All the departments of an institution are interlinked and interdependent. Suppose you formulated a plan and assign duties to your different department’s managers (say – marketing, production, sales, finance) but the fact is they conflict with each other. They do not want to work with each other. And, after some time you get the result that your plan is successfully failed. This is what happens when you work without proper coordination.
Here we will discuss different aspects of the coordination function of management in detail.
What is Coordination?
Coordination is the process of integrating all the components of an organization i.e. people, finance, resources, activities, machine, business units, departments, etc. in a way that their collective effort best achieve the predetermined goals/objectives. It synchronizes all the organizational members to bring unity in their actions.
It is a continuous process of binding all the elements of the organization for harmonized, cooperative, and productive performance in the future. It aims at managing the organization in a way that brings peace, harmony, zero conflict, and a clear goal, and makes employees focused on the firm’s interest which ultimately brings utmost possibility in pursuing goals.
As management is called the essence of organizational success coordination is called the essence of management’s success. It has a hidden yet most fundamental role in coordinating i.e. linking the essential management functions i.e. planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.
Coordinating organizational activities, goals, and resources has been a critical task for managers to attain goals with harmony and peace. They have to combine as effectively as possible all the departments and levels of management so they work in the same direction.
Today, how a manager coordinates his organizational factors determine whether or not he achieves his set goals.
Characteristics of Coordination
Coordinating is an attempt to effectively binds all organizational functions to give them a clear direction for goal achievement. The common features of coordination are mentioned below:
Integrates Efforts of Employees
You can not be sure that an individual employee alone will achieve all your organizational goals. He will succeed with just a word of saying.
Coordinating means integrating all the employee’s efforts in the same direction. It ensures that the group efforts are well utilized to accomplish the desired goals.
A Management Function
Coordination is one of the functions of management. Like planning or controlling, coordinating is also an important management function. But, here it does not remain at being a function only. It has been an essence.
Its efforts are undeniable that bring unity to all management functions which are critical for organizational success. Whether or not the management will succeed is greatly determined by the efficiency of the coordination process applied.
For effective functioning, all the departments, units, and goal-achieving necessary factors are needed to work closely. Pervasive refers to its applicability everywhere.
Whether it is a small or big company, national or international, or they are different departments, or managerial hierarchy appropriate synchronization between them is essential. In addition, a practical sync between the three levels of managers is a must as they are all who manage the company.
Unity in Action
Bringing unity into action is one undeniable goal of this management function. During the coordinating process, it aims to bring a unified effort of different organizational activities. It emphasizes there must be unity of action in the workplace to accomplish the desired interest.
Unifying the organization is not just a one-time task. It is a continuous task and exists endlessly till the organization’s lifetime. After the achievement of the first goal, the next coordinating process is done, when conflicts arise coordinating process is assumed, and so forth till the organization is gone.
What is the Objective of Coordination?
The main objective of coordination is to bring an orderly arrangement of organizational components as said – people, information, resources, activities, etc. as effectively and efficiently as possible. By doing so it aims to bring peace, harmony, team spirit, mutual understanding, and appropriate utilization of resources so as to achieve the set organizational goals.
Types of Coordination
In an organization, you do not only have to coordinate the internal matter but external matters do also have importance. Coordination is mainly of two types internal and external. They are:
Internal coordination is all about syncing and establishing a productive relationship between the internal factors of the organization. These may be employees, departments, business units, branches, managerial levels, etc. which are controllable.
Its aim is to coordinate all the activities of the organization. It is also of two types vertical and horizontal coordination. Vertical coordination refers to where the higher superiors coordinate their subordinates in a certain chain and subordinates in the same way.
Whereas, horizontal coordination refers to where same-level employees coordinate between them for establishing better relationships for better performance. For instance, A department head coordinates with the D department head.
Only bringing unity of action inside the organization may not work well. It has to do the same outside as it has done inside the organization.
External coordination is all about establishing coordinated relationships between the organization and outside people or the community. A better understanding of the external environment helps you to make better plans to exploit upcoming opportunities and you can earlier make prepared your employees to perform better.
You can further appoint a PRO i.e. Public Relations Officer to establish a better relationship between the organization and people outside it.
Importance of Coordination
Earlier I said the lack of effective coordination in the organization is all about successfully wasting time, efforts, and resources without zero achievements.
Every organization’s success depends upon how its activities, resources, people, and departments work. Effectively they will work in a coordinated manner in the same direction the greater result they will bring to the organization. And this is ensured by an effective coordinating process.
In addition to this, the importance of coordination in business or management can be pointed out below as:
- It helps to achieve unity in action.
- Ensures the same direction by integrating employees’ efforts.
- Effective utilization of organizational resources.
- Minimization of time, wastage, and resources.
- Harmony, peace, and cooperation are maintained.
- Team spirit and mutual understanding among employees.
- Lesser disputes and conflicts in the workplace.
- Reconciles organizational goals with employees’ goals.
- Builds synergy.
- Improves organizational performance.
- Increased productivity.
- Appropriate linking between management functions.
- Ensures efficient achievement of organizational goals and objectives, etc.
Why the Coordination is Called the Essence of Management?
The reason it is called the essence of management is that it arranges the optimal order between the essential management functions viz. planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.
These functions are the essence of organizational success and coordination is one that combines them effectively and generates a greater synergy between them which then better gives them the energy to perform better.
From planning to controlling every step of the management process requires it. It can be mentioned as:
Planning involves setting the way for doing things in the future. The plan to be effective and result-oriented requires an effective combination of organizational resources, uniqueness, competency, strengths, and different external factors. It further ensures a mutual discussion before the formulation of the plans.
Organizing is about the division of work and establishing relationships between work and employees. The right combination of the tasks required to perform and the abilities of employees is necessary to consider.
The right person should be in the right job. There should be a coordinated effort that matches the KSA of an employee and the jobs he is assigned.
Harmony and trust between employees and management are necessary to accept the guidance, instructions, and orders given by the manager. It ensures the task has been done with regard to organizational interests.
Controlling ensures the right direction for implemented plans. You as a manager should establish a coordinated relationship between the expected and actual performance.
Challenges in Coordination
Effective coordination is a must for the organization but it is not a simple task. You have to confront the different challenges and issues in order to establish a coordinated effort in the workplace. Some are mentioned below:
Conflicts May Arise
When there are many people to handle the arising misunderstandings and conflicts are common. Due to reasons like role insufficiency, unclear instructions, interest clashes, misunderstandings, etc. employees may start a mouth war in the workplace. It is your responsibility to reduce such practices.
Resistance to Change
When something new happens in the workplace some employees who are change lovers accept the change introduced by management. Whereas some oppose, you should convince them the change is for their better future or use coercion.
Lack of Administrative Talent
It’s likely that some ineffective candidates who don’t fully comprehend the administrative processes will be chosen for employment. This might lead to inefficient coordination.
It is a fact that employees do have their personal goals performing organizational goals. When their interest is ignored while assigning organizational responsibilities they will certainly oppose it. In such a situation, a coordinated effort can not be achieved.
Hence, it can be said that effective coordination is all an organization needs to make certain its goals will be achieved. You should be careful and strong enough to bind all your company’s resources and efforts so as to establish coordinated efforts and ensure goal achievement.