Definitions of Management by Exception

Management by Exception has been defined as follows:

Lester Bittel:

‘It is a system of identification and communication that signals the manager when his attention is needed; conversely, it remains silent when his attention is not required’.


William Coventry:

‘It means that only those facts and figures, which differ from the norms and, therefore, relate to exceptional circumstances, need be referred to the top. Where everything continues to proceed according to plan, there is obviously no point in top management being involved.

To a lesser extent this is true at the lower levels of management. In all other cases decisions have to be made and actions taken in accordance with the objectives and policies as circulated through manuals and office instructions’.