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Type of Coordination

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Everything you need to know about the types of co-ordination. Coordination is the combination of all efforts, activities and forces that operate and interact within and outside enterprise.

Co-ordination is a classical concept developed at an early stage of the evolution of management thought. Co-ordination is one of the important functions of management.

Henri Fayol, James Moorey and other management writers emphasised on the need for co-ordination in big as well as small business enterprises. They regard an organisation as a system of coordinative group efforts which requires co-ordination in all the efforts.

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Co-ordination means harmonious combination or interaction. It is an orderly arrangement of group- effort; to provide unity of action in the pursuit of a common purpose.

The concept of co-ordination is the “mother principle” of organisation from which all other principles are derived. Organisation is a rational framework for blending group efforts. The mechanics of co-ordination is supposed to be built into the organisational structure by its very nature.

Some of the types of co-ordination are:- 1. Internal and External Co-Ordination 2. Vertical and Horizontal Coordination 3. Procedural and Substantive Coordination 4. Informal or Voluntary Coordination 5. Programmed Nonhuman Coordination.


Type of Coordination: Internal, External, Vertical and Horizontal Coordination

Type of Coordination – Internal and External Co-Ordination and Vertical and Horizontal Coordination

Coordination is the combination of all efforts, activities and forces that operate and interact within and outside enterprise. On the basis of scope, coordination can be internal or external.

1. Internal and External Co-Ordination:

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Internal Coordination exists within the enterprise among the different units. Coordination is necessary among individuals of a group, department, among departments of the enterprise, among branch offices, plants, sections and other parts of an enterprise.

Every function of management must in itself be coordinated. For example, plans of all the departments must be integrated within an enterprise. Similarly, organizing of people would prove to be satisfactory, when coordinated properly. The determination of Manpower requirements and their recruitment, selection and placement would be successful if there is adequate coordination within an enterprise.

Finally, the control function which regulates the direction of the enterprise, involves measuring performance, correcting negative deviations and assuring the accomplishment of plans. Further, it indicates where coordination is still required to correct the plans and make suitable changes in the organization.

External Co-Ordination:

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An enterprise should aim at meeting the needs of the community. To accomplish the social objectives of an enterprise, adequate and effective coordination is indispensable outside the organization. These forces must be recognized at the right time and must be prevented to create a conductive atmosphere for the smooth running of the enterprise.

The following are some of the external forces that affect an enterprise by social influence, and the dynamic political and economic environment in which the enterprise has to work:

(a) Customers, Employees and Owners:

The social objectives of business include supply of goods at reasonable price and fair returns to investors. Employees demand fair wages, conducive working conditions, job security, recognition, satisfaction from the work as well as protection against risk to accident. If these claims are not viewed in time by the managers, disintegration will be the result.

(b) Supplier of Materials and other Enterprises Affect the Customer Buyer Relationship:

Business involves purchase of materials from one enterprise and transfer, sale or exchange of goods and services to satisfy the needs of other enterprises. Non-availability of materials may lead to forced stoppage of production on the other part of manufacturing enterprises, in turn affecting the activities of the dependent enterprises, particularly those in the same line of business. These external constraints have a serious repercussion on any business if not timely checked.

(c) Government Policies:

On one side Government regulations help the business with necessary incentives and regulatory measures and on the other hand they also restrict the scope. Managers must eliminate the government regulations which restrict the business scope.

This requires a profound knowledge of various laws relating to subsidies, tariffs, import-export policy, the fiscal and monetary policy of the Government, the monopoly and restrictive trade practices, the labour laws, the minimum wages regulations, tax laws, etc., A business cannot prosper either by evading the regularity laws or by entering into legal battles with the Government.

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Hence, it is the duty of the managers to foresee the trend of the regularity statutes related to the field of activities of the business and take advance steps to adjust their business accordingly.

(d) Economic Systems:

Managers must study the business system with reference to the economic system in which it has to function.

The basic questions that have to be answered by any economic system are:

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1. What to produce?

2. How much to produce?

3. By whom to produce?

4. To whom to produce?

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5. With what resources and by what technology are those to be produced?

These questions are answered differently by various economic systems which fall under four categories- capitalism, socialism, communism and mixed economy. Hence, Managers must study these systems and analyze their impact on the enterprise.

