The Impact of Society on Management Control Systems

Jan Greve, Christian Ax, Johan Dergård, Tobias Johansson, Carsten Rohde, Torkel Strömsten, Jeanette Willert, Rolf Brühl, David Bedford, Angelo Ditillo, Andrea Dossi, Maurice Gosselin, Michael Hanzlick, Sophie Hoozee, Poul Israelsen, Otto Janschek, Daniel Johanson, Dag Oivind Madsen, Teemu Malmi, Mikko SandelinThomas Toldbod

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The overall purpose of this paper is to validate and to further elaborate the conceptual framework of MCS suggested by Whitley (1999a). Because institutional factors differ between societies and because business systems and MCSs are embedded in societies we should expect that design and use of MCS vary between societies. This idea opposes with the structural contingency theory where universally valid contingency factors are postured. Two null hypotheses are formulated and tested; 1) The levels of contingencies do not differ between societies and 2) The effects of contingencies on MCS do not differ between societies. Data derive from a cross‐national survey encompassing 757 firms from 10 countries (eight European nations, Canada, Australia). Results indicates that contingencies vary between societies and, more significant, effects of contingencies on MCS also vary
between societies. This study contributes to accounting literature in three ways. First, it brings quantitative support to Whitley’s (1999a) theory about MCS as integrated parts of societal business systems. Second, it offers possible explanations to inconsistences in prior research and it also suggests the inclusion of institutional factors as control variables in future research. Finally, it problematizes contemporary knowledge about MCS as it suggests the universal validity of mid‐range theories where a structural contingency framework has been adopted. Most empirical studies have been based on data collected in Anglo‐Saxon economies and findings may be bounded to these societies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event12th Manufacturing Accounting Research Conference - Copenhagen Business School. CBS, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 11 Jun 201413 Jun 2014
Conference number: 12


Conference12th Manufacturing Accounting Research Conference
LocationCopenhagen Business School. CBS
Internet address

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