Management control in non-profit organizations: The case of the Associations of Economists in Spain
The number of non-profit organizations has grown considerably over the last decades, however management control techniques are not being introduced with the same frequency as in lucrative organizations. The increased competition in this sector has created a growing interest in management control techniques but with little empirical research in the area. With the aim to throw some light over the uses of management control in professional associations we have focused in the associations for economists in Spain as a particular case of a non-lucrative body. Specifically, the paper comprises three surveys addressed to the following sectors: 1) To the 30 Spanish associations of economists. 2) To associations related to the business and/or economics area operating in the United Kingdom. 3) To members of the association of economists in Catalonia (Col.legi d'Economistes de Catalunya). Results indicate that management accounting tools are used exceptionally, many times only the minimum legal requirements. The critical situation of the associations of economists in Spain requires the implementation of information systems, specially taking into account the different specialities of economists and offering to its members, services and products that are not available through profit organizations.
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