Coordination is ever present at every level of management, and pervades all managerial functions. It has been defined as an orderly synchronization or unification of individual and group efforts. It facilitates harmonization of individual and group goals. The bigger the organization and the resulted complexity, the more essential becomes the coordination. Coordination is reconciling differences in approach, interpretation of plans, timing, efforts, and interests of individuals, subordinates, compeers, and superiors.
Principles of Coordination
Mary Parker Follett has great contribution in the development of coordination principles. These principles are
1. Principle of Direct Contact
Direct contact plays a vital role in the accomplishment of coordination. Direct contact may be top down, bottom-up and horizontal. If facilitates face-to-face communication, understanding, exchange of ideas, and harmonized interpretation of plans, policies and procedures.
2. Principle of Achieving Coordination at Early stages
Coordination is necessary to achieve at an early stage of planning. Unification of activities becomes difficult after plans are put to operation.
3. Principle of Reciprocity of all Factors
According to this principle all factors, affairs, matters, or problems are interrelated in a given situation. These factors are so much interwoven and correlated that they cannot be viewed and analyzed separately or they will mislead the manager.
4. Horizontal Coordination is more important than vertical
This principle states that vertical coordination is not so much difficult because of incessant, regular, and direct contact between the boss and his subordinates. The real test of coordination is at horizontal level. Horizontal coordination is necessary to interchange information, interpret plans, implement schedules, accommodate the requirements of each other, and smooth the working of the company as a whole. All the heads and personnel of different departments should maintain links between themselves to exchange information, know changed situations and conditions, increase understanding, and make it sure that plans are going ahead as per schedule.