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Management article
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Reference no. 76103
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 1976

Abstract

The use of organizational control systems may backfire easily on management. A system cannot control performance; it can only provide information to the manager and often the information is misleading. Two major approaches are usual for control strategies. The external control strategy stresses supervision and makes employee manipulation of results difficult. The internal motivation strategy develops participative goal setting and rewards overall job performance. When choosing either strategy, a manager should consider four issues: consistency between strategy and managerial style; organizational climate, structure, and reward system; reality of job performance measures; and individual differences among subordinates.

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Abstract

The use of organizational control systems may backfire easily on management. A system cannot control performance; it can only provide information to the manager and often the information is misleading. Two major approaches are usual for control strategies. The external control strategy stresses supervision and makes employee manipulation of results difficult. The internal motivation strategy develops participative goal setting and rewards overall job performance. When choosing either strategy, a manager should consider four issues: consistency between strategy and managerial style; organizational climate, structure, and reward system; reality of job performance measures; and individual differences among subordinates.

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