The main-techniques of effective coordination are as follows:
1. Sound planning:
Unity of purpose is the first essential condition of coordination. Therefore, the goals of the organization and goals of its units must be clearly defined. Every member of the organization must understand fully how his job contributes to the overall objectives. Planning is the ideal stage for coordination.
Clear-cut objectives, harmonized policies and integrated procedures ensure uniformity of action. Various plans should be integrated properly. Precise policies and comprehensive programmers facilitate coordination of activities and individuals. Standard procedures and rules create uniformity in repetitive operations.
2. Simplified organization:
A simple and sound organization is an important means of coordination. The line of authority and responsibility from top to the bottom of the organisation structure should be clearly defined. Clear-cut definition of authority and responsibility of ach department and individual helps to avoid conflicts.
Clear-cut authority relationships help to reduce conflicts and to hold people responsible. Related activities should be grouped together and jobs should properly inter-related. Well-drawn organization charts, organizational manuals and proper allocation of work make for uniform action.
In some cases, rearrangement of departments may be necessary to chief coordination of thought and action.
3. Effective communication:
Open and regular communication is they to coordination. Effective inter-change of opinions and information helps in resolving differences and in creating mutual understanding. Personal or face-to-face contacts are the most effective means of communication and coordination.
Committees help to promote unity of purpose and uniformity of action. They provide an opportunity for free and frank exchange of views.
Coordination becomes easier when different functional groups are represented in the decision-making process. Committees are helpful in integrating the activities of different departments.
Committee decisions are collective decisions and such group decisions themselves provide coordination among different departments or functions in the enterprise.
Personal or face-to-face communication may be supplemented by written communication. Informal communication can also be utilized for the purpose of coordination.
4. Effective leadership and supervision:
Effective leadership ensures coordination of efforts both at the planning and the execution stage. A good leader can continuously guide the activities of his subordinates in the right direction and can inspire them to pull together for the accomplishment of common objectives.
Sound leadership can persuade subordinates to have identity of interests arid to adopt a common outlook. Effective leadership reduces the dependence on such formal means of coordination as authority, rules and procedures. In fact, no technique of coordination can replace effective leadership.
Personal supervision is an important method of resolving differences of opinion. It helps to ensure that work proceeds as planned.
Coordination is a human task and a manager can accomplish it through interpersonal relations. Informal contacts with subordinates help to create climate of mutual trust and cooperation which is the foundation of coordination, Luther Gallic has called coordinating by ideas to describe the use of leadership in coordination.
5. Chain of Command:
Authority is the supreme coordinating power in an organization. Exercise of authority through the chain of command or hierarchy is the traditional means of coordination. Chain of command brings together the different parts of an organization and relates them to a central authority.
Coordination between interdependent units can be secured by putting them under one boss. Because of his organizational position, a superior has the authority to issue orders and instructions to subordinates. He can resolve inter-positional and intergroup conflicts.
However, behavioral scientists have warned against over-dependence on chain of command. According to Chris Argyrols, the hierarchy technique of coordination makes individuals dependent upon and passive towards the leader.
It is inconsistent with the needs of mature personality. The hierarchical structure may impair communication and decision-making.
6. Indoctrination and incentives:
Indoctrinating organizational members with the goals and mission of the organization can transform a neutral body into a committed body. Similarly, incentives may be used to rebate mutuality of interest and to reduce conflicts.
For instance, profit- haring is helpful in promoting team-spirit and cooperation between employers and workers. Such mutuality of interest reduces strife and insures better coordination.
7. Liaison departments:
Where frequent contact between different organizational units is necessary, liaison officers may be employed. For instance, a liaison department may ensure that the production department is meeting the delivery dates and specifications promised by the ales department.
Special coordinators may be appointed in certain asses. For instance, a project coordinator is appointed to coordinate the activities of various functionaries in a project which is to be completed it in a specified period of time. Liaison officers act as ‘linking pins’ in organization and compensate for lack of face-to-face contacts.’
8. General staff:
In large organizations, a centralized pool of staff experts is used for coordination. A common staff group serves as the clearing house of information and specialized advice to all the departments of the enterprise.
Such general staff is very helpful in achieving inter-departmental or horizontal coordination.
9. Voluntary coordination:
When every organizational unit appreciates the working of related units and modifies its own functioning to suit them, there is self-coordination. Self-coordination or voluntary coordination is possible in a climate of dedication and mutual cooperation. It results from mutual consultation and team-spirit among the members of the organization.
It arises when every member of the group takes cognizance of the effects of his actions on others. Under self-coordination, members of an organization voluntarily adjust their behavior according to the needs of the situation.
Self-coordination is the voluntary efforts of independent units or subunits of an organization to achieve the harmonious performance of their respective responsibilities.
But self-coordination requires that individuals have sufficient knowledge of organizational goals, adequate information concerning the specific problem of coordination, and the motivation to do something on their own.
Managers cannot rely on self-coordination as these conditions are not always fulfilled. Self-coordination cannot be a substitute for coordination from above. Managers have to make deliberate efforts to bring unity of purpose in the activities of subordinates.
In the words of Harman, “neither the principle of self-coordination nor the concept of self-adjustment is a substitute for coordination.
It takes the efforts of the leader or the manager to bring about coordination, and the goal of the enterprise cannot be successfully obtained without it.”