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Management control competencies and ERP: an empirical analysis in France

Wilfrid Azan (University of Haute Alsace, Mulhouse, France and CESAG, EM Strasbourg Business School, Strasbourg, France)
Marc Bollecker (University of Haute Alsace, Mulhouse, France and CESAG, EM Strasbourg Business School, Strasbourg, France)

Journal of Modelling in Management

ISSN: 1746-5664

Article publication date: 5 July 2011




The present paper seeks to address the issue of MIS where developments in IT have had a significant impact on competencies.


This paper explores this notion which has received little coverage in IS literature to date, with a focus on the field of accounting and management control. Many authors have voiced their uncertainty about how the control function will evolve in the future. In effect, IS developments challenge controllers' legitimacy if the latters' know‐how fails to keep up with technological developments. This paper analyses the makeup of controllers' competencies and, in particular, the need for the latter to be able to use ERP systems. It proposes the concept of technological contingency as a means to understand evolutions in ERP controllers' competencies in comparison with traditional controllers.


Technological progress broadens controllers' competencies, and ERP plays the role of a medium through which increased contingency takes place. Organisations of a certain size are compelled to implement ERP, leading to management controllers having to adjust their skills set. The study provides an ERP model to be used by controllers.

Research limitations/implications

The antecedents of the evolution can be more developed in another study.

Practical implications

The managerial impact is considerable. It is crucial for French university programmes to rapidly develop greater focus on ERP training, and job and skill referentials need to be updated in organisations, especially promotion, valorisation, evaluation, and career development systems. Being an IS specialist in a large corporation can confer real legitimacy as it becomes an imperative. For business organisations, interpersonal relations have changed completely; communication takes place through integrated tools and there is less face to face, but on the other hand relationships are pre‐ordained by IS tools. The way economic, accounting, and financial knowledge is disseminated will also change as it is communicated more explicitly.


To the best of the authors' knowledge, studies on management controllers' skills in an ERP environment are nonexistent. This is the first study on this subject.



Azan, W. and Bollecker, M. (2011), "Management control competencies and ERP: an empirical analysis in France", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 178-199.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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