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Coordination

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Everything you need to know about coordination. Coordination is the force that binds all the other functions of management.

Coordination is the common thread that runs through all activities such as – purchase, production, sales, and finance to ensure continuity in the working of the organisation. Sometimes it is considered as a separate function of management.

Coordination is the essence of management or manager ship, for the achievement of harmony of individual effort towards the accomplish­ment of group goals is the purpose of management.

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It is a process by which the manager achieves harmonious group effort and unity of action in the pursuit of a common purpose. The manager brings about this process as he performs the basic managerial functions of planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling.

Learn about:-

1. Introduction to Coordination 2. Meaning and Definitions of Coordination 3. Need 4. Objectives 5. Features 6. Importance 7. Principles 8. Effective Coordination Principles 9. Essence of Management

10. Aims 11. Process 12. Steps 13. Techniques 14. Coordination and Managerial Functions 15. Steps for Effective Coordination 16. Attaining Coordination 17. Problems 18. Advantages 19. Limitations.

Coordination: Meaning, Definitions, Need, Objectives, Features, Importance, Principles, Advantages and Disadvantages


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Contents:

  1. Introduction to Coordination
  2. Meaning and Definition of Coordination
  3. Need for Coordination
  4. Objectives of Coordination
  5. Features of Coordination
  6. Importance of Coordination
  7. Principles of Coordination
  8. Effective Co-Ordination Principles
  9. Co-Ordination -The Essence of Management
  10. Aims of Coordination
  11. Process of Coordination
  12. Steps for Effective Coordination
  13. Techniques of Coordination
  14. Coordination and Managerial Functions
  15. Steps for Effective Coordination
  16. Attaining Coordination
  17. Problems Encountered in Achieving Coordination
  18. Advantages of Coordination
  19. Limitations of Coordination

Coordination – Introduction

Various departments or sections are assigned different tasks to perform. They are assigned on the basis of their specialisation. Employees of each department perform their duties with a view to achieving common objectives collectively. It is co-ordination. Co­ordination is the process which ensures smooth interplay of the functions of management. Common objectives are achieved without much wastage of time, efforts and money with the help of co-ordination.

A modern enterprise consists of a number of departments. In olden days, the enterprise was divided into departments such as – purchase, production, sales, finance and accounts. But, now a days, the enterprise is divided into the following departments – purchase, production, sales, finance, account, personnel, research and development, public relations and the like. The classification of departments is very large at present. So the importance of co-ordination has subsequently increased.

A manager has to perform five interrelated functions in the process of managing an organization, which is s system made up of different inter linked and interdependent subsystems. A manager has to link these diverse groups towards the achievement of a common goal. The process by which a manager synchronizes the activities of different department is known as coordination.

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Coordination is the force that binds all the other functions of management. It is the common thread that runs through all activities such as – purchase, production, sales, and finance to ensure continuity in the working of the organisation. Sometimes it is considered as a separate function of management.

It is however the essence of management for achieving harmony among individual efforts towards the accomplishment of group goals. Each Managerial function is an exercise contributing individually to coordination. Coordination is implicit and inherent in all functions of an organisation.


Coordination – Meaning and Definitions Provided by Newman, Henry Fayol, Ordway Tead, George Terry, Koontz and O’Donnell

Coordination is the essence of management or manager ship, for the achievement of harmony of individual effort towards the accomplish­ment of group goals is the purpose of management. It is a process by which the manager achieves harmonious group effort and unity of action in the pursuit of a common purpose. The manager brings about this process as he performs the basic managerial functions of planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling.

“In administration”, says Newman, “coordination deals with synchronizing and unifying the actions of a group of people. A coordinated operation is one in which the activities of the employees are harmonious, dovetailed, and integrated towards a common objective.” McFarland defines co-ordination as “the process whereby an executive develops an orderly pattern of group effort among his subordinates and secures unit of action in the pursuit of a common purpose.”

