To remain competitive, organizations in dynamically shifting environments witnessed in the 21st century have realized the essence and importance of systematically setting performance standards with their planning objectives using a multiplicity of controls.
Indeed, many have realized that the uniqueness of their controls plays a critical role in their sustained ability to compete favorably in the turbulent economic waters, and those who have failed to recognize the unequivocal place of controls in modern business atmosphere have often failed to wade through (Turner & Makhya, 2006).
It is the purpose of this paper to evaluate how the three control levels – tactical, operational, and strategic – are tied in with the planning and goal setting capacities at Sheraton Desert Inn, Las Vegas, and further elaborate on why planning and control should be tied together.
Strategic control can be defined as the long-term process of monitoring and evaluating the direction of the organization in terms of whether the various strategies adopted are assisting its internal environment to be synchronized with the external environment in the context of shifting environmental and competitive actions (Rea & Kerzner, 2001).
Tactical control entails short-term, short range oversights mainly practiced by middle level managers with the explicit purpose of controlling the movements or maneuvers necessary for the successful accomplishment of the tasks assigned. Operational control entails the day to day logistics and oversight to ensure the organization’s schedules, specifications, and costs runs smoothly.
The top management at Sheraton Desert Inn, Las Vegas, strategically focuses on monthly sales totals of food versus the total food costs to facilitate planning for tighter cost controls in line with the hotel’s goals and mission statement. Tactically, the hotel’s management always ensures that quality control objectives for services offered are being met to customer expectations. Operationally, the management controls day-to-day ordering and supply of essential commodities and foodstuffs to facilitate the smooth running of the hotel.
The hotel and hospitality business is one of the most competitive in Las Vegas, but Sheraton Desert Inn has managed to maintain its competitive advantage by harmonizing its control levels with its planning and goal setting functions. While underlining the hotel’s exemplary performance, Rea & Kerzner (2001) argues that the harmonization of its control mechanisms with its planning and goal setting functions has enabled the hotel to enhance customer, employee, supplier, and stakeholder confidence.
Lee (2000) argues that the agility of the hotel’s control systems coupled with the synchronization of the controls with the organization’s planning and goal setting functions have allowed the organization a “…flexible choice that combines the essential elements of each kind of group business into an easily purchased, simply tailored format” (para. 6).
Furthermore, Sheraton Desert Inn was able to seek for a five-star rating within a year after opening, a salient indicator of how well its control levels ties in with its planning and goal setting functions to ensure its actual performance meets or surpasses set objectives (McKee, 1998)
Although current research reveals the hotel’s control levels are tied in with their planning and goal setting functions, the top management need to offer more incentives to supervisors and middle level managers in terms of enhanced allowances, time-offs, and other perks to ensure they holistically conform to organizational expectations (Lee, 2000).
Low-level employees also need to be brought on board in the formulation of the control, planning, and goal setting processes to aid them in preparing for future organizational changes (Oakes et al., 1998).
Planning and goal setting are critical functions within an organizational set up since without them, “…organizations will have trouble coordinating activities and forecasting future events” (Marler, 2011, para. 1).
However, the forecasted activities may lack any meaningful bearing or business sense if no controls are put in place to assess and direct the direction of the forecasts with the overarching purpose of ensuring that business activities, processes, and activities will enable the organization to meet or surpass its objectives while still maintaining competitive advantage (Camillus, 1986). As such, a central tenet of good management revolves around tying and harmonizing organization’s planning functions with the laid down control processes.
Camillus, J.C. (1986). Strategic planning and management control: Systems for survival and success. New York, NY. Lexington Books
Lee, S. (2000). ITT Sheraton’s treasure chest. Successful meetings, 43(8), 21. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier Database
Marler, L.E. (2011). Goals and goal setting. In: Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd Ed. Retrieved March 11 2011
McKee, J. (1998). Sheraton Desert Inn seeks five-star rating. Las Vegas Business Review, 12(17), 17. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier Database
Oakes, L.S., Townsley, B., & Cooper, D.J. (1998). Business planning as pedagogy: Language and control in a changing institutional field. Administrative Science Quarterly, 43(2), 257-292. Retrieved from Business Source Premier Database
Rea, P.J., & Kerzner, H. (2001). Strategic planning: A practical guide, 2nd Ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Turner, K.L., & Makhya, M.V. The role of organizational controls in managing knowledge. Academy of Management Review, 31(1), 197-217. Retrieved from Business Source Premier Database