After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of a Committee 2. Principles of a Committee 3. Types 4. Advantages 5. Limitations.
Meaning of a Committee:
A committee is a group of people who work collectively, discuss, decide and recommend solutions to the problems (of a concern) which possibly cannot be solved by an individual. A committee consists of a group of men conversant with a subject; naturally their advice will be much superior to that of one man.
Committees work very well in large complex corporate organisations having multifaceted problems too big and too complex to be dealt effectively by one person. In a committee, ideas put forth by several persons are pooled and offered for criticism; the ideas are developed and thus recommendations are made as regards procedure and policies.
Principles of a Committee:
1. The number of persons in a committee should depend upon the need and be optimum minimum (about 5 to 10 persons).
2. Responsibility, authority, objectives and duties of the committee should be clearly defined.
3. Agenda of the committee should be prepared and communicated to the committee members at least a week before they meet for discussions.
4. Problems which can be taken care of by an individual should not be included in the agenda of the committee.
5. Committee meetings should begin and end on prefixed timings.
6. Problems not related to the subject-matter at hand should not be discussed because it will simply waste time.
7. The operation of the committee should be a cooperative development.
8. The recommendations made by the committee should be published and circulated to interested and concerned persons.
The committee should be apprised of the action taken based upon its recommendations.
9. A committee must be dissolved after its purpose is over.
Types of Committee:
(a) A standing or permanent committee is needed in a complex organisation experiencing multifaceted problems almost all the times.
(b) A temporary committee is formed to face and solve problems arising occasionally.
(c) The committee in control has full powers to act and may assume a position that could be manned by one individual.
(d) The coordination and discussion committee discusses problems and gives its advice. It has no power to act.
(e) The advisory committee explores various aspects of a problem and suggests courses of action to the concerned executive, thereby helping him to reach the decisions for which he is held responsible. The committee does not have power to act. Advisory Committee is used extensively in business.
(f) The educational committee aids in getting information about company problems, policies and projects to major individuals concerned. It also gives an insight into the ultimate company organisation, etc.
Advantages of a Committee:
1. A committee often performs worth-while tasks since two experts are better than one.
2. A committee coordinates the efforts of the departments which are represented (e.g., sales, production and engineering) in development of a new product.
3. A committee is of special value in broad policy determination and rounding out plans.
4. A committee reduces the work load of management.
5. Committees are especially good at innovation or brain storming.
6. A committee helps securing co-operation of various personnel.
7. A committee is effectively used to appoint persons to fill vacant positions in the enterprise.
8. Committee meetings may be called to train younger executives and to give them a keener insight into the operation of the business.
Limitations of a Committee:
1. Sometimes it turns out to be true that what a committee finishes in a week, a good individual may complete in a day.
2. It may be said that committee operations are slow and committees tend to hang on for a considerable time.
3. An executive afraid to stand behind his own decisions may use a rubber-stamp committee and thereby share his responsibility with others.
4. In a committee, no individual can be held responsible for anything.
5. Committee decisions represent generally a compromised position and do not truly reflect the real feelings of the individual committee (or group) members.