What is Coordination?
Coordination means harmonizing different elements within an organization, such as individuals, finances, resources, tasks, machines, departments, objectives, and processes. Its purpose is to ensure that everyone works together effectively towards achieving the desired goals.
In essence, coordination brings unity and synchronization among the members of the organization to maximize their collective efforts. It is an ongoing process that brings together all the different parts of an organization to work together in a harmonious and cooperative way, with the aim of achieving productive outcomes in the future.
It involves managing the organization in a manner that fosters peace, harmony, and a clear common goal, while also ensuring that employees are focused on the best interests of the company.
As management is called the essence of organizational success coordination is called the essence of management’s success. Coordination plays a vital role in connecting the essential functions of management, such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling, contributing to the overall success of the management process.
Ensuring that all the activities, objectives, and resources of an organization are aligned and working together has always been a crucial responsibility for managers. They need to bring together different departments and levels of management so that everyone is moving in the same direction.
In today’s world, the success of a manager in achieving their goals depends greatly on their ability to coordinate the various factors within their organization.
Objectives of Coordination
The following five are the main objectives of coordination.
- Bring unity to the effort.
- Optimization of resources.
- Alignment of goals and objectives.
- Conflict resolution.
- Ensure adaptability and flexibility.
Characteristics of Coordination
Coordination is a careful effort to harmonize all the components of an organization in a way their collective efforts best work on achieving desired goals. The followings are the main characteristics/features of coordination.
A Management Function
Coordination is one of the functions of management. In addition, it is not just another management function; it holds a unique and essential role in the overall success of an organization. It goes beyond being a mere function and becomes the essence of effective management.
The coordination process plays a vital role in unifying all other management functions, such as planning, organizing, and controlling. The efficiency of coordination significantly influences the overall achievement of management’s goals and the organization’s overall success. It is a key ingredient in ensuring smooth operations and optimal outcomes.
Integrates Efforts of Employees
Relying solely on the efforts of an individual employee is not enough to achieve organizational goals. Success comes through coordination, which involves bringing together the collective efforts of all employees and aligning them toward a common direction.
By integrating and harnessing the group’s combined efforts, coordination maximizes the utilization of resources and enhances the chances of accomplishing desired objectives. It recognizes the power of teamwork and ensures that everyone is working together towards shared goals.
Pervasive in Nature
Coordination is a fundamental requirement for the smooth functioning of any organization, regardless of its size or nature. It is pervasive, meaning it applies universally across all types of companies, whether small or large, domestic or international.
Effective coordination is necessary not only within different departments and units but also between managers at various levels of the organizational hierarchy. It ensures a practical synchronization that facilitates efficient management and the overall success of the company.
Unity in Action
The goal of coordination as a management function is to foster unity in action within an organization. It focuses on integrating and aligning various activities and efforts across the organization to work towards a common purpose.
By emphasizing the need for unity in the workplace, coordination ensures that everyone is working together harmoniously and efficiently, ultimately leading to the achievement of desired outcomes and organizational interests.
Unifying the organization is an ongoing and perpetual task that continues throughout the organization’s existence. It is not a one-time effort but a continuous process. Even after achieving initial goals, coordination remains essential.
Whenever conflicts arise or new objectives are set, the coordinating process comes into play. This continuous nature of coordination ensures that the organization remains cohesive and aligned toward its goals throughout its lifespan.
Types of Coordination
Effective alignment of all internal organizational components is vital. However, it is equally important to harmonize external elements of the organization. In this context, the types of coordination are two – internal and external.
Internal coordination involves synchronizing and establishing productive relationships among various internal factors within an organization. These factors can include employees, departments, business units, branches, and different managerial levels, all of which are under the organization’s control.
The objective of internal coordination is to ensure that all activities within the organization are well-coordinated and aligned. It can be categorized into two types: vertical coordination and horizontal coordination.
Vertical coordination occurs when higher-level superiors coordinate with their subordinates in a hierarchical chain, while horizontal coordination takes place among employees at the same level to enhance relationships and improve performance.
For example, the head of Department A coordinates with the head of Department D to facilitate collaboration and efficient workflow between the two departments.
Internal coordination is crucial for promoting synergy, avoiding conflicts, and enhancing overall organizational effectiveness.
In addition to internal coordination, it is essential for organizations to extend their coordination efforts externally.
External coordination focuses on establishing coordinated relationships between the organization and external stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, partners, and the community. By understanding the external environment, organizations can develop effective plans to capitalize on upcoming opportunities and prepare their employees for optimal performance.
They may even appoint a Public Relations Officer (PRO) to foster better relationships and communication between the organization and external parties.
For instance, a company may coordinate with its suppliers to ensure a smooth supply chain or collaborate with community organizations to support local initiatives.
External coordination enhances the organization’s reputation, fosters goodwill, and contributes to overall success.
Importance of Coordination
The success of an organization relies on the efficient coordination of its activities, resources, people, and departments. When these elements work together effectively towards a shared goal, they can achieve greater results for the organization.
The coordination process plays a crucial role in ensuring this effective collaboration and alignment. The followings are its main importance.
Unity in Action
The coordination function of management ensures that all individuals and departments within an organization work together towards a common goal. It eliminates conflicting actions and promotes a cohesive effort, resulting in unity in action. This unity enables the organization to move forward efficiently and effectively.
Integration of Employees’ Efforts
It integrates the efforts of employees by aligning their activities and tasks. It brings together their diverse skills, knowledge, and expertise, creating synergy and promoting collaboration. By integrating these efforts, coordination enhances productivity and improves overall performance.
Effective Utilization of Organizational Resources
It helps optimize the utilization of organizational resources, including human resources, financial assets, equipment, and materials. By coordinating these resources effectively, duplication and wastage can be minimized. This efficient utilization maximizes productivity and contributes to the organization’s success.
Maintenance of Harmony, Peace, and Cooperation
It fosters an environment of harmony, peace, and cooperation within the organization. By promoting open communication, resolving conflicts, and encouraging teamwork, coordination helps to maintain positive relationships among employees and departments. This positive atmosphere enhances employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall organizational performance.
Why the Coordination is Called the Essence of Management?
Coordination is often referred to as the essence of management because it plays a fundamental role in aligning and integrating all the functions of management. It acts as the glue that brings together the different aspects of management and ensures they work harmoniously toward achieving organizational goals.
Here’s how coordination aligns with the five functions of management:
- Planning: Coordination ensures that the plans developed by different departments and individuals are aligned and cohesive. It helps in identifying dependencies, setting priorities, and ensuring that everyone understands the overall objectives.
- Organizing: Coordination helps in organizing the various resources, tasks, and responsibilities within the organization. It ensures that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and that there is effective communication and collaboration among different teams and departments.
- Staffing: Coordination plays a crucial role in staffing by ensuring that the right people with the necessary skills and expertise are placed in the right positions. It involves matching individual talents with organizational needs and fostering teamwork among employees.
- Directing: Coordination supports the directing function by ensuring that the efforts of employees are directed towards common goals. It involves providing guidance, clarifying expectations, and facilitating communication between managers and employees.
- Controlling: Coordination helps in controlling by monitoring progress, comparing it with set standards, and taking corrective actions as needed. It ensures that all activities and outcomes are aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the organization.