(e) Science and Technology:

Business is an order of growth, expansion and change in the economy. A business enterprise achieves these through technological advances which contribute significantly towards the reduction of cost and the improvement of productivity. Therefore, through technological coordination, an enterprise can increase its competitive strength and improve its image in the minds of the customers.

2. Vertical and Horizontal Coordination:

Coordination may take place from the top down, bottom up, or sideways.

Vertical Coordination:

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The vertical structure of an organization states that the lines of authority passes from top to bottom. Vertical coordination means coordination between different levels of organization. To achieve organizational goals, work activities must be divided and departmentalized; which is necessary for managers to coordinate the activities of an enterprise.

Hence, in case of vertical structure it is imperative on the part of management to ensure adequate coordination through proper delegation of authority with the help of directing and controlling so that the orders from one may not conflict with the others from another.

Horizontal or Lateral Coordination:

It indicates the relationship between peers, colleagues, fellow workers, different departments at the same level of hierarchy. In horizontal organization authority structure, individuals are located on the same level and normally they have no authority over each other. They are equal in terms of the amount of authority. Such structure is more conducive to adequate coordination in an enterprise.


Types of Coordination: Classification

Coordination can be of the following types:

1. Internal and External Coordination

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2. Vertical and Horizontal Coordination

1. Internal and External Coordination:

Coordination between the activities of departments and people working within the organisation is known as internal coordination. Coordination between activities of the organisation with units outside the organisation (Government, customers, suppliers, competitors etc.) is known as external coordination.

Organisations are open system which continuously interact with the environment through the input-output conversion process. They receive inputs from the environment, process them and give them back to the environment in the form of outputs. This cycle is repeated after receiving feedback from the environment about the acceptability of their products. This requires complete coordination between what environment expects from the organisation and what organisation expects from the environment, failing which, organisational survival can be in danger.

2. Vertical and Horizontal Coordination:

Both these types of coordination are the forms of internal coordination. Vertical coordination is achieved amongst activities of people working at different levels. It coordinates the activities of top managers with those of middle and lower level managers. It is “the linking of activities at the top of the organisation with those at the middle and lower levels in order to achieve organisational goals.” Vertical coordination can be achieved through span of management, centralisation, decentralisation and delegation.

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Horizontal coordination is achieved amongst activities of people of different departments working at the same level. It is “the linking of activities across departments at similar levels. It links the activities of four primary departments — production, finance, personnel and sales”.

The need for horizontal coordination arises when departments depend upon each other for information or products. When information is transacted across departments, departmental managers share their views on the same problem and arrive at innovative ideas and thoughts to deal with the situation According to Jay R. Galbraith, “the more organisations need to process information in the course of producing their product or service, the more methods of horizontal coordination they will need to use”.

Different methods of achieving horizontal coordination are slack resources, information systems and lateral relations:

1. Slack resources means maintaining a cushion of resources like buffer time, money, material, inventory, people etc. by each department. This provides flexibility to the organisation to adapt to various internal and external pressures without waiting for resources to be procured by the procurement department. The buffer stock is sufficient to meet the departmental needs till new supplies are obtained. It also provides a leeway to different units to meet each other’s requirement and reduces the need for constant and continuous coordination.

2. Information systems facilitate exchange of information among units of the organisation. Computers have eased the work of transmitting information to different departments. Information systems facilitate effective coordination amongst departments.

3. Lateral relations refers to relations between peer groups of different departments whose interaction with each other (through direct contact or liaison officer or work groups/teams) helps in arriving at solution to the problem.

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Lateral relations allow the information to be exchanged across the scalar chain rather than people placed at higher levels in the organisational hierarchy. These relations are “coordination of efforts through communicating and problem solving with peers in other departments or units, rather than referring most issues up the hierarchy for resolution.”

Lateral relations can be maintained in the following ways:

1. Direct Contact:

Mostly prevalent at middle and lower levels, people of different departments directly communicate with each other to solve their organisational problems without involving the top managers. Coordination is, thus, achieved laterally without following the chain of command.

2. Liaison Roles:

Rather than people of different departments solving their problems through direct contact, the problems are solved by a person who maintains direct contact with people of different departments. The person known as liaison officer, is a common link between the units or departments. Though he does not have formal authority over the groups, he facilitates the flow of information and communication between them. He coordinates the efforts of diverse groups by dealing directly with departments where problems are occurring.