A number of authors have defined co-ordination differently. The views of some of them are given here in order to know its exact nature.

Henry Fayol, “To co-ordinate is to harmonise all the activities of a person in order to facilitate its working and its success.” Co-ordination is necessary to enable
a person to improve his functions. Without co-ordination, working cannot be harmonised.

Ordway Tead, “Co-ordination is the effort to assure a smooth interplay of the function and forces of all the different component parts of an organisation to the end that its purposes will be realised with minimum of friction and a maximum of collaboration effectiveness.” The purpose of co-ordination is to synchronise the functions of various departments for achieving organisational goals with minimum efforts.

George Terry, “Co-ordination deals with the task of blending efforts in order to ensure successful attainment of an objective. It is accomplished by means of planning, organising, actuating and controlling.” The aim of co-ordination is to achieve better results and this may be done in different ways. Different managerial functions are also used to attain organisational goals.

Newman, “Co-ordination is a part of all phases of administration and that it is not a separate and distinct activity.” Administration is possible only when various activities of the enterprise are properly co-ordinated. In the absence of co-ordination, administration will not be possible. Administration and co-ordination are one and the same thing; one is not possible without the other.

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Koontz and O’Donnell, “It seems more accurate to regard co-ordination as the essence of managership for achievement of harmony of individual efforts towards the accomplishment of group goals is the purpose of management. Each of the managerial functions is an exercise in co-ordination.” Managerial functions are related to co­ordination. Without co-ordination, managerial function will not be performed properly. In fact the undertaking of various functions is itself co-ordination.

The discussion of various definitions of co-ordination leads to the following inferences:

1. Co-ordination is to harmonise various activities of the enterprise to ensure smooth working.

2. It is an effort to ensure the objections of the business with minimum friction and maximum co-ordination among various segments of the business.

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3. Co-ordination is an effort to reach business goals by means of planning, organising, actuating and controlling various activities.

4. It is not a separate managerial function.

5. The exercise of each managerial function involves co- ordination.


Coordination – Need

Modern organisations depend upon specia­lisation of functions and activities delegated to different participating individuals. If each individual is allowed to perform his own function efficiently without taking note of the connected function performed by another individual, there will result a chaos in the organisation. It is essential that there be complete coordination, so that unity of action on the part of all is achieved.

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Also, conflict between the line executives and the staff poses the problem of coordination by the chief executive. Hence, the chief executive has to coordinate not only functions and activities but also individuals performing different functions. For example, to ensure harmonious functioning of the organisation, it is essential that the functions of purchasing, designing, production and sales departments are co-ordinated.

If the sales manager procures a huge order to be executed within a specified period of time without reference to the production manager or the buyer, it may turn out that the goods cannot be produced in quantities ordered within the specified time. Or, even if they can be produced, the suitable raw material may not be available. Therefore, the inter-relationship between the purchasing department and production department as well as the sales department demands the establishment of coordination.

1. Constant changes

2. Poor leadership and

3. Inherent complexity of large scale organisation give rise to problems of co-ordination and controls.

Diversified and specialised activities under the principle of division of labour leading to an extreme specialisation, demand special attention to co-ordination. Departmentation also leads to co-ordination. Human nature of competition, rivalries and jealousies in large business organisations create special need for co-ordination. Large number of employees work in big business organisation.

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It therefore becomes essential to co-ordinate, that differences in efforts, approaches or interests are reconciled and individual goals and actions are harmonized so that they may bring about common objectives. Co­ordination promotes efficiency, unity of command, team spirit, subordinates, individual interests of general interests of the enterprise, boost to good relations and enhancement of employee morale.

Co­ordination avoids duplication of work or efforts, interpersonal conflicts, controversies, misunderstandings, delay, wastages and confusions. It harmonizes, unifies and blends all activities and thus, ensures the achievement of predetermined objectives.

Although for the success of any organisation co-ordination must exist between different departments, groups and activities.

