Role of Committees

Committee Meaning, Roles and Types

Table of Contents:-

  • Committee Meaning
  • Role of Committees
  • Types of Committees
  • Advantages of Committees

Committee Meaning

The committee is a team of people who come together, hold discussions, and reach decisions on organizational issues unmanageable by individuals alone. Organizations rely on committees to address complex issues that benefit from the knowledge of individuals with diverse functional expertise. An organization that comprises various committees is termed a committee-based organization. Various types of committees serve distinct functions within organizations. These include standing committees (permanent), ad hoc committees (temporary), executive committees (with authority to formulate and implement policies), advisory committees (providing advice without authority), line and staff committees, and more.

Committees offer numerous opportunities and responsibilities to the leader-manager. Well-grounded managers must understand group dynamics, as meetings consume a significant amount of time. Managers serve both as committee members and as leaders or chairpersons of committees. Because committees make major decisions, managers should use the opportunities available at meetings to become more visible in the larger organisation. The manager has a responsibility to select appropriate power strategies, such as coming to meetings well-prepared and using skills in the group process to generate influence and gain power at meetings.

Role of Committees

The role of the committees is as follows:

    1. Assistance
    2. Participation
    3. Compensation
    4. Communication
    5. Decision Making
    6. Coordinating

Role of Committees

1) Assistance

The nature of formal organisation dictates a need for committees to assist with management functions. Committees also can pool specific skills and expertise and help to reduce resistance to change.

2) Participation

Additionally, as organisations seek new ways to revamp old bureaucratic structures, committees may pave the road to increased staff participation in organisation governance.

3) Compensation

Organizations widely employ committees to facilitate upward communication, compensating for communication challenges posed by line and line-and-staff structures.

4) Communication

Because committees communicate upward and downward and encourage the participation of interested or affected employees, they assist the organisation in receiving valuable feedback and important information.

5) Decision Making

Another responsibility is to create an environment at unit committee meetings that leads to shared decision-making. Encouraging an interaction free of status and power is important. Committees present the leader-manager with many opportunities and responsibilities.

6) Coordinating

Committees may be advisory or may have a coordinating or informal function. They generate ideas and employ creative thinking to address operational issues or enhance services, often resulting in improved quality and quantity of work.

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Types of Committees

Various types of committees are classified based on time, function, nature, and structure:

1) Based on Time: there are two types of committees based on time:

i) Permanent Committee: Organizations establish a permanent committee, often called a standing committee, to fulfil a particular purpose.

ii) Temporary Committee: An ad-hoc committee, formed for a specific, temporary purpose, is an essential part of organizational decision making.

2) based on Functions: there are two types of committees on this basis:

i) Managerial Committee: It denotes the formation of a commission which undertakes managerial functions like the finance committee and purchase, committee.

ii) Non-Managerial Committee: It denotes a committee, which does not take managerial functions.

3) based on Structure: Based on structure, there are two types of committees:

i) Formal Committee: Committees that are officially part of the organizational structure are termed formal committees.

ii) In-Formal Committee: Informal committees are those that do not constitute a formal part of the organisational structure.

4) based on Character: there are two types of committees based on character:

i) Line Committee: The line committee is responsible for both decision making and execution of those decisions.

ii) Staff Committee: Staff committees guide in different areas through advisory roles.

Advantages of Committees

1) Improved Communication

Committees play an important role in facilitating communication among the members of an organization. Both upward and downward transmission of information and ideas can occur effortlessly. Unwritten policies and objectives can be effectively clarified through committee discussions. Prompt resolution of doubts and ambiguity is possible through member interactions.

2) Facility of Coordination

Participation in committee meetings promotes mutual understanding, teamwork and cooperation among employees. Committees play a crucial role in coordinating efforts by uniting managers from various departments. Committee members develop an understanding of each other’s perspectives, enabling them to pursue a shared course of action. A committee serves as a valuable tool for integrating and harmonizing diverse viewpoints.

3) Pooling of Knowledge and Experience

The combination results from the personal skills and abilities of multiple individuals. Group discussions and the collective judgment of members play a role in addressing significant issues. There can be a more realistic and objective appraisal of the problem from all angles. This helps to improve the quality of decisions. Business problems are multifaceted and require a breadth of decisions. Minimizing subjective and unbalanced decisions requires effort and awareness. When multiple individuals examine and discuss each crucial problem, there is greater assurance that every aspect will be comprehensively explored and evaluated in the best interests of the company as a whole. A group of people can offer a broader range of experiences and a more in-depth analysis of facts compared to a single individual.

4) Avoidance of Action

At times, committees are formed to delay or evade taking action. To alleviate employee agitation and emotions, the issue may be referred to a committee. Delaying action through a panel is a strategy for overcoming resistance, pressure or opposition from affected people.

5) Democratic Management

As a collective leadership structure, a committee helps mitigate the risk of excessive authority concentration in any one individual and guards against the potential for abuse of power. There is no concern about granting excessive authority to a single individual. The tyranny of a powerful head can be reduced. Group authority makes for the diffusion of power and democratic leadership.

6) Executive Development

A committee is a valuable tool for educating and training subordinate managers. Participation in panel meetings provides an opportunity for learning through experience. A manager learns to take an integrative view of organisational problems by serving on various committees. Executive development ensures the continuity of management in the organisation.

7) Consolidation of Authority

The manager of every department or section may have a portion of the total authority required to make a decision. Such authority is known as splintered authority. In such a case, a board comprising various managers may be formed to consolidate authority. This allows decisions to be made without needing to refer to a higher level. However, the frequent need for consolidation of splintered authority is a sign of a poor organisational structure.

8) Representation of Interests

Different interest groups can be represented on a committee. This representation may be essential to secure the commitment and cooperation of individuals. Members can be enlightened on policy matters and ideas beyond the capacity of one individual can be generated.

9) Better Motivation

Committees help to improve the motivation and morale of employees by providing them an opportunity to express themselves. Participation in the decision making process not only improves the quality of decisions, it creates a sense of belonging. Employees are enthusiastic about implementing decisions in which they have actively participated.

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