3. Task Forces:

Where liaison officer cannot coordinate the activities of departments because the inter-departmental dependence is complex or because coordination has to be achieved amongst many departments, task forces are created to facilitate coordination. A task force is a team of members from different departments (where the problem has arisen) who form a group and share information with respect to the problems of their respective departments. When solution to the problem is achieved, the task force is dissolved and members go back to their respective positions. Coordination amongst different departments is, thus, facilitated through task forces.

4. Committees:

“Committees are usually formally organised groups with a designated membership and chairperson and regularly scheduled meetings.” Committees are generally formed to look into specific organisational problems which may be recurring in nature. A committee that looks into the cases of absenteeism, promotion and transfer of workers achieves coordination with respect to labour force in the organisation. It aims to keep the labour force satisfied and committed towards organisational goals.

5. Managerial Integrators:

The role of coordinating the activities of various departments is assigned to a specifically appointed manager whose work is to coordinate the products, projects or brands that involve inter-departmental dependence or interaction. These managers are usually product managers, project managers or brand managers.

They ensure efficient use of scarce organisational resources over products or projects that require integration of functional activities. They also enable the organisation to adapt to the fast changing environment.


Types of Coordination (with Notes)

Co-ordination has been divided into the following two types:

(1) Internal Co-Ordination:

Internal co-ordination is the establishment of relationships with a view to co-ordinate the activities of all the departments, divisions, sub-divisions, branches, managers, executives and other workers.

Classification of Internal Co-Ordination:

Internal co-ordination has been classified into the following two parts:

(a) Vertical Co-Ordination:

Vertical co-ordination refers to that co-ordination in which a superior authority co-ordinates with his sub-ordinates and vice-versa. Production Manager Co-ordinates the activities of production superintendent. Similarly, production superintendent is required to have co­ordinated and cordial relations with his superiors.

(b) Horizontal Co-Ordination:

Horizontal co-ordination refers to co-ordination of relations and activities between the authorities and employees of same status, e.g., co-ordination between different departmental heads, foremen of different workshops, superintendents of different sections etc.

(2) External Co-Ordination:

External co-ordination refers to the establishment of relationship with a view to co-ordinate the activities of those who are not the part of the organisation and hence are not internally connected with each other. The enterprise has to establish relations and co-ordinate their activities for the benefit of the enterprise as a whole.

The following are the outside agencies with which an enterprise has to establish relationship for the benefit of the enterprise:

They are – (i) Market agencies; (ii) Competitors; (iii) Union Government, State Government, Local self-Governments and other Government Agencies; (iv) Financial Institutions; (v) Technological Agencies; (vi) Different Commercial Organisations; (vii) Different Industrial Organisations; (viii) Different Institutions rendering auxiliary services; (ix) Customers; and (x) General Public.

The function of external co-ordination is assigned to a person who is specially appointed for the purpose. He is generally designated as Public Relations Officer.

External co-ordination also involves interaction with general business, economic and research institutions to have the benefits of latest information and technological advances.


Types of Coordination: 2 Types – Explained!

Co-ordination is divided into two types.

They are explained herein below:

1. Internal Co-Ordination:

Coordination is internal when it is established between different departments and units of an organisation. It is related with the internal activities and human efforts of an enterprise. e.g. when the relationship is established between the managers, executives and other departmental heads to coordinate all the activities within an organization.

Such coordinating efforts on the part of the managers whereby they try to make sure smooth internal working and administration of organizational activities is known as “Internal Coordination.”

Fayol suggested three things for effective internal coordination:

i. Each department should work in proper harmony with others.

ii. Each department should be informed about its contribution required in achieving overall objectives.

iii. Working schedule of different departments should be constantly attuned to circum­stances.

Internal Co-ordination is further sub-divided into the following two types:

(i) Vertical Co-ordination

(ii) Horizontal Co-ordination

(i) Vertical Co-Ordination:

Vertical coordination refers to coordination among the activities of superiors / manager and his subordinates. Co-ordination among top level managers to lower level staff or lower level staff to top level managers is known as vertical co-ordination.

For ex- Sales manager co-ordinates his work with the activities of the sales supervisor. Similarly, the sales supervisor is required to have co-ordination and cordial relationship with his superiors.

