Management by control

From CEOpedia | Management online

Management by control involves constant monitoring the progress in the implementation of tasks to determine excessive or unexpected deviation from the applicable standards and their correction, as well as controlling the correctness of manager's decisions.

Controlling means comparing the results achieved in the implementation of the tasks with the norm, which can be defined as a base (reference) for comparison. Process control operations should include 4 steps:

  • setting standards,
  • measurement of results,
  • comparing the results with the standards,
  • evaluation of the results:
    • accepting present state,
    • making correction of deviations,
    • changing the standard.

When comparing the results with standard, before comparison managers should determine, acceptable (both in minus as positive) deviation from the norm, which will result in corrective action in case it is exceeded.

Forms of management by control

Forms of control include:

  • initial control - involves checking the quality and quantity of company resources (capital, personnel, physical resources, information) prior to entering the phase of implementation of plan.
  • parallel control - monitoring of the transformation of inputs into outputs (quantitative comparisons in time and place, quality control at various stages of production).
  • final control - focus on the results obtained after the completion of the transformation process (important for planning and remuneration; provides relevant information for a possible correction standards).

In achieving the strategic long-term objectives important role is played by strategic control, the aim of which is to ensure efficient adaptation of the company to the environment and verifying degree of achievement of strategic goals. This control includes:

See also:

Management by controlrecommended articles
Controlling variantsPlanInformation managementProcess analysisManagement functionsQuality objectivesStrategic planning functionsControllingStrategic direction


  • Joiner, B. L., & Scholtes, P. R. (1988). Total quality leadership vs. management by control. Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, University of Wisconsin.
  • Price, F. (1989). Out of bedlam: Management by quality leadership. Management Decision, 27(3).
  • Streatfield, P. J. (2001). The paradox of control in organizations. Psychology Press.