Unfortunately, scheduling a regular evaluation of an organization's marketing program is easier to recommend than to execute. Usually, only a crisis, such as increased competition or a sales drop, forces a company to take a closer look at its marketing program. However, more regular evaluations help minimize the number of marketing problems.
Human resource controls
Human resource controls help managers regulate the quality of newly hired personnel, as well as monitor current employees' developments and daily performances.
On a daily basis, managers can go a long way in helping to control workers' behaviors in organizations. They can help direct workers' performances toward goals by making sure that goals are clearly set and understood. Managers can also institute policies and procedures to help guide workers' actions. Finally, they can consider past experiences when developing future strategies, objectives, policies, and procedures.
Common control types include performance appraisals, disciplinary programs, observations, and training and development assessments. Because the quality of a firm's personnel, to a large degree, determines the firm's overall effectiveness, controlling this area is very crucial.
Computers and information controls
Almost all organizations have confidential and sensitive information that they don't want to become general knowledge. Controlling access to computer databases is the key to this area.
Increasingly, computers are being used to collect and store information for control purposes. Many organizations privately monitor each employee's computer usage to measure employee performance, among other things. Some people question the appropriateness of computer monitoring. Managers must carefully weigh the benefits against the costs—both human and financial—before investing in and implementing computerized control techniques.
Although computers and information systems provide enormous benefits, such as improved productivity and information management, organizations should remember the following limitations of the use of information technology:
- Performance limitations. Although management information systems have the potential to increase overall performance, replacing long‐time organizational employees with information systems technology may result in the loss of expert knowledge that these individuals hold. Additionally, computerized information systems are expensive and difficult to develop. After the system has been purchased, coordinating it—possibly with existing equipment—may be more difficult than expected. Consequently, a company may cut corners or install the system carelessly to the detriment of the system's performance and utility. And like other sophisticated electronic equipment, information systems do not work all the time, resulting in costly downtime.
- Behavioral limitations. Information technology allows managers to access more information than ever before. But too much information can overwhelm employees, cause stress, and even slow decision making. Thus, managing the quality and amount of information available to avoid information overload is important.
- Health risks. Potentially serious health‐related issues associated with the use of computers and other information technology have been raised in recent years. An example is carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful disorder in the hands and wrists caused by repetitive movements (such as those made on a keyboard).
Regardless of the control processes used, an effective system determines whether employees and various parts of an organization are on target in achieving organizational objectives.