Good management is not about signing contracts, assigning jobs and owning a company, rather it is about proper correspondence and coordination and requires involvement of all organization units to work together.
Coordination refers to an essential principle of management that is necessary to accomplish overall organizational goal. An organization grows when leaders face challenges to synchronize all the activities and functions inside it. Coordination simply put is nothing more than members in an organization working together and moving in the same direction to achieve a common goal. In the words of Theo Haiman, however, “Coordination is the orderly synchronization of efforts of the subordinates to provide the proper amount, timing and quality of execution so that their unified efforts lead to the stated objective, namely the common purpose of the enterprise”. Thus, to proficiently arrive at an intended destination of the business, effective and efficient coordination becomes compulsory. Right people, with right skills in the right seats are not all that an organization needs to succeed. Good management is not about signing contracts, assigning jobs and owning a company, rather it is about proper correspondence and coordination and requires involvement of all organization units to work together.
According to Dick Carlson, effective coordination is acquired through four important stages and they are:-
a. Communication – Understanding
b. Timing – Appropriateness
c. Flexibility – Sensitivity
d. Control – Discipline & Motivation
Coordination is different yet inseparable from cooperation. While coordination is bringing together the efforts of diverse mechanism within an organization to provide them unity of purpose; cooperation refers to the shared but intended efforts of people to carry out a meticulous objective. Cooperation works to ease coordination within a team or organization as a whole.. It is unanimously said that “Cooperation without coordination has no fruit and coordination without cooperation has no root”. Thus, cooperation and coordination must go hand in hand with a clear understanding that one is the stepping stone for the other. An effective manager needs both. The management seeks to achieve coordination through its imitative moves e.g. planning, organizing, staffing, commanding and controlling. Conciliation with external situations, scheming internal circumstances and motivation of people resources are integral, coordinating functions of management. The performance of the management depends much on coordination than any other element.
In any enterprise, coordination leads to facilitate:
a. Team Spirit: By encouraging people to work in a team and achieve the common goal.
b. Better Accomplishment: With proper direction and management of time and energy.
c. Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency: By automatically generating concern about control of wastage (Process & resources). This minimizes delays and break downs and leads to optimum utilization of resources.
d. Motivation: By encouraging employees to take initiatives which eventually enhances job satisfaction.. It inevitably results in better performance of the company as a whole.
e. Improved Human Relations: by minimizing the conflicts, rivalries and other organizational issues. With clarity that comes along, working is always smooth and productive.
f. Goals Integration: by bringing uniformity in understanding of organizational goals and common effort required to achieve it. Coordination is a process that applies only to group activities. It does not apply to individual activities. Coordination also requires deliberate efforts like:
a. Well Defined Objectives: Clarity & common understanding of the objective makes it attainable and hence, coordination succeeds only if the organization has defined its objectives well.
b. Effective Chain of Command: Chain of command is the interlink or chain link of authority and reporting relations. This link connects all the members from top to bottom by duly defining reporting relations as superior/supervisor and subordinate. This results in effective control and communication.
c. Continuous & Accurate Programs and Policies: It focuses on long term planning for human capital strategic perspective around integrated product & services. Thus, coordination time bound rather is a continuous process. It must continue at each level from inception i.e. planning, organizing, directing and controlling until the business sustains.
d. Effective Communication: Coordination can succeed only with effective communication. All barriers and gaps at each level must be eliminated in the communication process. Proper communication helps to avoid misunderstandings and helps to build consensus to achieve goals.
e. Effective Leadership: Leadership is a means to realize the outcome of coordination and efficient allocation of resources. The importance of coordination is stressed to improve the value of collaborative activities. Effective leadership strategies derive their power from effective strategies and transformational power of a compelling vision rather than from hierarchy, rank or standard operating procedures.
f. Cooperation: Cooperation is the hall mark for a corporate culture. Accomplishment of an ultimate goal requires mutual cooperation. To secure coordination around a business destination, maintenance of cooperation amongst functions, teams and individual employees is essential. Since cooperation is one of most important element in assisting coordination, upkeep of sustained cooperation is important.
g. Mission Driven Work Teams: Also termed as “self managing” teams, it represents teams with interdependence and joint responsibility for outputs among the members. It has been considered as a revolutionary approach to organize and perform assignments. It integrates the need of people with work to be done and that is encouraged through coordination.
It is suggested by management scientists that the implementation processes range from the simplest to the most complex. Here are a range of these processes:
i) Standards: A set of expectations and measures across organizations, i.e. performance standards or management.
ii) Information: Learning and knowledge sharing through database, case studies or site visits.
iii)Expertise: Sharing expertise and competence through people (expert) movement from one to the other location/unit in view of the best use of the talent available.
iv)Authority: Problem solving or trouble shooting among cross functional teams through sharing authority.
v) Cost Economy: Leader shares knowledge around achieving goal that controls cost through integration of business processes.
Coordination is a valuable yet intangible tool. Businesses seeking success must ensure application of coordination that includes ability to set standards, share information, transfer expertise, allocate authority, improve business processes and deliver innovation and design. All the functions of management are affected by coordination. It encourages team spirit, gives proper direction to the organization and motivates employees as well as makes proper use of the resources. Hence, it is an essential element for the survival, growth and profitability of any organization.
Dr Karna is the Executive Chairperson of MARK Business Solutions Pvt Ltd. The article is based on various research reports and his practical experiences as management practitioner.