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Creating dynamic tensions through a balanced use of management control systems

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  • Mundy, Julia
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    Abstract

    This paper explores how organisations balance controlling and enabling uses of management control systems (MCS), and how this balance facilitates the creation of dynamic tensions and unique organisational capabilities. By employing Simons' (1995) levers of control framework in a case study setting, the paper investigates the challenges faced by senior managers when they use MCS simultaneously to direct and empower. The findings indicate a number of factors - internal consistency, logical progression, historical tendency, dominance, and suppression - that impact the capacity of organisations to balance different uses of MCS. The interactive lever of control also plays a significant role in achieving and sustaining a balance between controlling and enabling uses of MCS, and its impact on the other levers is seen to constitute a unique organisational capability in its own right. The findings from this study offer an elaboration of how dynamic tensions are created through managers' attempts to balance controlling and enabling uses of MCS.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Accounting, Organizations and Society.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (July)
    Pages: 499-523

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:35:y:2010:i:5:p:499-523

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aos

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    Cited by:
    1. Tharusha N. Gooneratne & Zahirul Hoque, 2013. "Management control research in the banking sector: A critical review and directions for future research," Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Emerald Group Publishing, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 144-171, July.
    2. Chenhall, Robert H. & Hall, Matthew & Smith, David, 2010. "Social capital and management control systems: A study of a non-government organization," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 737-756, November.
    3. Acquaah, Moses, 2013. "Management control systems, business strategy and performance: A comparative analysis of family and non-family businesses in a transition economy in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 131-146.
    4. Ingrid Fasshauer, 2012. "L'Usage Des Outils De Controle A L'Aune De L'Ant," Post-Print, HAL hal-00691148, HAL.
    5. Fasshauer, Ingrid, 2012. "Les interactions entre contrôle et stratégie : redéfinition du rôle des cadres intermédiaires et du levier interactif de contrôle," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/11150 edited by Berland, Nicolas.
    6. Dixon, Keith, 2011. "Assessment at the centre of strategies of [accountant] learning in groups, substantiated with qualitative reflections in student assessments," MPRA Paper 29861, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Ingrid Fasshauer, 2011. "Quand les cadres intermédiaires utilisent les outils de contrôle pour influencer la stratégie," Post-Print, HAL hal-00650427, HAL.

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