Co-ordination is the unification and integration of the efforts of group members and to provide unity of action in the achievement of common goals. It is a hidden force which binds all the other functions of management. No function of management can be efficiently performed unless the activities under the function are coordinated. Coordination is helpful in achieving the objectives of the organization. Coordination is a process and it is not fixed. Individual activities are not applied in coordination, it prefers group activities. The managers have to make special efforts for coordination. Coordination does not come automatically. Coordination leads to unity of action. It is essential at every level of management in order to achieve the organizational goal.
In the words of Newman, " Co-ordination is a part of all phases of administration and that is not a separate and distinct activity."
In the words of Charles Worth, “Co-ordination is the integration of several parts into an orderly whole to achieve the purpose of understanding”.
Coordination is a process of binding the activities of various departments and persons in the organization so that the desired goal can be easily achieved. Management achieves its basic functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling through co-ordination. No function of management can be efficiently performed unless the activities under the functions are coordinated. It is essential at every level of management in order to achieve the organizational goal.
Co-ordination is an integral part of all the managerial functions. Its elements are discussed as follows:
a) Co-ordination through Planning
Planning is thinking before doing activities. It is the determination of the course of action to achieve the desired result. Planning facilitates coordination through the various plans through mutual discussion, exchange of ideas. For example coordination between the budget of finance and purchases.
b) Co-ordination through Organizing
Organizing means a form of human association for the attainment of common objectives.In order to conduct the activities in the organized form, coordination is important.
c) Co-ordination through Staffing
Staffing is the process of hiring, positioning and overseeing employees in an organization. A manager should know that there must be the right number of personnel in various positions with the right type of education. The coordination ensures right men on the right job with qualified skills.
d) Co-ordination through Directing
Directing means communicating, supervising, leading, motivating, suggesting e.t.c. The purpose of giving orders, instructions & guidance to the subordinates can be served only when there is a harmony between superiors & subordinates.
e) Co-ordination through Controlling
Controlling is the process of analyzing whether the action is being taken as planned and taking corrective action. Manager ensures that there must be co-ordination between actual performance and the standard performance in achieving the organizational goals.
From the above discussion, we know that coordination is the essence of management. It is required for each and every function and at each and every stage. Therefore it cannot be separated.
Techniques of Coordination
Managers use a variety of techniques for achieving coordination. The main techniques for effective coordination are as follows:
1. Sound Planning
Coordination facilitates sound planning in the organization. The plan, policies, and comprehensive programs prefer coordination of activities and individuals. Standard procedures and rules create uniformity in repetitive operations. Thus, coordination is regarded as an essential element for sound planning
2. Sound Organizational Structure
A sound organizational structure contributes to effective coordination. It clearly defines the authority relationship which provides an effective means of integrating the activities of different departments. It clearly defines the authority relationships which provide an effective means of integrating the activities of different units. A sound organizational structure has the clear meaning of authority.
3. Clearly defined Objectives
The goal of the organization must be clearly defined. The individual in the organization should understand the overall objectives. The contribution of their jobs helps to attain the overall objectives. For achieving proper coordination, there must be unity of purpose.
4. Maintaining Co-operation
Co-operation is the result of maintaining good relationship among the people in the organization. It depends on sound policies and procedures. Informal contacts should be encouraged to supplement formal communication.The coordination is more effective and long lasting when the organization achieves the voluntary co-operation of employees.
5. Formation of Committees
A committee is a group of a person entrusted with functions collectively as a group. The decisions of committee are easy to be implemented as all who are represented are bound to follow committee decisions. It promotes coordination through better and free interchange of ideas, feelings, and opinions. All who are represented on the committee are bound to follow the committee decisions.
6. Comprehensive Policies and Programs
Coordination becomes very easy if there are well-defined and comprehensive policies and programs. This brings uniformity in action because everyone understands the policies and programs in the same sense. These are also good tools for coordination as they provide the timetable, schedules etc.
7. Voluntary Cooperation
Coordination is more effective and long lasting when it is achieved through the voluntary cooperation of employees. Cooperation is the result of harmonious relations among the people of the organizations. Informal contacts should be encouraged to supplement formal communication. Voluntary co-operation can be developed among the employees by encouraging them through contacts and communications.
8. Effective Communication
A good communication system contributes to effective coordination by promoting mutual understanding and cooperation among various individuals. The communication should be direct as far as possible to avoid any misunderstanding through misinterpretations. When the different functional groups are represented in the decision-making process the coordination becomes easier. Coordination is impossible without effective communication.
9. Simplified Organization
A simple and sound organization is an important means of coordination. The organization structure of a line of authority and responsibility from top to the bottom should be clearly defined. The definition of authority and responsibility of each department and individual helps to avoid conflicts.
10. Effective Leadership and Supervision
Effective leadership facilitates coordination efforts in the planning and the execution stage. The activities of the subordinates can be continuously guided by a good leader in the right direction. It can inspire to pull them together for the accomplishment of the common objectives. Sound leadership can persuade subordinates to have an identity of interests. It also helps to adopt a common outlook. The effective leadership reduces the dependence on such formal means of coordination.
11. Staff Meetings or Conferences
The Meeting and conference provided to the staffs is a platform for discussion and solution of various problems faced by the departments. Staff meetings and conferences may be highly effective in the promotion of coordination. It helps to learn new things. It provides the subordinates an opportunity to bring up the problems.
12.Chain of Command
The Chain of command is one of the most important methods of coordination. The supreme coordinating power in an organization is the authority. The exercise of authority through the chain of command or hierarchy is the traditional means of coordination. The different parts of an organization are brought together through the chain of command. It also relates them to a central authority.
Indoctrination refers to the religious idea. Indoctrinating the organizational members with the goals and mission is also the essential techniques of the organization. It can transform a neutral body into a committed body.
Incentives refer to something that encourages someone to do something. In the coordination, incentives may be used to rebate the interest and to reduce conflicts. For instance, profit helps in promoting team spirit and cooperation between employers and workers.
15. Liaison Departments
It is necessary to contact between different organizational units, for this the liaison officers may be employed. A liaison department ensures the meeting of production department, delivery of dates, and specifications by the sales department. Special coordinators may be appointed in the certain asset.