Organizational Control: Two Functions

By William G. OuchiMary Ann Maguire
1974| Working Paper No. 222

A distinction is drawn between two modes of organizational control, one based on personal surveillance (behavior control), and the other based on the measurement of outputs (output control). A study of employees over five levels of hierarchy shows that the two modes ofcontrol are not substitutes for each other, as has been argued in the past, but are independent of each other and subject to different causal forces. Output control occurs in response to a manager’s need to provide legitimate evidence of performance, while Behavior Control exists when means/ends relationships are known and thus appropriate instruction is possible.