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UGB009 Business Management

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UGB009 Business Management

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Course Code: UGB009
University: University Of Sunderland

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How to maintain control without stifling creativity and innovation?


For the success of a business, it is vital that an organization’s management keeps tabs with the aspects of managerial roles in the organization without bypassing or undermining any constituents of management requirements. Kalpana (2018) notes that management is a critical role of any organization and clearly determines the success of the organization. The question herein seeks to find ways of how best an organization can keep tabs with its controlling activities as part of the managerial role without having to constrain or depress the ability to formulate ideas (creativity) and inventiveness (innovation) of your staff or the processes therein. The creativity and innovativeness of the workforce in an organization is key to the performance of the organization in meeting its objectives and fulfilling its mission.
Kalpana (2018) defines controlling as the role of management that ensures that the business of the organization is run according to the plan, and focusses on the efficient and effective utilization of the organizational resources for the attainment of the set objectives. Further, Kalpana notes that the controlling function of management is objective oriented. Sharma (2018) in his definition notes that controlling in a management perspective is integral to the process of management and entails a monitoring approach of ascertaining if in any way the organizational approach and practices are in conformity with its objectives.  Controlling role of management, therefore, could be summed up as the verification of whether every aspect of the organization’s operation is in conformity with the plans, directions and guidelines and regulations and principles set by the organization (Management Study Guide, 2018).
Sloane (2018) defines creativity as the capability of an individual or group of individuals in an organization to come up with an original idea or something which is not quite usual within an organization whose implementation could bring the desired change in the manner in which the organization operates. Therefore, as put forward by Sloane (2018), creativity entails formulation of an original idea or imagination that could offer a solution to the main management problem.
Innovation, on the other hand, is the end result of creativity. Innovation as Sloane (2018) defines it is the step to implement an original idea formulated in the course of the invention. Brooks (2013) notes that innovation could be considered as the implementation of a new method, idea or device that is used to aid in achieving a set objective in an efficient and effective manner.
Control as a function of management
Features of control
The control function of management is characterized by a number of features that differentiate it from other roles and functions of management; First, Sharma (2018) identifies that controlling is a dynamic process which involves a systematic and continuous evaluation of performance and review of standards and outcomes in a manner which considers corrective measures in the event of a deviation from the plan. This review and evaluation may result in changes in other roles of management in an adjustment attempt to correct any deviation.
Secondly, control is considered a progressive and continuous activity of management. Chand (2018) observes that control in an organization is critical hence should be a continuous practice so that the management and the organization at large would avoid confusion, chaos and corrective costs associated with failure to take control of processes, systems, and teams within an organization. Control is therefore not an instantaneous activity but a progressive process which needs a continuous analysis and assessments depending on the nature of the plan, objectives and other external forces that may contribute to the process of management.
Thirdly, it is evident to note that control is involved in all the other steps and roles of management and in every level of management in the organization. Chand (2018) notes keenly that any manager in an organization must be involved in one way or another in controlling activities or teams therein. The depth of control in each level of management however differs, for instance, top-level management would be more concerned with strategic orientation and control of the activities, middle-level management would most likely be engaged in controlling tactics while line management would be concerned majorly with operational control.    
It is also important to note that control is characterized by the fact that it is a managerial activity and that it is forward oriented.  As earlier identified, management roles entail and not limited to planning, organizing, directing, staffing and controlling, it is evident therefore that control is a characteristic feature of management roles. Control, as identified by Kalpana (2018) is a forward-looking activity which is focused on administering a corrective measure in the future undertakings of the same project or activity.
Gupta (2008) identifies that controlling intermarries planning function of management. Planning and controlling are closely related in a management process. Gupta (2008) notes that planning sets the goals and objectives of the organization or process while control ensures that the set goals are achieved. Planning is said to be a decider of which control process to undertake while control would provide a measurable and achievable base for planning. In a nutshell, therefore, planning is a close relative of controlling as it sets the organization’s course and then controlling keeps the organization on the set course.
Objectives and process of control
Objectives of control
Cliffnotes.com (2016) identifies a number of objectives of control in management. As the first objective for control, management control role aims at making effective plans. Managers have the mandate to make plans but those plans are overseen by their ability to control them. Control is a sure base for measuring the progress of plans, give feedback and directing of teams for successful implementation the plan in question. Feedback offered by the control process is important in influencing behavior and conduct in the organizational processes.
Secondly, the control role of management is the true determinant of consistency in organizational activities. It ensures that all activities are carried out in conformity with the set standards in order to achieve the desired goal of the organization. Control integrates policies of the organization with procedures to ensure that efforts are not in vain.
Thirdly as identified by Sharma (2018), control fulfills the objective of determining any corrective course of action for future tasks in the event of any deviation in the current process of the organization. The corrective action undertaken by control role of management is key to the achievement of goals with least wastage of organizational resources.
