated whole aimed at working to achieve common goals. Thus we have unity of direction and unity of objectives. Co-ordination tones up general level of employee morale and job satisfaction.
Various types of plans such as objectives, policies, strategies schedules and programmes serve as means of coordinating the activities of the enterprise spread over several departments and divisions. The organisation cannot be said to be efficient unless it attempts to achieve co-ordination by creating a sound organisation structure. It defines the activities of the enterprise in terms of individual tasks and the activities that are grouped into homogenous work units and authority positions.
Without the process of integration of diverse activities, roles and authority relationships will not be clear, Staffing function involves manpower planning, employment, training, wage fixation, merit rating, job evaluation etc. All these sub-functions are performed in such a manner that there are right persons on different jobs. All this helps in achieving co-ordination in assigning tasks to various individuals. With the help of direction, manager can influence the behaviour of individuals so as to evolve goal directed effort.
This is very much essential for achieving co-ordination. Controlling also contributes towards achieving co-ordination. Under this function, standards of performance are established, and actual performance is compared with standard performance and deviation if any is measured, and then necessary corrective measures are undertaken.
By implementing these measures all activities are converted into achieving co-ordination in the business enterprise. Finally it can be concluded in such a way that, co-ordination is achieved by performing various functions of management.