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Coordination

Unit - IV
Meaning
Coordination is the process which ensures
smooth interplay of the functions of
management. Common objective are achieved
without much wastage of time ,efforts and
money with the help of coordination.
Definition
G. R. Terry , Coordination deals with the task of
blending efforts in order to ensure the successful
attainment of an objective. It is accomplished by
means of planning , organizing , actuating and
controlling.
Features and Characteristics of Management
1.Not a separate function of Management
Coordination is necessary in all functions of
management. So , coordination is not a separate and
distinct function of management.
2.Managerial Responsibility
Every departmental head is responsible to coordinate
the efforts of his subordinates. It is inherent in the
managerial job and responsibility.
3.Provides unity of action
Unity of action is necessary to obtain common
objectives. So, unity of action is considered to be the
heart of the coordination.
4. Coordination is necessary to all levels of organization
Coordination is not brought by force or left to chance. So ,
the top executives should take deliberate efforts to bring
coordination.
5. Group Efforts
Group efforts rather than individual efforts are necessary to
bring coordination. An individual cannot work without
affecting the functions of others. It emphasizes the group
efforts.
6.Continuous and Dynamic Process
Coordination starts with the planning process and ends with
controlling process. In every organization a certain kind of
coordination exists. Special efforts should be taken by the
management to achieve high degree of coordination.
7. Systems concepts
An organization is a system of cooperative efforts. Each department’s
functions are different in nature and have inter-dependence in the
organization system. The organization runs smoothly with the help of
coordination. Thus, coordination is a system.
Principles of Coordination
( Requisites for Effective Coordination)
Mary Parker Follett has laid down four principles for effective coordination:
1.Direct Personal Contact
According to this principle , coordination is best achieved through direct
personal contact with the people concerned. Direct communication is the
most effective way to convey ideas and information.
2.Early Beginning
Coordination can be achieved more easily in early stage of planning and
policy making. Therefore plans should be based on mutual consultation or
participation . Integration of efforts becomes very difficult , once the
uncoordinated plans are put into operation.
3.Reciprocity
This principle states that all factors in a given situation are reciprocally
related. For instance in a group every person influences all others and is in
turn influenced by others. When people appreciate the reciprocity of
relations they avoid unilateral action and coordination becomes easier.
4.Continuity
Coordination is an ongoing or never ending process
rather than a once for all activity. It cannot be left to
chance but management has to strive for constantly.
Sound coordination is not fire fighting i.e, resolving
conflicts as the arise.
Types of Coordination
Coordination may be divided on different bases, namely
, scope and flow. On the basis of scope or coverage,
coordination can be internal or external while on the
basis of flow , coordination can be classified into
vertical and horizontal. Coordination may also be
procedural and substantive.
1. Internal and External Coordination
• Coordination between the different units of an organization is known
as internal coordination.
• External coordination refers to coordination between an organization
and its external environment comprising government , community ,
customers ,investors , suppliers , competitors , research institutions.
2. Vertical and Horizontal Coordination
• Vertical coordination implies coordination between different levels
of organization.
• It requires to ensure that all levels in the organization act in harmony
and in accordance with the goals and policies of the organization.
• Vertical coordination is ensured by top management through
delegation of authority.
• Coordination between different departments and through delegation
of authority.
• Coordination between departments and other units at the same level
of management hierarchy is called horizontal of lateral coordination.
• For instance coordination between production department and
marketing management is horizontal coordination.
3. Procedural and Substantive coordination
• According to Herbert A . Simon procedural
coordination implies the specification of the
organization in itself i.e., the generalized description
of the behavior and relationship of the members of
the organization.
• On the other hand substantive coordination is
concerned with the content of the organizations
activities.
• For example in an automobile plant an organization
chart is an aspect of procedural coordination, while
blue prints for the engine block of the car being
manufactured are as an aspect of substantive
coordination.
Techniques of Coordination
The main techniques of effective coordination are as follows:
1. Sound Planning
• Unity of purpose is the first essential condition of
coordination.
• Therefore the goals of the organization and goals of its units
must be clearly defined.
• Planning is the ideal stage for coordination. Clear cut
objectives , harmonized policies and unified procedures
ensure uniformity of action.
2.Simplified Organization
• A simple and sound organization is an important means of
coordination.
• The lines of authority and responsibility from top to the
bottom of the organization structure should be clearly defined.
• Clear cut authority relationship help to reduce conflicts and to
hold people responsible.
3. Effective Communication
• Open and regular communication is the key to coordination.
• Effective interchange of opinions and information helps in
resolving differences and in creating mutual understanding.
• Personal or face to face contacts are the most effective means
of communication and coordination.
• Committees help to promote unity of purpose and uniformity
of action among different departments.
4.Effective Leadership and Supervision
• Effective leadership ensures coordination of efforts both at the
planning and the execution stage.
• A good leader can guide the activities of his subordinates in
the right direction and can inspire them to pull together for the
accomplishment of common objectives.
• Sound leadership can persuade subordinates to have identity
of interests and to adopt a common outlook.
• Personal supervision is an important method of resolving
differences of opinion.
5. Chain of Command
• Authority is the supreme coordinating power in an
organization.
• Exercise of authority through the chain of command or
hierarchy is the traditional means of coordination.
• Coordination between interdependent units can be
secured by putting them under one boss.
6. Indoctrination and incentives
• Indoctrinating organizational members with the goals
and mission of the organization can transform a neutral
body into a committed body.
• Similarly incentives may be used to create mutuality of
interest and to reduce conflicts.
7. Liaison Departments
• Where frequent contacts between different organization units
is necessary, liaison officers may be employed.
• For instance a liaison department may ensure that the
production department is meeting the delivery dates and
specifications promised by the sales department.
• Special coordinator is appointed to coordinate the activities
of various functionaries in a project which is to be completed
within a specified period of time.
8. General Staff
• In large organizations, a centralized pool of staff experts is
used for coordination.
• A common staff group serves as the clearing house of
information and specialized advice to all the departments of
the enterprise.
• Such general staff is very high in achieving interdepartmental
or horizontal coordination.
7.Voluntary Coordination
• When every organizational unit appreciates the
working of related units and modifies its own
functioning to suit them, there is self coordination.
• Self coordination or voluntary coordination is
possible in a climate of dedication and mutual
cooperation.
• It results from mutual consultation and team spirit
among the members of the organization. It is an ideal
situation.