But there are some limitations in the area of co-ordination due to the following circumstances:

1. Uncertainty of future is the greatest challenge to effective co-ordination. Every forecast is not cent percent perfect and accurate, due to some natural calamities like heavy rains, floods, droughts, earth quakes and certain abnormal changes in the behaviour of individuals and groups in organisation. These create obstacles in successful co-ordination.

2. Incomplete knowledge, consciousness, capability, talent, experience, bad character of the managers are also the constraints in effective co-ordination.

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3. Lack of administrative and managerial skills and technique, on the part of executives and managers limits the degree of co-ordination in a business organisation.

4. Lack of systematic method of developing and adopting new ideas and programmes act as a constraint in effective co-ordination.

5. A vast number of variables due to the incompleteness of human knowledge limit the degree of co-ordination.

6. Large number of units with the larger number of people in it who possess varying skills and personal specialisation creates problem in securing co-ordination, because it is very difficult to co-ordination all of them.

7. Due to Subordination of general interest to individual interest, it is difficult to achieve co­ordination in the absence of proper motivation. Individual interest of people become more important and works as a barrier to co-ordination.

8. If the authorities have not been properly delegated and responsibilities fixed, more conflicts and confusions may arise which limit the degree of co-ordination.

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9. Party politics, desire for self-importance, dual superiors, lack of unity of command, lack of co-ordination, defective control are some other constraints in effective co-ordination.


Coordination – Objectives: Reconciliation of Goals, Total Accomplishment, Economy and Efficiency, Good Personal Relations, Retention of Managerial and Other Personnel

The main purposes which are sought to be realized through coordination are as follows:

(a) Reconciliation of Goals:

This can be done by the coordination only. The conflict of goals arises because everybody perceives the organizational goals differently and tries to achieve them in his own way. This may lead to confusion and chaos in the organization. Therefore, coordination is necessary to bring unity of action in the organization.

(b) Total Accomplishment:

Through coordination it is possible to bring about total accomplishment which will be far in excess of the sum of the individual parts. It has been observed that the total accomplishment of ten employees of a department whose efforts are properly coordinated will be far greater than the mathematical sum of their individual accomplishment. This happens because through coordination, duplication of efforts is prevented and the time and energy thus saved are better utilized in more creative tasks.

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(c) Economy and Efficiency:

Through coordination, it is possible to bring about economy and efficiency in the organization. Coordination will avoid duplication of efforts due to which there will be economy in labour, time and equipment. When the activities are properly integrated, there will be lest delays which will bring efficiency in the business organization.

(d) Good Personal Relations:

Coordination is achieved through systematic efforts. Good coordination gives job satisfaction to the employees which keep their morale high. Moreover, there are good human relations because the authority-responsibility relationships are clear. The conflict between line and staff personnel can also be avoided through proper coordination of their efforts.

(e) Retention of Managerial and Other Personnel:

It has been pointed out that sound coordination has a significant effect on the development and retention of good personnel in business. If the total organization is so designed and patterned that each executive and employees derives job satisfaction, there will be tendency on the part of the executive and employees and employees to stay with the organization. The absence of this will create suffocating conditions in which it would be difficult for any person to stay r for long in the organization.


Coordination – Features

i. Co-ordination is not a separate function but the very essence of management. It is present in all the functions.

ii. Need for co-ordination arises due to inter-dependency of various functional departments.

iii. Co-ordination is a dynamic process and it is to be exercised all the time to ensure smooth functioning of departments.

iv. The managers across the level have to consciously exercise co-ordination.

v. It is required in group efforts and not in individual effort. Hence it involves orderly arrangement of group effort.

vi. The objective of coordination is to facilitate accomplishment of overall objectives. It works on the fulcrum of unity of purpose.


Coordination – Importance: Views of Henry Fayol, James D. Mooney, Ralph C. Davis, George R. Terry and Theo Haimann

The basic function of coordination in an enterprise is the same as that of an orchestra conductor who directs the activities of the orchestra party in such a manner that it produces harmony in music.

