Course Content
Definition and importance of management Functions of management Managerial roles Evolution of management thought Types of management environment
Meaning and importance of planning Principles of planning Purpose of planning Types of plans Planning tools Process of planning Planning challenges Making plans effective Management by objectives
Meaning and Importance of Organizing Structure and Designs of Organizations Principles of Organizing Process of Organizing Delegation Coordination Centralization and Decentralization Informal Organizations
Meaning and Importance of Staffing Human Resource Planning Recruitment and Selection Training and Development Performance Management Reward Management Separation
Meaning and Importance of Directing Leadership Motivation Communication Group Dynamics Conflict Management
Meaning and Importance of Controlling Elements of Control Characteristics of Effective Controls Control Process Role of Control in an Organization Tools of Controlling
Overview of Strategic Management SWOT Analysis Strategy Formulation Strategy Implementation Strategy Evaluation
Organization Culture Ethics and Social Responsibility Managing Innovation and Change Diversity and Inclusion Corporate Governance Globalization
Principles and Practices of Management
About Lesson

Definition of co-ordination

Co-ordination implies an orderly pattern or arrangement of group efforts to ensure unity of action to pursue common objectives. 

Nature and Characteristics of Co-ordination 

The main characteristics of co-ordination are given below:

  1. Co-ordination is not a distinct function but the very essence of management.
  2. Co-ordination is the primary responsibility of management, and it can be achieved through managerial functions. No manager can evade or avoid this responsibility.
  3. Co-ordination does not arise spontaneously or by force. Instead, it is the result of conscious and concerted action by management.
  4. The heart of co-ordination is the unity of action, which involves fixing the time and performing various activities.
  5. Co-ordination is a continuous or ongoing process. It is also a dynamic process.
  6. Co-ordination is required in group efforts, not in individual actions. It involves the orderly pattern of group efforts. There is no need for co-ordination when a particular work is in isolation without affecting anyone’s functioning.
  7. Co-ordination has a common purpose of getting organizational objectives accomplished.

Need and Significance of Co-ordination

Co-ordination is required whenever and wherever a group of persons work together to achieve common objectives. Co-ordination becomes necessary because of the following reasons.

  1. Increase in size and complexity of operations: Growth in the number and complexity of activities is the primary factor requiring co-ordination. The need for co-ordination arises as soon as the procedures become multiple and complex.  
  2. Specialization: Division of work into specialized functions and departments leads to diversity and lack of uniformity. Specialists in charge of various departments focus on their tasks with little regard to other parts.
  3. Clash of interests: Individuals join an organization to fulfill their personal goals, i.e., their physiological and psychological needs. Often individuals fail to appreciate how achieving organizational goals will satisfy their own specialized personal interests, often at the expense of the larger organizational goals. 
  4. Different Outlook: Every individual in the organization has his way of working and approaching problems. The capacity, talent, and speed of people differ widely. Therefore, it becomes imperative to reconcile differences in approach, timing, and effort to secure unity of action. CooperationCooperation serves as the binding force in an organization in the face of a narrow and sectional outlook.
  5. Interdependence of units: Various units of organizations depend upon one another for their successful functioning. For instance, the spinning plant supplies yarn to the weaving plant. Thus, the output of one unit serves as the input of interdependence, namely; (a) pooled interdependence, (b) sequential interdependence, and (c) reciprocal interdependence.
  6. Conflicts: In any organization, conflicts may arise between line managers and staff specialists or between management and workers. Human nature is such that a person emphasizes his area of interest and does not want to get involved in the activities of others. 

Principles of co-ordination (requisites for effective co-ordination)

Mary Parker Follett has laid four principles for effective co-ordination:

  1. Direct personal contact: According to this principle, co-ordination is best achieved through direct personal contact with the people concerned. Direct communication is the most effective way to convert ideas and information.
  2. Early beginning: Co-ordination can be achieved more quickly in the early stages 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 influenced by others. When people appreciate the reciprocity of relations, they avoid unilateral action, and co-ordination becomes easier.
  4. Continuity: Co-ordination 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 it constantly. Good co-ordination is not firefighting, i.e., resolving conflicts as they arise.

Techniques of co-ordination

The main techniques of effective co-ordination are as follows:

  1. Sound planning: Unity of purpose is the first essential condition of co-ordination. Therefore, the goals of the organization and the goals of its units must be clearly defined. Therefore, planning is the ideal stage for co-ordination. 
  2. Simplified organization: A sound and straightforward organization is an important means of co-ordination. The lines of authority and responsibility from the top to the bottom of the organization structure should be clearly defined.
  3. Effective communication:Open and regular communication is the key to co-ordination. Effective interchange of opinions and information helps in resolving differences and in creating mutual understanding. 
  4. Effective leadership and supervision: Effective leadership ensures co-ordination of effort both at the planning and execution stages. A good leader can guide the activities of his subordinates in the right direction and guide the actions of his associates in the right directions and can aspire them to pull together to accomplish common objectives. 
  5. Chain of command: Authority is the supreme co-ordination power in an organization. Exercise of authority through the chain of command or hierarchy is the traditional means of co-ordination. 
  6. Indoctrination and incentives: Indoctrinating organizational members with the organization’s goals and mission can transform a neutral body into a committed body. Similarly, incentives may be used to create a mutuality of interest and to reduce conflicts. 
  7. Liaison departments: Where frequent contacts between different organizational units are necessary, liaison officers may be employed. For instance, a liaison department may ensure that the production department meets the delivery dates and specifications promised by the sales department. Special coordinators may be appointed in certain cases. 
  8. General staff: In large organizations, a centralized pool of staff experts is used for co-ordination. A common staff group serves as the clearing house of information and specialized advice to all the enterprise departments.
  9. Voluntary co-ordination: When every organizational unit appreciates the working of related departments and modifies its functioning to suit them, there is self- co-ordination. Voluntary co-ordination is possible in a climate of dedication and team-mutual cooperation. 
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