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The Effects of Tolerance for Ambiguity and Task Uncertainty on the Balanced and Combined Use of Project Controls

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  • Mika Ylinen
  • Benita Gullkvist

Abstract

This study contributes to the literature by examining antecedents to different combinations of management control systems. These combinations include combined use, focusing on the absolute magnitude of the project manager's organic and mechanistic control activities, and the balanced use, that is their relative magnitude. It is proposed that project managers' perceived task uncertainty and tolerance for ambiguity have direct and interaction effects on their balanced and combined use of different combinations of project control. Consistent with the hypotheses, the results show negative relationships between high tolerance for ambiguity and balanced and combined use of organic and mechanistic controls. Further, task uncertainty appears to have a direct, significant negative effect on balanced use, but not on combined use. Furthermore, as proposed, a negative significant interaction effect was found. The results were controlled for project size, project type and level of innovativeness.

Suggested Citation

  • Mika Ylinen & Benita Gullkvist, 2012. "The Effects of Tolerance for Ambiguity and Task Uncertainty on the Balanced and Combined Use of Project Controls," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 395-415, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:21:y:2012:i:2:p:395-415
    DOI: 10.1080/09638180.2011.631733
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/09638180.2011.631733
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    Cited by:

    1. Eva Lövstål & Anne-Marie Jontoft, 2017. "Tensions at the intersection of management control and innovation: a literature review," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 41-79, February.
    2. Emmi Tervala & Teemu Laine & Tuomas Korhonen & Petri Suomala, 2017. "The role of financial control in new product development: empirical insights into project managers’ experiences," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 81-106, February.
    3. Ernesto Lopez-Valeiras & Maria Beatriz Gonzalez-Sanchez & Jacobo Gomez-Conde, 2016. "The effects of the interactive use of management control systems on process and organizational innovation," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 487-510, July.

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