Likewise the coordinator of an enterprise also directs the activities of the group in such a manner that it brings harmonious and unified actions to achieve common purpose. Like the orchestra conductor, a manager also performs the function of securing and maintaining unity of direction throughout the organization.

Coordination has been viewed by different management experts in different ways. Henry Fayol considers coordination as a function of Manager. Louis A. Allen also regards coordination as one of the separate managerial functions. James D. Mooney considers coordination as the first principle of the organization. Ralph C. Davis looks upon coordination primarily as a vital phase of controlling.

George R. Terry and Theo Haimann consider coordination as a permeating function of management passing through the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. Thus, Terry and Theo Haimann are not in favour of regarding coordination as a separate function of management. According to them, coordination is a part of the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. It traverses the entire process of managing. In short, it is the essence of management.


Coordination – Principles of Coordination according to Mary Parker Follet

Mary Parker Follet has enunciated the following fundamental principles of coordination:

1. Direct Contact:

Coordination can be achieved by direct contact among the individuals concerned. Direct personal communications bring about agreement on methods, actions and ultimate achievement. It also eliminates red-tapism and ensures prompt action.

2. Early Beginning:

Coordination can be achieved more readily in the early stages of planning and policy making. Therefore direct contact must begin in the very early stages of the process. If an order for the supply of a particular variety of the goods has been booked and the raw materials to produce them are not available, there will be trouble. Contact among the three functional managers at an earlier stage would have made it possible to know whether the order could be executed.

3. Reciprocity:

All factors in a situation are reciprocally related and should be coordinated. For example, when A works with B and B in turn works with C and D, each of the four finds himself influenced by the others, influenced by all the persons in the total situation.

4. Continuity:

Coordination is a continuing process, something which must go on all the time. It cannot be left to chance, but the manager must constantly work at it.


Coordination Effective Co-Ordination Principles

Co-ordination will be effective, when the following principles are followed:

1. Early Start:

Co-ordinating activity should commerce from the planning stage itself. Before finalising the plan, mutual consultation among he concerned people will facilitate the smooth implementation of the plan. This will avoid resistance from the workers.

2. Direct Contact:

Co-ordination is easier by direct personal contact among the people concerned. This avoids misunderstanding or misrepresentation and the tasks are successfully implemented. This is a self-control technique.

3. Other Principles:

Continuity of activities from the stage of planning through the life span of the organisation, dynamism of leaders and workers to adopt themselves to change in internal and external environment, flexible operations, simple organisational structure to rearrange the tasks and activities which are similar or dissimilar, clear-cut objectives that are to be properly understood by managers and employees as well, defining clearly the authority and responsibility to minimise conflicts, violations etc., effective communication system throughout the organisation to develop harmonious relationship amongst workers and effective leadership and supervision are the other principles of effective co-ordination.

Effective co-ordination of programmes tasks and functions of various departments of an organisation will be an inbuilt control technique, which takes care of effective implementation of plans.


Coordination – The Essence of Management

Co-ordination brings unity of action and integrates different activities. Every managerial function needs co-ordination and synchronisation of various activities.

Co-ordination is necessary for the following reasons:

1. Co-Ordination Needed to Perform all Functions:

Managerial functions are performed in a better way with the help of co-ordination.

(i) Planning needs co-ordination among main plan and sub-plans. The plans of different departments or sections will be co-ordinated to prepare a plan for the whole organisation.

(ii) While performing organising function, there is a need to have co-ordination between authority, responsibility and accountability at different levels.

(iii) Co-ordination in staffing function is needed between nature of job and qualifications of employees and between nature of work and compensation fixed.

(iv) In directing function, co-ordination is required between superior and subordinate, between orders, instructions, guidelines, etc.

(v) In controlling function, co-ordination is required between standards set and actual performance.

