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4 components of Management Control System

One of  the managerial  functions  requiring  information  is control,  the MIS  is part of  the management control system (MCS). A  control system has  the  following  four primary components:

1. A detector or sensor, which is a measuring device that identifies what is actually happening  in  the process being controlled.

2. An assessor, which is a device for determining the significance of what is happening. Usually, significance is assessed by comparing the information on what is  actually happening with  some  standard or  expectation of what  should be happening.

3. An effector, which is a device that alters behavior if the assessor indicates the need for doing so. This device is often called “feedback.”

4. A  communications network, which  transmits  information between  the detector and the assessor and between the assessor and the effector.

It  is  through  these  system  elements  that  information  about  actual  organizational occurrences is gathered, comparisons are made against plans, changes are effected when necessary,  and  communications  take place  among  appropriate parties.  For example, source documents (detectors) gather information about sales that is compared to the budgets (assessor). If sales revenues are below budget, management may issue (communications network) a variance report (effector) to encourage the sales staff to increase volume.
 
However, even given  the same  information, different managers may  interpret it differently and respond accordingly.  In  this respect, a management control system  is not merely mechanical,  it  requires  judgment. Thus, a management control system may be  referred  to as a black box: an operation whose exact nature can not be observed.

Regardless of  the specific actions  taken, a management control system should serve to guide organizations in designing and implementing strategies such that organizational goals and objectives are achieved.
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