The roles of management control in a product development setting

Chris Akroyd (Department of Accounting and Finance, The University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand)
William Maguire (School of Accounting and Corporate Governance, Faculty of Business, University of Tasmania at Hobart, Hobart, Australia)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Publication date: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which management control is enacted in a product development setting, to provide new insights into the different roles that control can play in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

A nine‐month, in‐depth field study was carried out at a subsidiary of an Australasian multinational firm which operates in the consumer foods industry. A participant observation approach was used to collect field notes and documents from the organisation, which were analysed through the lens of ethnomethodology.

Findings

The results indicate that the role of management control during product development is mainly focused on reducing uncertainty at each stage and promoting goal congruence at the decision gates. The authors argue that this helps explain why management control has a positive effect in a product development setting.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this finding is that the role of management control changes during product development due to the involvement of different organisational members (communities of practice) and the activities that they carry out. This helps build a more holistic understanding of control in product development. As this is a field study of a specific company, the findings are not generalizable to other companies or settings. Future research needs to investigate other possible roles which management control may play in this context.

Originality/value

The paper extends the research in this area by showing how and why management control can take on multiple roles in practice.

Keywords

Citation

Akroyd, C. and Maguire, W. (2011), "The roles of management control in a product development setting", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 212-237. https://doi.org/10.1108/11766091111162061

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.