2. Co-Ordination Needed at all levels:

(i) At top level co-ordination is needed to synchronise the activities of the organisation for achieving overall goals of the firm.

(ii) At middle level, co-ordination is needed to balance the activities of different departments for attaining the organisational objectives.

(iii) At lower level of management, the activities of workers and others are co-ordinated for achieving departmental goals.

3. Co-Ordination is the Most Important Function:

Co-ordination is the most important function of every organisation. The integration of various functions will be done through co-ordination. In the absence of co-ordination there will be chaos and mismanagement. There will be a need of co-ordination for setting the things right. It was with this reason that classical school of thought considered co-ordination as a separate function. All managerial functions try to achieve integration of various efforts and co-ordination becomes the essence of management.


Coordination – 9 Aims of Coordination

Some of the important aims of co-ordination are as follows:

(a) To ensure a smooth interplay of the functions and forces of all the different component parts of the organisation.

(b) Operation of business activities in a systematic sequence.

(c) To complete the various activities of the enterprise as per planned schedule.

(d) To avoid inconsistencies in priorities, objectives and policies which may adversely affect the realisation of overall objectives of the company.

(e) To avoid interruptions in operations due to reasons such as delay in the supply of materials, tools or vague directions or omissions or wrong allocation of duties etc.

(f) Elimination of overlapping or duplication of work.

(g) To ensure proper synchronisation of the activities of the enterprise, i.e., the actions of different departments are properly scheduled or timed, so that the various operations and processes are completed in a planned way. For example, if an engineering concern opens a new branch, its personnel department must be ready with personnel to run it.

(h) To remove the possible causes of difference of views and conflict of interests among the personnel of the concern.

(i) To develop team spirit among the staff and to canalise their efforts in the direction of reaching the chosen goals of business.


Coordination Process

Co-ordination cannot be achieved through orders. It is a process which can be achieved through managerial functions. It is a by-product of good management. When all the functions are carried out properly then co-ordination will come by itself.

Co-ordination may be achieved through following processes:

Process # 1. Through Planning:

The planning is the elementary stage of achieving co-ordination. When various functions are properly planned and various policies are integrated then co-ordination will be easily achieved. If production manager is to plan for his development then it will be better to consult purchase manager, personnel manager, finance manager, sales manager also. When production is planned with the consent of other concerned managers then co-ordination takes place at planning level.

If other managers feel some difficulties then they will explain it and mutually accepted decisions will resolve the difference. Co-ordination can certainly be achieved at planning stage. According to Mary Follett, planning stage is the ideal time to bring about co-ordination and they must see to it that various plans are properly interrelated.

Process # 2. Through Organisation:

Co-ordination is an essential part of organisation. Mooney considers co-ordination as the very essence of organisation. When a manager groups and assigns various activities to subordinates, the thought of coordination will be upper most in his mind, the related activities are placed together to avoid delays and confusion.

In the process of organisation, the authority and responsibility of various persons is defined and even the relationship among different jobs is also specifically given. The whole process of organisation will lead to effective co-ordination. A well thought-out organisation will ultimately lead to co-ordination.

Process # 3. Through Directing:

When a manager directs his subordinates he will be co-ordinating their work. He will give them directions, guidelines and instructions for doing a job assigned to them. He will direct in such a way that the achievement of overall organisational objectives is ensured. The manager should use a group system to take decisions.

Everybody should be free to express his option. This will create a sort of moral binding on the employees to work for the proper implementation of these decisions. The co-ordination work of the manager will also become easy. So direction of employees will also lead to co-ordination.

Process # 4. Through Controlling:

The manager is required to control the work of everyone in the organisation so that all efforts are directed towards main goals. There may be instances when performance of subordinates is not up to the mark or it is not in the direction in which it should have been. The manager will take corrective measures as and when required.

He will synchronise the work of his subordinates so that the goals are achieved easily. The controlling function itself will facilitate co-ordination because it will require the evaluation of performance of subordinates and will enable the manager to make changes if there are deviations between standards set and results achieved.

