Coordination – The Essence of Management | Concept, Features and Importance
A manager needs to perform five managerial functions that are all interdependent and overlapping. All these functions are not separate from each other. Thus, when a manager links together all these functions, it is known as coordination.
Coordination is the force that connects all managerial functions and ensures the smooth and efficient functioning of an organization. All the activities of an organization such as purchase, production, sales, and finance are connected through this link of coordination, which enables and helps in the continuous working of an organization. It is considered the soul of management, as it helps in achieving the goal through harmony and discipline of both individuals and groups. Though occasionally, coordination might not be referred to as a managerial function, it is the essence of management.
Coordination: Essence of Management
1. Coordination is needed in all management functions: In planning, coordination is needed between the plan of the enterprise and the plans of the various departments. The enterprise should always have coordination between the main objective and the resources available. During organizing, coordination is required between the authority and responsibility of every individual. In staffing, coordination is gained by assigning the employees, the right job by seeing their skills and abilities. In directing, coordination is needed among orders, instructions and suggestions, and between superiors and subordinates. Whereas during controlling, coordination is achieved by confirming that the results are close to the planned results.
2. Coordination is needed at all levels of management: The top-level needs coordination so that all the activities are integrated. The middle level needs coordination for integration efforts at different sections and sub-sections, and the lower level needs coordination in various activities of workers, and to ensure that plans are properly executed. So, coordination is essential at all levels in order to achieve the goals on time,
Therefore, Coordination is the essence of management, which works carrying along all the other functions and activities affecting an organization to achieve the required goal.
Features of Coordination
Coordination consist of the following features:
- Coordination assimilates group efforts: Coordination combines diverse business activities into a purposeful group activity, ensuring that all people work in one direction to achieve organizational goals. It provides a common focus to
group effort so that the performance is as it was planned and scheduled.
- Coordination assures unity of action: Coordination directs the activities of different departments and employees towards achievements of common goals and brings unity in individual efforts. It performs as the binding force between
departments and assures that all action is aimed at achieving the organizational goals. In an enterprise, the production department needs to coordinate its work with the sales department so that production takes place to the demand in the market.
- Coordination is a continuous process: Coordination is essential in every stage of managerial functions. Stating right from the stage of planning, it continues till controlling. It is a continuous process that is required at all levels, in all the departments till the organization continues its operation. In an enterprise, which makes shoes, first they need to come up with a good plan. Then they have to make sure that there is an adequate workforce and continuously monitor whether production is proceeding according to plans. The marketing department also needs to prepare their promotional and advertising campaigns so that they can increase their sales.
- Coordination is an all-pervasive function: Coordination is in nature. It integrates the activities of all levels and departments as they are dependent on each other to maintain balance in the organization. To achieve organizational objectives harmoniously, the purchase, production, and sales departmental efforts have to be coordinated properly. For example, in a textile company, the purchasing department is responsible for procuring fabric. Then the production department performs their task and finally, sales can take place. If the quality of fabric purchased is of poor quality or is not according to the specifications of the production department, further sales will also decline, which will lead to loss. In the absence of coordination, there is a lot of chaos, delays, and duplication in the organization.
- Coordination is the responsibility of all managers: In an organization, every manager needs to perform the function of coordination. It is equally important at all the three levels of management, i.e. top, middle and lower levels. Top-level managers need to coordinate with their subordinates to make sure that all the policies for the organization are carried out properly. Middle-level management is the one that coordinates with both the top level as well as the lower-level managers. The operational level or the lower level management coordinates the activities of its workers to ensure that work proceeds according to plans.
- Coordination is a deliberate function: Coordination is never by itself, rather it is a conscious effort on the part of every manager. Even where members of a department willingly cooperate and work, coordination gives direction to that willing spirit. Compete ration is a voluntary effort of employees to help one another. Effective coordination cannot be achieved without the cooperation of group members. Cooperation in the absence of coordination may lead to wasted effort, and coordination without cooperation may lead to dissatisfaction among employees.
Importance of Coordination
Coordination is important as it assimilates the efforts of individuals, departments and specialists. The primary reason for coordination is that departments and individuals in the organization depend on each other for information and resources to
perform their respective activities. Thus, managers need to reconcile differences in approach, timing, effort, or interest. At the same time, there is a need to harmonize individual goals and organizational goals.
- Growth in size: When there is an increase in the size of the organization, the number of employees also rises. Sometimes, it becomes tough to assimilate the efforts and activities of the worker. As we know, every individual is different in their way, be it their habit of working, background, approaches to situations, and relationships with others, etc. It becomes very important to make sure that all individuals are working for a common goal of the organization. Some employees have individual goals also. Therefore, it becomes very important to harmonize individual goals and work for organizational goals through coordination to achieve organizational efficiency.
- Functional differentiation: In an organization, activities and functions are frequently divided into departments, divisions, or sections. In an organization, there may be separate departments of finance, production, marketing, or human resources. All these departments have their objectives and working style. But all these departments and sections depend on each other. All the activities of all these departments should focus on attaining the common goal of the organization. Coordination helps to accumulate activities of this department, so that they can proceed together in a single direction instead of working as independent units.
- Specialization: Specialization is the result of the complexities of modern technology and a variety of operations performed. Thus, there is a need for the organization to recruit a plentiful of specialists. The specialists qualify in a particular area and work accordingly. They analyze and take decisions related to their specialization for the advancement of the organization. Different specialists working in the same organization might sometimes result in conflicts among one another. Therefore, coordination is required to harmonize the conflicts and differences in way of thinking, interests, and beliefs of the specialists.