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The impact of inter-organizational management control systems on performance: a longitudinal case study of a supplier relation in automotive


  • Pernot, E.
  • Roodhooft, F.

    (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)


This study investigates whether appropriate management control design of supplier relations is associated with good performance. Although management control systems (MCSs) are found to be contingent on situational characteristics, it remains unclear whether this contingency fit contributes to performance. In order to illustrate the existence and refine the dynamics of the fit-performance association, we perform a longitudinal case study of an exemplary automotive manufacturer-supplier relation that was subject to considerable change and severe performance difficulties in the course of time. As proposed, case findings show that if the supplier is incapable of dealing with changed contingencies, a MCS contingency misfit is associated with poor operational performance. However, this misfit is only temporal, as the manufacturer adapts the MCS to fit the changed supplier relation and regain operational performance. In addition, the longitudinal data suggest that trust and basic formal control (i.e. formal control continuously exercised under all circumstances) are complements, while trust substitutes for extra formal control (i.e. formal control set up on top of basic formal control). Finally, our data indicate a timing difference in the substitutive relation. The building up of extra formal control proceeds gradually, while the lowering happens almost immediately.

Suggested Citation

  • Pernot, E. & Roodhooft, F., 2008. "The impact of inter-organizational management control systems on performance: a longitudinal case study of a supplier relation in automotive," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2008-17, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2008-17

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:orspec:v:39:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00291-016-0465-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mohsen Afsharian & Heinz Ahn, 0. "Multi-period productivity measurement under centralized management with an empirical illustration to German saving banks," OR Spectrum: Quantitative Approaches in Management, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research e.V., vol. 0, pages 1-31.

    More about this item


    Management control; Trust; Performance; Supplier relationships; Manufacturing; Contingency theory; Case research; Automotive;

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