Control also has the aim of increasing efficiency in every process that an organization undertakes. Improving efficiency and effectiveness of processes in a business setting is a means of reducing unnecessary wastes which may occur in the event of poor control strategies which in the long run would cost the organization.
Control plays a key role in the decision-making process of an organization. The purpose of having control as an aspect of management roles and functions is for managers to have a base for making better decisions. It gives the managers the opportunity to identify problems and have a necessary approach towards making feasible decisions in the process.
The control process
The control process is a five-step process which clearly describe each step a manager should take in ensuring a productive control role of management;
Setting performance standards
First off is the setting of performance standards. Kalpana (2018) notes that the performance standards form the basis for measuring the actual performance of a processor system. The standards act as a hint and guidelines to direct the efforts of the organization and a benchmark for evaluation. An organization should, therefore, develop and implement clear and concise standards for evaluating performance. Further, performance standards are expressed both in quantitative and qualitative terms. Kalpana (2018) advises through that setting performance standards should be more expressed in quantitative terms than it should be in a qualitative term.
Measuring actual performance
Measuring of actual performance should be undertaken in a consistent yet regular manner which is in conformity with the original plan. This will enable the proper acquisition of data during a decision making process concerned with evaluating performance. According to Cliffsnotes.com (n.d), the performance of a process should be equal to the standards set as in step one of the control process. In the event of unequal performance as compared to the set standards, a manager is mandated to find possible solutions and a corrective measure of the deviation in the future process.
Compare actual performance with the standards
This step weighs the results of the actual performance against the set standards. Managers should seize the opportunity at this stage to go through reports to determine whether or not the actual performance meets, surpasses or fails the cap for the standards. Reports in this manner would simplify to the managers the performance of the actual process against the standards and expectations by laying side by side the comparison of the standards and the actual performance.
Corrective action
This is the next step in controlling process. It is majorly application in the event of deviation from the expected course. In corrective action, managers are tipped to first determine the necessary changes and find a more feasible way of applying the identified changes. Chand (2018) notes that the corrective action taken may be to maintain the status of the process, correcting the deviations or even to completely or partially overhaul the standards.   
The control theory
Dwivedi and Giri (2016) note that the theory of control focuses efforts on the mechanisms which should be applied in all the levels of management. The management control theory, therefore, focuses on three types of the control system which organizations are poised to apply in order to get their desired results;
Behavior control
Behavior control is critical to the role of management in regards to control. The managers should be akin to the need of monitoring and evaluating the steps, behavior, and actions of their employees on a systematic and regular basis in conformity with the set standards of operation in the organization and also ensure that good conduct is rewarded accordingly as a means of motivation.
Output control
This form of control is focused on the evaluation of performance based on the output of the employees in the organization. The performance of the employees for this matter is rewarded or sanctioned after a careful evaluation and comparison with the set standards of performance set in the organization. Buchner (2007) asserts that output control measures results within the organization and each manager should determine what level of performance in terms of output is acceptable, track performance of each team member, communicate the expected results and be flexible to make any necessary adjustments.   
Input control
Input control according to Dwivendi and Giri (2016) focuses on controlling the selection and the process of training of a task force. The training and development scheme involved should be one that makes the employee well versed with the required skills for the responsibility assigned to him/her. The training program should be designed in a manner which conforms to the objectives of the organizations and the standards set therein.
Therefore, an organization is at liberty to choose a control system that best suits its practices or even ensure a combination of various control systems in order to achieve the desired outcome. The choice depends on the organizational structure, culture, and policies set by the organization.
Importance of creativity and innovation
Creativity entails the formulation of an original idea whereas innovation entails the implementation of the idea to bring a change within an organization. Sokolova (2015) asserts that creativity and innovation go together hand in hand and that innovation would not exist without creativity. An idea must first be developed before it is implemented. Therefore, creativity and innovation go together and should be treated alongside each other. Creativity and innovation, therefore, have varied instances of importance to a business setting; First, with the combination of the two, there would be an increase in the productivity of the organization. Exploring completely new and unknown ideas through creativity and thereby implementing the new ideas in the production process of the organization, would steer productivity to a whole new level. Businesses and organizations should, therefore, focus efforts in giving their taskforce opportunity, time and resources to think outside the box to come up with new ideas which could be implemented and to bring the desired change.
Creativity and innovation are a base for solving problems in an organizational setting. Developing new strategies, for instance, would help an organization to edge competition. An organization should, therefore, have a base for evaluating creativity and innovation and give room for creative employees to implement their creative ideas at their roles. Creative problem solution mechanisms are a recipe for achieving organizational goals.