In other words, Vertical co-ordination refers to that co-ordination in which a superior authority coordinates his work with that of his subordinates and vice versa. The vertical co-ordination creates authority relationships through chain of command.

(ii) Horizontal Co-Ordination:

This refers to the establishments of a relationship between the persons of the same status. The co-ordination among the employees of organization working at the same level in different departments, sections is known as horizontal co-ordination.

It is related with the functions, attitudes of the employees of the same status in the managerial hierarchy. The activities of different departments like production, marketing, finance, personnel, etc. are incorporated through horizontal coordination

2. External Co-Ordination:

External coordination refers to the coordination between an organization and its external environment. External co-ordination thus refers to the efforts undertaken to adopt and integrate the enterprise with the dynamic business world and factors external to it.

In short, external co-ordination is the establishment of a relationship between the employees of the organization and outsiders of the organization.

The important external factors are interests of customers, suppliers, investors, em­ployees, changes in competitive situation, other enterprise, technological advances, and Government policies and regulations.


Types of Co-Ordination –  Vertical and Horizontal Coordination, Internal and External Coordination, Procedural and Substantive Coordination and a Few Others

Coordination is variously classified on different bases, such as its coverage and flow.

The main types are as follows:

1. Vertical and horizontal coordination

2. Internal and external coordination

3. Procedural and substantive coordination

4. Informal or voluntary coordination

5. Programmed non-human coordination.

Type # 1. Vertical and Horizontal Co-Ordination:

Vertical coordination links people and units at various hierarchical levels. It refers to coordination among the activities of a manager and his subordinates. It is needed to ensure that all levels act in harmony. It helps to maintain unity of command between different levels of managers and employees. For example, the activities of a manager, assistant manager, superintendent, and other below can be knit together through vertical coordination. It is established by delegation of authority, policies, rules etc.

Horizontal coordination occurs at the single hierar­chical level. It is a coordination among peer’s employees working at the same level. It is related with the functions, attitudes and roles of the employees of the same status in the managerial hierarchy. The activities of different de­partments like production, marketing, finance, person­nel, etc. are integrated through horizontal coordination.

Type # 2. Interned and External Co-Ordination:

Coordination is internal when it is established be­tween different departments and units of an organization. It is related with the internal activities and human efforts of an enterprise. In involves different sub-systems and parts of a business. It includes both vertical and horizon­tal coordination.

External coordination refers to the coordination be­tween an organization and its external environment. The external factors include the market, consumers, inves­tors, suppliers, competitors, government, technology, social values, etc. An organization requires coordinating its internal activities and structuring with socio-cultural, political and economic environment. External coordina­tion should also exist between the enterprise and the world economy at large.

Type # 3. Procedural and Substantive Coordination:

This classification is suggested by Herbert Simon. According to him, procedural coordination is “the spec­ification of the organization itself—that is, the generalized description of the behaviour and relationships of the members of the organization.” It lays down the proce­dures, establishes the lines of authority and defines the sphere of activity and authority of each employee.

Substantive coordination is concerned with the con­tent of the organization’s activities. It is based on certain principles and specialized knowledge. Simon cites that in an automobile plant an organization chart is an aspect of procedural coordination, while blue-prints for the engine block of the car manufactured are an aspect of substan­tive coordination.

Type # 4. Informal or Voluntary Coordination:

All organizations rely on voluntary coordination to some degree because it is not possible to anticipate or to make plan for all activities. This coordination occurs informally without programming by the managers. Glueck says that “it is based on reciprocal understanding, shared attitudes, and powerful psychological mechanisms that motivate cooperation.”

For voluntary coordination to work, Glueck describes some conditions:

(a) The employee must know his objectives and those of the unit;

(b) He must have a clear idea of what his job entails; and

(c) He must identify with the enterprise and its goals.

Type # 5. Programmed Nonhuman Coordination:

This coordination is achieved through programmed methods such as rules, policies, plans, standard operat­ing procedures, scheduling deadlines, etc. This kind of coordination is needed for pooled interdependent activi­ties.


Types of Coordination – In any Organisation

Co-ordination in any organisation is either:

1. Internal or

2. External.

1. Internal Co-Ordination:

Internal co-ordination exists within the organisation. It develops inter- personnel relationship with a view to co-ordinate the activities of all departments.

