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Assumption Underlying Direct Control System


Some of the assumptions of direct control system, which are often criticized, are described below:

(i) Assumption that performance can be measured

Once major assumption underlying direct control system is that performance can be measured. Factors like inputs, output, cost, price, time etc. can be measured. However, there are factors which vitally affect an organization’s success but which are qualitative in nature and cannot be measured e.g. potential of managers to develop, effectiveness of research, creativity of manpower, soundness of managerial decisions etc. Hence, direct controls are lop sided in nature.

(ii) Assumption that personal responsibility exists for deviations

Sometimes this assumption is valid; sometimes it fails. For example, no manager is responsible for .undesirable deviations caused by uncertainties of external environment e.g. increase in interest rates, scarcity of a particular fuel, obsolescence of existing technology etc.

(iii) Assumption that cost of investigation in terms of time, efforts, money etc. isĀ justified

It takes time and efforts to undertake an analysis of deviations. In direct control system which is based on feedback analysis; recalling facts may be difficult as time has passed. In most of the cases, the cost of investigation into causes of deviations may exceed the benefit, likely to arise, from the controlling exercise.

(iv) Assumption that mistakes can be discovered in time

Discovery of deviations from plan may often come too late for effective corrective action. Much information for control purposes depends on historical data – which are available to managers quite late; and then managers take time to interpret the data. As such, true control can be applied only to future actions; not current actions.

(v) Assumption that the person responsible will take corrective steps

Fixing responsibility for deviations may not lead to corrective action; when the manager involved is one of height-ups in the organization. Subordinate manager dare not ask their superiors to correct themselves; to whom they report for their own performance.