Operations illustration Operations theory

Control of business activity

Control of business activity takes place at two levels - control from within the organisation and external control.

Internal control

Internal control involves the creation of management systems to control business activity. For example, there will be control systems:

  • for managing the consistency and quality of products coming off a production line
  • for the management of waste and pollution
  • for monitoring employee absence rates
  • to ensure that the best candidates are recruited to a company, etc.

A control system involves the creation of programmes and activities, which operate automatically. In the same way that the thermostat on your central heating system may switch it off when the temperature in your house goes above a certain temperature, a business control system will seek to keep activities under control. For example, if the production system is creating faulty products, this might be detected by an 'electronic eye'. Once the controllers of the system are aware of the fault they can put it right.

External control

There are a number of external controls which limit


Supporting Documents

These downloads will help to put operations theory into context using real world examples from real businesses.

Leading a revolution in banking
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Discover how Intelligent finance employed operations theory to thrive in the financial services industry by downloading our premium case study.

Positioning the brand
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Find out how Chap Stick applied operations theory to succeed in the healthcare industry by downloading our premium case study.

Innovation in infant nutrition
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Discover how Cow & Gate applied operations theory to prosper in the food & drink industry by downloading our premium case study.

Re-focussing a company's culture and marketing mix
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Discover how Argos applied operations theory to prosper in the retail industry by downloading our premium case study.

The use of social media in promotion
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Find out how National Trust used operations theory to prosper in the non-profit industry by downloading our premium case study.