From the above definitions, we can list the basic nature and characteristics of coordination as under:
Coordination helps in achieving organizational objectives through coordinated group efforts. Organizational objectives change with organizational budgets and priorities.
Budgets being made annually and priorities being changed to keep pace with the environmental forces, coordination is ever existing, dynamic and a continuous process.
Coordination is necessary to integrate group activities with the organizational objectives. Both through vertical and horizontal coordination, organizations integrate individuals as well as group activities. Individuals form parts of groups. Hence, it is essentially coordination of group efforts, which we find in organization.
To achieve goals and objectives, organizations segregate its activities in different parts. Each part of an activity is looked after by individuals working in a group. Such part forms a specific task. Aggregation of task leads to achievement of common goals. Hence, individual efforts need to be harmonized and integrated to accomplish organizational goals. This is achieved through effective coordination.
Unity of efforts again is ensured by channelizing individual and group efforts towards accomplishment of organizational objectives. Need for unity of efforts arises due to individual differences in understanding, timing, performing or approaching to accomplish organizational goals. As organization is a total process; without unity of diversified efforts of individuals working in organizations, achievement of results is difficult. Therefore, unity of efforts is achieved through coordination, both vertical and horizontal.
All managers, irrespective of their functional specializations and hierarchical levels, need to coordinate to achieve goals and objectives of an organization. Hence, coordination is a responsibility of all managers, and no one can evade it.
All managerial functions require coordination. Several proponents of coordination concept, instead of regarding coordination as a separate managerial function, regarded it as the essence of management to accomplish group goals. Therefore, coordination is considered as an all-pervasive and permeating function of management, which passes through the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
7. It is also Maintenance of Systems:
An organization is a system of group efforts. Coordination recognizes the diversity and interdependence of organizational systems and the importance of synthesizing individual and group efforts with the organizational systems. Systems approach considers the organization as a network of mutually dependent parts. Systems concept of coordination ensures integration of such parts for the accomplishment of goals and objectives.
Coordination cannot be achieved spontaneously. It emanates from conscious and concerted action of management.
Interruptions of operations may arise due to several reasons. Coordination helps in avoiding such interruptions to achieve organizational goals on time.
Coordination can eliminate such problem and thereby optimizes resources of an organization.
Based on the above characteristics of coordination, we can summarize, in line with Mintzberg, following six valid coordinating mechanisms in organizations.
i. Direct supervision
ii. Standardization of work
iii. Standardization of skills
iv. Standardization of outputs
v. Mutual adjustments
vi. Standardization of norms
Direct supervision is more visible for entrepreneurial organizations. In machine organizations, we find the practice of standardization of work. In professionally managed organizations, standardization of skills is visible. Standardizations of outputs are evident in diversified organizations. For innovative organizations, a mutual adjustment is more practised. Finally, for missionary organizations, we find standardization of norms to follow the principles of equity.