According to Lyndall Urwick, there are four principles of managerial control. These are uniformity, comparison, utility and the exception. An understanding of these principles is important for grasping and appreciating the idea of management control. A brief description of these principles is as follows:
1. The Control’s principles of uniformity: The objective of control is to derive the best work performance. So it is very necessary that the principle of uniformity must be observed. It requires the presentation of data, information, figures and reports of control purposes in terms of organisation structure. The principle of parity between authority and responsibility must also be followed.
2. The Control’s principles of comparison: It implies that all figures and reports used for control should be in terms of standard performance required as also for past performance. Such type of control is supposed to pose a challenge to each individual. The purpose of comparison is not only to determine the deviation and mistake but to enable the manager to predict future results. A good control system must provide quick comparisons so that the manager or controller can attend to possible trouble while the operation is ‘in control’.
3. The Control’s principles of utility: This principle implies that the importance or value of reports for control changes directly with the suitability of the period covered by report keeping in view of the purpose of control. With ‘utility’ the concept of ‘unity’ should also be there. A manager can be successful in controlling by uniting the ideas of the men around him. This interaction is the psychological aspect of control. The control system must be acceptable to the persons being controlled.
4. The Control’s principles of exceptions: Managerial control also emphasises on exception principle. The exception principle holds that the manager should devote greater attention to the strategic points or unusual items. Optimum control can be achieved only if critical points can be identified and a close attention is paid to them. Discrimination between important and unimportant factors is important. Good control does not necessarily mean maximum control. Control, is often expensive. Hence, principle of exception is important.