9 Characteristics of Controlling Function of Management

Characteristics of Controlling

Controlling is a function of management. It is a process of making sure that organizations’ actions and activities are in the right direction where they should be in order to achieve the desired goals.

Controlling includes the setting of standards i.e. desired outputs, measuring the actual performance with the standards, and initiating corrective actions if needed. The following are the notable characteristics/features of organizational controlling system.

Management Function

Controlling is one of the important functions of management just like planning, organizing, staffing, and directing. Without control, the other functions of management would become worthless.

Controlling ensures a balance between the planned performance and the actual performance of the organization. While other management functions take the initiation of activities to achieve organizational goals whereas the controlling functions help to make sure whether or not such activities are in the right direction.

Pervasive in Nature

Pervasive means it is applicable and desirable everywhere. Irrespective of the organization’s nature and size control is required. Every manager at different levels needs to exercise different control measures. Where top-level managers exercise control to make plans and policies and instruct middle-level.

They make policies and set organizational objectives. Middle-level managers exercise control for implementing such policies and objectives. And, lower-level managers exercise control to ensure the work is done.


Controlling is a goal-oriented function. The main objective of controlling is to ensure the achievement of desired goals of the organization.

Controlling is required to make sure all the activities and operations of the organizations are on the right track. It compares the actual performance with the standard, looks for any deviations, and if any are found takes corrective measures to ensure the achievement of the company’s goals.

Related: Process of Controlling

Continuous Process

Controlling is a continuous process and exists along with the existence of the organization. Managers have to continuously keep track of the organization’s performance and the work done.

Different environmental elements affect the performance of the organization and they may degrade the performance. As such, managers have to analyze the actual and standard performance and take corrective measures if required on a regular basis.

Flexible in Nature

The controlling function of management is not a rigid process. It is coordinative with other functions of management. It is a dynamic process that enables managers to change plans and policies according to changes in a business environment. It is adaptive to the uncertainties of a business environment.


Controlling also look into the future of the organization. It does not only consider the past and present performance of the company.

It helps managers to learn from past mistakes and experiences to find new alternatives to solve future problems. Past performance can be a base for future actions of the organization.

Also Read: Types of Controlling

Measurement and Comparision

Controlling is a managerial tool to measure and compare an organization’s actual performance with the set performance. As such, managers frequently compare the actual and standard performance and initiate corrective actions. Such activities contribute toward the achievement of desired goals within the given time and standard.

Indispensable with Planning

The controlling system is directly related to the planning function of the organization. Controlling is the last function of management whereas planning is the first function.

The goals are established first, and then actions are taken to determine if they have been met or not. Corrective action is always conducted whenever there is a performance lapse or something isn’t going according to plan. Hence, planning acts as a foundation for controlling.

Corrective Action

Last but not least, one of the important characteristics of controlling functions is it is a means to take corrective actions. Managers’ duty is to compare the actual performance of the organization with the standard ones, if no deviation is found between them, no correction actions are required.

And, if deviations take place between them, to make balance between them corrective actions should be taken. Taking tactful actions at the right time is the essence of effective control.

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