Process # 5. Through Staffing:

The staffing function can also help in proper co-ordination. While staffing, the manager should keep in mind the nature of jobs and the type of persons required for managing them. He should ensure the right number of executives in various positions for proper performance of their functions. The executives are of such a quality or are given such a training that they are able to co-operate and co-ordinate their efforts.

Process # 6. Through Proper Communication:

Effective communication is of utmost importance for achieving better co-ordination. There should be a regular flow of information among various persons so that they are given required information for proper co- ordination. The personal contact is the most effective type of communication. Other methods like reports, procedures, bulletins, etc., can also be used properly. The development of data processing devices are of utmost use for facilitating quick communication.

The subordinates must get proper information at the right time for enabling them to co-ordinate their work. According to Newman, “Since co-ordination is concerned with the inter­relationships of separate activities, it can be no better than the transfer of information about those activities to some common point or points, where the dovetailing takes place.”


Coordination – Steps for Effective Coordination

Following steps are advocated for overcoming the constraints in co-ordination:

i. There should be proper delegation of authority and responsibility.

ii. An effective communication should be in place.

iii. The entire organizational activities should be properly divided department wise and section wise.

iv. Management should persuade the employees to actively take pan in committees, conferences, seminars and the like.

v. Management should provide opportunities for employees across the levels to attend training in the areas of leadership, team building coordination, etc.

vi. Putting in place a grievance cell.


Coordination – Techniques: Clearly Defined Goals, Cooperation, Harmonized Policies and Practices, Sound Organizational Structure, Managerial Hierarchy and a Few Others

The important techniques of coordination are as follows:

1. Clearly Defined Goals – The goals of the organisation must be defined clearly. The objectives of the organisation must be understood by the individuals. Well aware people will be able to contribute in achieving organizational goals.

2. Cooperation – When the individuals of the organisation help each other voluntarily, coordination become easier. This is known as cooperation. Cooperation takes place in the organisation by ensuring harmonious relations among the peoples. The informal relations speed up the activity of the cooperation. Therefore, this should be promoted in the organisation.

3. Harmonized Policies and Practices – Policies, procedure and rules serve as guidelines for decision- making in a constant manner. Only the harmonized policies and procedure are helpful to achieve the goals of the organisation.

4. Sound Organisational Structure – Sound organisational structure are also known as a technique of the coordination. This is due to well defined authorities and responsibilities. Such organisation does not create any problem and almost dispute free.

5. Managerial Hierarchy – Managerial Hierarchy in the organisation is also responsible for coordination. At each level superior coordinate the activities and efforts of subordinates by means of authority.

6. Communication System – A good communication system promotes cooperation and mutual understandings among individuals and groups. This is helpful in effective coordination because every aspect regarding organisation clear to each and every employee.

7. Liaison officer – Liaison officers are appointed in the organisation to enhance the coordination between different sections, units and groups. These officers iron out the barriers of smooth coordination.


Coordination – Coordination and Managerial Function: Planning, Organizing, Directing, Staffing and Control

1. Planning:

To the extent rules, regulations, policies, procedures and programmes are clearly laid, there would be consistency in action. This would help in achieving co-ordination.

2. Organizing:

Where the authority and responsibility of superiors and subordinates is clearly defined, co-ordination can be achieved. There would not be any misunderstanding among employees across the cadre.

3. Directing:

When the manager gives clear instructions, motivates the employees, coaches them and mentors them, there will be greater co-ordination.

4. Staffing:

Where right men are appointed for the right job, co-ordination can be achieved with ease.

5. Control:

To the extent deviations from the standard are addressed and the performance is aligned to the target, there is co-ordination. Thus co-ordination is inherent in all managerial functions.


