Managers’ Use of Multiple Management Control Systems: The Role and Interplay of Management Control Systems and Company Performance

Research output: Book/ReportPhD thesis

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This dissertation addresses the topic Management Control Systems (MCS) as a Package. Many research studies investigate management and control systems individually, whereas fewer research studies take a holistic view and include a larger part of all the MCS managers use to guide and direct subordinates behaviour in the best interest of their companies. In the MCS literature, it is stressed that knowledge is particularly lacking about how managers design and use MCS as a package, and the effectiveness of using the MCS. This dissertation responds to this call by carrying out a large survey among executive managers in large companies, a survey that investigates the subject: Effective Management and Control Systems. The focus in the survey is to explore how executive management in large companies design and use their management control systems package. Further, this study is supplemented with archival data on the participating companies’ performance. The dissertation presents three papers, each of which introduces knowledge within studying managers’ use of MCS as a package. The first paper presents executive managers’ use of management control systems as a package in large companies. With basis in a conceptual MCS framework the paper explores executive managers’ focus and emphasis on using the different parts of an MCS package to guide and direct their subordinates to ensure high organisational performance and further success for their companies. The second paper is a literature review including a comparative analysis of MCS frameworks. The paper discusses the fundamental purpose of MCS frameworks to clarify the usability of MCS frameworks in research and in practice. The paper draws attention to research gaps and missing variables within the frameworks, and provides a guideline of issues that researchers and practitioners may benefit from when using the frameworks. The third paper investigates relationships between executive managers’ use of some MCS and companies’ financial performance. The MCS investigated are: strategy, evaluation of subordinates, rules and procedures and executive managers’ focus on customer relations when guiding and directing their subordinates. The paper finds both some positive and some negative relations between the use of MCS and companies’ development in financial performance. The findings in all three papers can be used by both researchers and practitioners who wish to expand and advance their existing knowledge about MCS’ impact on company performance and success.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages248
ISBN (Print)9788793483545
ISBN (Electronic)9788793483552
Publication statusPublished - 2016
SeriesPhD series

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