Case Study of Management Operational Control

In: English and Literature

Submitted By yoga6294
Words 13689
Pages 55
Management Accounting Research 19 (2008) 324–343

Operation of management control practices as a package—A case study on control system variety in a growth firm context
Mikko Sandelin ∗
Helsinki School of Economics, Department of Accounting and Finance, P.O. Box 1210, FIN-00101 Helsinki, Finland

This empirical case study examines the operation of management control practices as a package in a growth firm context by paying particular attention to the couplings among cultural, personnel, action and results controls. The analysis focuses on two different management control packages in the face of similar contingencies at different points of time. The paper argues that the functionality of a control package depends on internal consistency, specifically on the reciprocal linkages of design and use between a primary mode of control and other control elements. Moreover, it argues that control package variety is driven by the way in which the management responds to functional demands. Two different control packages are considered equifinal to the extent of limited operational complexity, whereas an accounting-centric control package is also sufficient in the face of increasing levels of operational complexity.
© 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Management control package; Control system variety; Internal consistency; Functional demands; Equifinality; Growth firm

1. Introduction
This empirical case study examines the operation of management control practices as a package in a growth firm context. While it has been acknowledged that ‘soft’ and informal modes of control typically characterize small firms (e.g. Bruns and Waterhouse, 1975; Merchant, 1981; Flamholtz, 1983; Chenhall, 2003; Merchant and Van der
Stede, 2007), an increasing body of literature now suggests that growth renders management control systems (MCS),

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