The aim of this study is to investigate whether certain configurations of management controls dominate in certain societies (socio-cultural contexts) and whether the effectiveness of a given archetype of management control systems (MCSs) varies depending on the socio-cultural setting-the society-in which it operates. The study focuses on three socio-cultural groups and the corresponding institutional contexts (an Anglo-Saxon group, a Central European group, and a Northern European group) and three MCS archetypes (delegated bureaucratic control, delegated output control, and programmable output control). We use unique data from a cross-national, interview-based survey encompassing 610 strategic business units from nine countries (seven European countries plus Canada and Australia). The idea that firms tend to adapt MCSs to the socio-cultural context does not gain empirical support in this study. No significant differences in the distribution of MCSs between the three socio-cultural groups are noted. However, we do find that programmable output control has a more positive impact on effectiveness in Anglo-Saxon cultures, while delegated output control has a more positive impact on effectiveness in Northern Europe. Taken together these findings indicate that distinct differences between societies make a particular MCS design more appropriate in a given society, but where such differences are not dramatic (as in the present case), multiple MCS designs can be found in the same society.
- Societal institutions
- Business systems
- Contingency framework
- Bureaucratic control
- Output control
Greve, J., Ax, C., Bedford, D. S., Bednarek, P., Brühl, R., Dergård, J., ... Willert, J.
(2017). The Impact of Society on Management Control Systems
. Scandinavian Journal of Management
(4), 253-266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2017.08.002