Interfaces of Control: Technocratic and Cosio-Ideological Control in a Global Management Consultatncy Firm

Mats Alvesson, Dan Kärreman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper investigates a variety of forms of management control in a large management consultancy company. The very high level of compliance with corporate objectives among employees is highlighted and singled out as a phenomenon worth exploring. The company exhibits a rich variety of various formal control devices focusing on financial issues as well as human resources. The paper shows that these do not fully work according to intention and that their control effects do not comply that well with the bureaucratic- technocratic logic they rest upon. Technocratic control systems are instead identified as non-obvious sources of socio-ideological control. The paper emphasizes the interface between different forms of control and argues for a more symbolic, meaning-focusing view on bureaucratic and output measurement control.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Pages (from-to)423-444
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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