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Managerial Control: Definition, Techniques & Types

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Taught by

Shawn Grimsley

In this lesson, you will learn about the concept of managerial control, what it is, its types and its techniques. You'll also have an opportunity to reinforce your knowledge with a short quiz after the lesson.


Managerial control is one of the primary functions of management, and it involves setting performance standards, measuring performance, and taking corrective actions when necessary.

Techniques and Types of Control

Scholars have broken managerial control down into six different approaches for control and coordination of organizational work activities.

Mutual adjustment: In this approach, workers help each other on what needs to be done and how it should be done. Coordination and control is left in the hands of those that perform the work.

Direct supervision: A person is assigned to supervise a group of workers and a formal hierarchy is established. The supervisor issues orders and directions, monitors work performance, and makes adjustments as necessary.

Standardization of work process: This approach relies on the development of rules and operating procedures that govern how each work task is performed. Control is accomplished by severely limiting a worker's discretion to deviate from the rules and operating procedures.

Standardization of outputs: In this approach, workers are given product specifications or performance goals to which they must adhere. Unlike standardization of work process, workers are given a wide degree of discretion in accomplishing the work task, so long as the end product or performance meets the specification and goals. The organization maintains control by monitoring and assessing outputs against the specification and goals. If there is a discrepancy between the outputs and specification, corrective action is taken.

Standardization of work skills: This approach involves hiring workers who already possess the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the work tasks and make the appropriate decisions regarding the tasks. The organization relies on educational and professional organizations to provide standard training. These types of workers are generally self-controlling - doctors and lawyers are prime examples.

Standardization of values: Here, the organization creates and acts upon a clear set of values including why it exists, where it should be going, and what values should guide it. Control is provided by worker commitment to these shared and internalized organizational values.


Managerial control is one of the primary tasks of organizational leaders. It's a means by which the managers and leaders of an organization set performance standards, monitor performance in light of the standards, and take any necessary corrective action. Six approaches to accomplish this task include mutual adjustment, direct supervision, standardization of work processes, standardization of work outputs, standardization of work skills, and standardization of organizational values.

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