Coordination – Steps for Effective Coordination

In order to overcome the above mentioned problems of co-ordination and get effective co-ordination, the management should follow the following steps –

1. There should be a proper delegation of authority and responsibility at all levels of management.

2. The whole or entire activities of the organisation should be divided department-wise or section-wise according to the size of the organisation.

3. Preparing and adherence to rigid rules and regulations, procedures, policies, etc.

4. Establishment of an effective communication system.

5. Establishment of employees’ grievances cell.

6. There should be a proper system for reporting.

7. Skilled workers are to be rewarded adequately.

8. The management should induce the employees to take active part in meetings, committees, conferences, seminars and the like.

9. The management should encourage the employees to have friendly relationship with others.

10. Managers should have opportunities to get training in the area of leadership, co­ordination, planning, staffing and the like.


Coordination – Attaining Coordination

Coordination is not easy to attain. No order to coordinate can achieve coordination. Each functional interest in the enterprise stresses its own opinion of how the purposes should be accomplished. Each of them tends to stress one or another different policy or method depending upon the experience of the department. Similar problem arises between functional managers at the same levels. The chief executive or the manager must secure harmonious action between different elements.

He must synchronize the efforts of all the members of a group and see to it that there is willing cooperation of both managers and workers. An organisation is people. He must lead them by goals which they accept as justifiable, worthy, and fair to all concerned. This means human relations, and good human relations “pay off” through cooperative coordination. Good human relations, in turn, depend upon understanding of the goals of the organisation. In order that there be understanding among people, there must be effective means of communication among them.

The method of achieving coordination is largely horizontal, alth­ough vertical coordination in a large organisation cannot be ignored. Vertical coordination takes place between the various links of the different levels of the organisational unit. For example, take the case of production department, where we have the works manager, and under him the superintendent and then the foreman and last the workmen.

In this situation, levels of authority are super-imposed upon each other, and the activities assigned to the several levels must be coordinated. This vertical coordination is secured by delegated authority, together with the means and manner of directing, supervising and controlling.

Horizontal coordination refers to coordination between horizontal departments on the same level in the managerial hierarchy. For example, coordination is necessary between the sales manager, the works manager, the finance manager and the buyer, so that when the sales department is ready to sell the new product, the production department will be in a position to fill the orders, and the financial arrangements have been made so that the necessary funds are available to have the suitable raw materials, etc.

Coordination of various functions between independent managers calls for a greater understanding between the departmental managers so that they may cooperate. People cooperate as a result of understanding one another’s tasks. Communication brings about good understanding. This may be illustrated as follows – Commun­ication – Understanding – Good human relations – Cooperation – Coordin­ation.


CoordinationProblems Encountered in Achieving Co-Ordination: Conflict of Objectives, The Growing Size, Undefined Authority, Empire Building Tendencies and a Few Others

1. Conflict of Objectives:

Objectives may overlap. For instance, while sales department is concerned with consumer satisfaction, production department may be concerned with adhering to production schedules. Line authorities may prefer to cling to conservatism but staff officers may like to introduce an innovation.

2. The Growing Size:

The growing size of an organization may cause problems as mentioned below:

If the divisions or departments grows beyond a stage, there will be lack of personal contact among the departmental managers. Co-ordination is difficult to be achieved under such circumstances.

i. Compartmentalization arising from lack of understanding.

ii. Lack of cooperation on account of jealousy.

iii. Too much centralisation or too much decentralization.

3. Undefined Authority:

Vague and undefined authority and bitter subordinate relationships cause confusion and conflict of authority. Co-ordination becomes difficult to achieve.

4. Empire Building Tendencies:

Taking advantage of the vague and undefined delegation of authority, departmental managers tend to care only for the interests of their own departments, thus throwing overboard the interests of the organization. This empire building tendency makes co-ordination difficult.

5. Resolving Conflict:

To resolve conflicts by domination leaves one party the victor and the other vanquished. It is not successful in the long run. Conflicts resolved by compromise (i.e., each side giving up a little) only postpones settlement of the dispute. The real and lasting solution lies in coordination and integration. It creates synthesis of interests. It does not involve sacrifice on any party.