There are three forms of internal co-ordination:

i. Co-ordination between different groups of employees working in the same department.

ii. Co-ordination between managers and workers at different levels of management.

iii. Co-ordination between board of directors and departmental managers.

Basically internal co-ordination is broadly classified into two categories i.e.:

i. Vertical co-ordination

ii. Horizontal co-ordination.

All the forms as mentioned above come under the preview of these types.

i. Vertical Co-Ordination:

Vertical co-ordination is needed to ensure that all the levels in the organisation act in harmony and in accordance with organisational policies and programmes. Under this type of internal co-ordination, there is a co-ordination of relations and activities between the superior and his subordinates and between subordinate and his superior.

For instance co-ordination between the production manager and the production superintendent, marketing manager and the marketing superintendent etc. Vertical co-ordination is secured through delegation of authority and with the help of directing and controlling.

ii. Horizontal Co-Ordination:

Co-ordination between the reaction and activities among the authorities and employees of the same status come under this type, especially in large scale business organisation where problems become more complicated. It is the fine art of the manager to achieve co-ordination in this horizontal sense. Co-ordination among the different departmental heads, superiors of different sections are examples of this type of co-ordination.

Co-ordination between production, sales and personnel department, is called horizontal co-ordination. In small business concerns co­ordination is established between interdependent departments, because of proximity of working arrangement, close contacts and close communication.

2. External Co-Ordination:

External type of co-ordination refers to the establishment of relationship with outsiders. Every enterprise has to establish such relations and co-ordinate its activities for the benefit of the enterprise as a whole. Generally the duty of external co-ordination is assigned to the public relations officers in a modern business organisation.

Business organisations have to maintain interaction with customers, creditors, bankers, suppliers, government, competitors etc. Therefore it has keep proper co-ordination with all these people. This type of co-ordination is called an external co­ordination and it is a must for the survival of the business organisation.

Apart from these types there are another two types of co-ordination, namely:

i. Diagonal co-ordination and

ii. Informal co-ordination.

i. Diagonal Co-Ordination:

Large scale, complex business organisation structure is, generally, dominated by projects. Many times these projects are not in proximity of each other. As an effect they lack in working arrangements, close contacts, short time communications amongst the personnel. This obstacle adversely affects co-ordination.

This can be removed by establishing diagonal co-ordination in which every departmental head communicates to all others without waiting for completion of line of communication. With the help of diagonal co-ordination certain common persons and facilities can be brought close to each other.

ii. Informal Co-Ordination:

Organisation may adopt informal means of co-ordination through processes of social, unofficial interactions, relationships and mutual adjustments. They may prove to be more effective than normal means, if handled properly.


Types of Coordination – On the Basis of Its Shape in the Organisation and On the Basis of Its Scope and Coverage

Coordination can be classified into two broad categories, one on the basis of its shape in the organization and the other on the basis of its scope and coverage.

On the former basis, it can be classified into vertical and horizontal coordination and on the latter basis into internal and external coordination.

Each of these has been discussed below:

1. Vertical and Horizontal Coordination:

The term ‘vertical coordination’ is used when coordination is to be achieved between various links or different levels of the organization. Vertical coordination is needed to ensure that all the levels in the organization act in harmony and in accordance with organization policies and programmes. It is the functions of the top executives to bring about this coordination.

Vertical coordination is secured through delegation of authority and with the help of directing and controlling. There is no doubt that the delegated authority will carry great weight but vertical coordination cannot be achieved by the mere weight of authority itself. This should rather come about as a by-product of the superior efficient and expert performance of the managerial functions.

The term horizontal coordination is used when coordination is to be achieved between departments on the same level in the managerial hierarchy. Thus, when coordination is brought about between production department, sales department, personnel department, etc., it is said to be horizontal communication.

Coordination between interdependent managers of different departments is facilitated in a small enterprise due to proximity of working arrangements, close contacts, and short lines of communication. However, when a large company is involved, the problems become more complicated, and it is the fine art of the superior manager to achieve coordination in the horizontal sense.

2. Internal and External Coordination:

Coordination may be internal and external to the organization. Coordination is internal when it is achieved between different departments, sections and units of an enterprise. It is both vertical and horizontal.

A business enterprise is a system in itself. It acts and reacts with the environment continuously. The various factors with whom it has interaction include government, customers, suppliers and competition. An enterprise has to keep proper coordination with these.

