United Way of America Control Mechanisms Paper






United Way of America Control Mechanisms Paper

Control mechanisms are frequently incorporated in the policy structure of successful organization to regulate and maintain the organization’s standards, practices and processes. Control by definition means a device or mechanism aimed at normalizing the operation of system. Many organizations utilize controls in their organization structure for the regulation of their business activities. This is mainly to ensure that there is harmonization of the different work duties and the organization is therefore able to avoid many of the conflicts involved with having a large staff working together. Controls work a lot in enabling companies to restrain and right a typical behavior in addition to the prevention of the spread of problems and errors.

Traditionally, control is regarded as one of the elementary functions of management. The other being organizing, planning and coordinating.  The organization controls outline the fundamental mechanisms that administrators use to direct attention, motivate and encourage the members of staff to carry out their activities in the prescribed manner in meeting the objectives of the organization.

One of the control mechanisms that is predominantly used by the United Way of America organization is clan control. This mode of governance has gained its popularity over the years and has been adopted by most of the not-for profit organizations. The organization is primarily involved in community and volunteer programs within the various communities that comprise the organization. The control mechanism of the United Way of America is characterised by encouragement of team work and friendship among the various members of staff. This aspect transcends the roles and responsibilities of each of the members with the culture being maintained across the hierarchy (United Way of America, 1990).

Another aspect of this control mechanism is that founded on the tradition of promotion from within whereby the subordinates get the opportunity to rise across the ranks. This works in the creation of sense of family and understanding within the organization since most of the workforce have spent entire careers within the organization and have worked at various capacities within the organization as their rise through the ranks. Thirdly, the organization is mindful of the personal lives of its members of staff through facilitating their access to healthcare services, providing programs for the access of retirement benefits in addition to other discount programs. This control mechanism works in the creation of deep sense of ownership among the company personnel. This control mechanism is evidenced in the manner in which the organization engages in community and volunteer work. These activities work in fostering a community spirit whereby the personnel feels that they are working for a common good.

Another control mechanism that is incorporated by the organization is through the specialization and division of labor and responsibilities. This form of control mechanism is highly associated with bureaucratic control whereby an organization uses formal hierarchy and standards. The projects are undertaken by the organization are managed by specific teams. The organization also comprises of various departments tasked with the undertaking of specific responsibilities and activities. This system facilitates in the determination of the effective and efficient departments (Bateman, 2009).

In comparison, the two control mechanisms employed by the organization mainly serve to ensure that there is harmony within the workforce as the organization aims in meeting its goals and objectives. The two control mechanisms also serve to ensure that the organization operates at optimal capacity. Thirdly, the control mechanisms create independence and a sense of responsibility among the various members of staff. The underlying contrast between the two forms is that clan control builds motivation within its workforce by providing them with a sense of purpose whereas in the latter, motivation is primarily performance oriented (Bateman, 2009).



Bateman, S. (2009). Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

United Way of America. (1990). United Way of America’s blueprint for volunteer diversity. Alexandria, VA: Volunteer and Community Initiatives Division, United Way of America.

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