Thirdly, creativity is important in steering innovation ahead. Roe (2012) identifies that without creativity, there is no innovation. Hence, creativity serves as the most important ingredient in evaluating innovation. Creativity is a differentiator in business as it determines the direction the business takes.
Leadership style and change in culture
Zenger (2017) defines the organizational culture as the beliefs, values, assumptions and other forms of interaction that has impacts on the unique environment of an organization. Culture also encompasses the visions and missions of an organization. Simply put, organizational culture is more of how things are done within an organization. Zenger (2017) further asserts that cultural variation in different companies defines the path taken by that organization in line with environmental sustainability and survival. Culture would define how long an organization stays put in its environment of operation. Culture though is dynamic and every organization should strive to gradually change their culture to adapt to a new market ecosystem.
Leadership is key to the survival of the organization just like culture. The leadership style imposed by an organization defines its culture. This is because every organization must have a leader who runs its objectives by overcoming challenges set on his/her path. Kotter (1990) defines leadership as a means of coping with transformation within a business environment. The business environment is prone to changes hence an organization should be ready and well equipped with agents of embracing the changes therein, this is leadership. Every leader has a unique way of doing things, this brings the diversity in different organizations (Barkdoll, 2006).
Nachar (2015) notes that leadership is not an invariable style that would fit every organization’s culture, a leader, therefore, should come up with his own leadership style which adapts with the organizational goals and values hence, a leader should have a broader view of various leadership styles available and use each in a complementing manner in which he poses his own leadership style to match with the style of leadership he chooses to use. Greesonbach (n.d) suggests that leaders in an organization should be able to influence the behavior of an organization by using their attributes to set the pace of what is considered an acceptable code of conduct and the way people carry out themselves within and without the organizational boundaries. 
Greesonbach (n.d) also identifies that leading a change that sets the organizational culture requires leaders to have a sense of motivation. Motivating employees play a key role in achieving the change one desires in the organization. Motivation comes in all manner of ways but organizations should focus on rewarding teamwork as opposed to individual performances. Doing so cultivates a culture of teamwork and spirit where employees focus their effort on achieving organizational goals as opposed to individual goals. The leadership style, therefore, decides the face the organization sends out to the stakeholders both internally and externally.
Leadership and culture go in hand. One cannot exist without the other for the effective drive of the organization. Leadership shapes organizational culture, culture, on the other hand, aligns leadership styles, strategies and frameworks in the organization (humansynergistic.com 2012). Leaders are at the center of behavior and thinking of people within the business environment, they are considered role models by others who look up to them. Their behavior, therefore, should be in conformity with the organizational code of conduct since they set standards of behavior.
There are a variety of leadership styles that business owners and leaders could practice to get things done in the organization aimed at promoting a culture or changing the business culture to conform with the goals of the organization. Clark (2015) identifies three major leadership styles at the disposal of organizational leaders; an authoritarian leader is one who tells his/her employees what to do and how it is done without seeking their advice or feedback. Participative leader indulges his employees in the decision-making process but deserves the right to formulate the final decision. Laisses-fair leader allows his employees to make decisions in a work environment but is held responsible for all the outcome of the decisions made. A leader may choose either of these or work with them in a combination approach to better his leadership and to influence the organization’s culture effectively.
The big picture
In conclusion, therefore, leadership determines the culture of the organization, the culture, on the other hand, shapes the leadership style chosen by the leaders in addition to their own leadership styles. In the best interest of the organization’s being, therefore, it is critical that the management and the leaders at large of a business formulate a leadership style based on the culture of the organization that will see effective and efficient change management in line with the objective of the organization. Largely though, it is important that an organization involves the hierarchy of leadership in every step of the decision-making process without bypassing any member of the task force. In a nutshell, organizations should largely embrace participative leadership style in which every member of the organization feels involved in the decisions of the company. The involvement of all the employees in decision-making process cultivates trust, breeds positive attitude and opens the avenues for creativity, innovation, and invention within the business hence predisposing the business to different forums for overcoming challenges and coping with changes within the organizational structure.
Barkdoll, G. L. (2006). Individual Personality and organizational culture or “let’s change this place so I feel more comfortable. Public Administration & Management: Interactive Journal. Available at: https://www.pamij.com/barkdoll.html [Accessed 31 October 2018].
Brooks, C. (2013). Entrepreneurs Answer the Question: ‘Why Is Innovation Important’. [online] Business News Daily. Available at: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5167-innovation.html [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].
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Chand, S. (2018). Features of Managerial Control in Management (7 Features). [online] Your Article Library. Available at: https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/management/features-of-managerial-control-in-management-7-features/25785 [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].
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Roe, B. (2012). Why is creativity important in everyday life? | Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. [online] Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. Available at: https://tscpl.org/art/why-is-creativity-important-in-everyday-life [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].
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