The Different Types of Organisational Control

Now that we’ve established how important it is to recognize organizational control, let’s take a closer look at the types of control that occur within the workplace.

To start, there are four main categories that control falls into:

  • Physical control – the amount of inventory you have on hand, your quality control guidelines, and how well your equipment and facilities are maintained;
  • Human control – including human resource functions such as placement, training, benefits, and appraisals;
  • Information control – considers how well you can analyze sales trends, your ability to track the economy, and public relations; and
  • Financial resource control – which involves avoiding debt, managing cash reserves, and paying bills,

These categories aren’t presented in any specific order, but perhaps it’s important to note that without proper financial control you won’t be able to organise any of the other areas on the list. Financial control is the foundation for any successful business.

Some organisations break their levels of control down a little bit differently, but they still cover the main categories. In some cases you may see them listed as operations control, financial control, structural control, and strategic control. In short, we’re attempting to achieve the same high level of functionality.

As a manager you will have responsibilities that reach into each category, but you likely won’t be responsible for any in their entirety. For example, as a team leader you’ll have to hire and manage your employees (human control); balance your department’s individual budget (financial control); make sure your equipment is in working order and that projects are completed on time (physical control); and communicate your results to other people within the organisation, your clients, or to the public (information control).

Juggling these responsibilities will take advanced communication skills on your part, but I think that once you understand how your tasks fit into the overall picture you’ll have an easier time accepting how important your role is to your organisation!

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 5 January, 2009

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