Such type of coordination is known as external coordination and it is essential for the survival of the enterprise. External coordination also involves interaction with other business, economic and research institutions to have the benefits of latest information and technological advances.


Types of Co-Ordination – Internal and External Co-Ordination

Normally, the co-ordination is divided into two types.

They are explained below:

1. Internal Co-Ordination:

It is the establishment of relationship with a view to co­ordinate the activities of all the managers, executives, divisions, sub-divisions, branches and other workers.

Internal co-ordination is also sub-divided into the following two types:

i. Vertical Co-Ordination:

Vertical co-ordination refers to that co-ordination in which a superior authority co-ordinates his work with that of his sub-ordinates and vice versa. Sales manager co-ordinates his work with the activities of the sales supervisor. Similarly, the sales supervisor is required to have co-ordination and cordial relationship with his superiors.

ii. Horizontal Co-Ordination:

Horizontal co-ordination refers to the establishment of a relationship between the persons of the same status. For example, co-ordination between the departmental heads, supervisors, co-workers, etc.

2. External Co-Ordination:

External co-ordination is the establishment of a relationship between the employees of the organisation and outsiders of the organisation. This relationship is established for the benefit of the organisation as a whole.

The following are the outsiders with whom an organisation has to establish better relationship:

i. Market agencies.

ii. General public.

iii. Competitors.

iv. Customers.

v. Union government, state government, local self-governments and other government agencies.

vi. Different institutions rendering auxiliary services.

vii. Financial institutions.

viii. Different Industrial organisations.

ix. Technological Agencies.

x. Different commercial organisations.

The work of the establishment of a relationship between the employees of the organisation and the outsiders is entrusted to a person who is designated as public relations officer.


Types of Co-Ordination – 4 Types: Internal Co-Ordination, External Co-Ordination, Vertical Co-Ordination and Horizontal Co-Ordination

Types of co-ordination are as follows:

1. Internal Co-Ordination:

This is required within the organization. It prevails among branch offices, divisions, sections and plants of the organization.

2. External Co-Ordination:

External coordination refers to co-ordination between external agencies and the organisation. This is required due to changes in public policy, competitor’s action and technological advancement. This co-ordination takes place between organization and the stakeholders like suppliers, customers, government departments, media, financial agencies etc. Organizations appoint public relation officers or liason officers to secure such a co-ordination.

3. Vertical Co-Ordination:

Vertical co-ordination takes place between various authorities across the managerial hierarchy. For example, it may take place between the chair person and the vice president, works manager and superintendent and foreman and so on down die line.

4. Horizontal Co-Ordination:

It refers to co-ordination between various functional departments at the same level. For example, co-ordination between production department and sales department and co-ordination between finance department and HR department.


Types of Coordination: Quick Notes

Co-Ordination may be classified into two types:

1. Internal Co-Ordination, and

2. External Co-Ordination.

1. Internal Co-Ordination:

It refers to co-ordination of activities of different segments of the organisation. It is the establishment of relationship with a view to co­ordinate activities of all the departments, divisions, sub-divisions, branches, managers, executives, supervisors and workers. Internal coordination may be divided into two categories, – vertical co-ordination and horizontal co-ordination.

(i) Vertical Co-Ordination – It is a type of co-ordination between the superior and subordinates authorities. Production manager co-ordinates the activities of production supervisor, similarly, production supervisor co-ordinates his activities with that of production manager.

(ii) Horizontal co-ordination – It refers to co-ordination of activities between authorities and employees of same status. A co-ordination is needed among heads of different departments, supervisors of different departments, foremen of different workshops, etc.

2. External Co-Ordination:

It refers to establishment of relationship and co­ordination of activities of all those who are not a part of the organisation and hence not connected with each other. The co-ordination with outsiders are essential for the benefit of the enterprise as a whole.

The outsiders requiring co-ordination are:

(i) Customers,

(ii) Suppliers,

(iii) Competitors,

(iv) Various government departments/agencies,

(v) Technological agencies,

(vi) Financial institutions,

(vii) Different industrial and commercial organisations,

(viii) Organisations providing auxiliary services, and

(ix) General public.

The co-ordination with outsiders is assigned to some officer, generally, Public Relations Officer, who remains in touch with them as per the requirements of the enterprise.


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