6. Independence of Thinking and Action:

When people in an organization is capable of independent and self-directed action and if their actions lie in different directions, coordination becomes difficult to achieve.

7. Lack of Co-Operative Spirits:

Where there is no cooperative spirit among the departments/employees, achieving co-ordination is a challenge.

8. Individual Differences:

Where the magnitude of individual differences is significant in an organization in terms of perception, values and beliefs, co-ordination is difficult to achieve.


Coordination – Advantages: Higher Efficiency and Economy, Good Human Relations, Unity of Direction, Quintessence of Management and Organisational Effectiveness

1. Higher Efficiency and Economy:

By awarding overlapping efforts and depletion of work co-ordination helps to improve the efficiency of operations. Coordination is a creative force which makes possible a total result which is greater than the sum of individual achievements. This is the synergetic effect of co-ordination. This helps to make use of optimum resources. This is first principle of organisation and it expresses the principle in toto. The quality of co­ordination is the crucial factor in the survival of an organisation.

2. Good Human Relations:

Co-ordination not improves the morale and job satisfaction of employees and improves the efficiency of operations. Composite and orderly effort established through team spirit and executive leadership enables employees to derive a sense of security and personal satisfaction from the job. A well co-ordinated organisation can attract, retain and utilise better personnel and improve human relations by reconciling individual and organisational objectives.

3. Unity of Direction:

In the face of disruptive forces co-ordination helps to ensure unity of action. By joining different units and sections into one, co-ordination ensures stability and development of an organisation and make executive to see organisation as a whole. Individual interests are subordinated to the common interest more easily and effectively.

4. Quintessence of Management:

Co-ordination is an all-inclusive concept. Management is nothing more than co-ordination of all activities efforts and forces that affect the organisation from within and without. It is a key of all managerial functions. According to Mary Parker Follett, “the First test of a business administration should be whether you have a business with all its parts so co-ordinated, so moving together in their closely knit and adjusting activities, so linking, inter-locking, interrelating, that they make a working unit that is not a congenic of separate pieces, but a functional whole or integrated unit.”

5. Organisational Effectiveness:

Co-ordination makes employees loyal and committed to enterprise which increases effectiveness and stability of the enterprise. According to McFarland “if job satisfaction are present, executives will tend to remain longer with the company. They will feel that they have a place in the organisation. They will feel that have earned that place. The presence of coordination becomes part of their job experience and hence can form a very useful part of their training”. Lack of co-ordination results in inefficiency poor morale and greater wastage of resources.


Coordination – Limitations: Lack of Administrative Capability, Diversification in Managerial Qualities, Variations in Managerial Functions and a Few Others

Co-ordination suffers due to following limitations:

1. Lack of Administrative Capability – Co-ordination has to be achieved at administrative level. Lack of administrative capability in the top officers and managers of the enterprise become a problem in establishing co-ordination.

2. Diversification in Managerial Qualities – Managers differs in thinking and qualities. There is a difference in knowledge, experience, character and wisdom of managers. They may have conflicting objectives and ideas and co-ordination becomes a problem in those situations.

3. Uncertainties of future – The uncertainties of future pose a serious challenge to effective co-ordination. Natural phenomenon like rains, floods, droughts, earth quake and abnormal changes in human behaviour of individuals and groups in the organisation are the examples of uncertain future.

4. Variation in Managerial Functions – Managerial functions are not static and constant. There are many variations in these functions which may create problems in the establishment of co-ordination.

5. Lack of Infrastructure Facilities – Co-ordination requires some infrastructure facilities like effective leadership. If these are not available then co-ordination cannot be established in the activities of the enterprise.

6. Lack of Proper Development of Ideas – There may be a lack of orderly method of development of new ideas and programmes. Under such a situation co-ordination becomes a problem.


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