Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryResearch


Organizational control is broadly understood as the methods and processes used to determine what to do and how to do it in organizations. The entry presents five main types of control. Direct control is based on personal surveillance and thus concerns face-to-face orders from one person to another about what to do and how to do it. Technical control is when technology such as the assembly line guides the work. Under bureaucratic control, behavior is guided through rules and regulations. All these forms of control target behavior. Under output control, however, the employees' output is the target. Instead of controlling behavior, output control allows for a variety of behaviors as long as the desired output is produced. Normative control, in turn, targets the norms of the employees, attempting to affect what is considered to be good and bad, valuable and desirable. Communication scholars have theorized control as a communicative act, and in particular have contributed to the understanding of normative forms of control.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication
EditorsCraig R. Scott, Laurie Lewis, James R. Barker, Joann Keyton, Timothy Kuhn, Paaige K. Turner
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781118955567
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameThe Wiley Blackwell-ICA International Encyclopedias of Communication
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Inc.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Business Administration

Free keywords

  • cultural/critical theory
  • organizational communication
  • organizational theory


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