To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Institutional entrepreneurship and management control systems

Ann Martin-Sardesai (School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Sydney, Australia)

Pacific Accounting Review

ISSN: 0114-0582

Article publication date: 7 November 2016



This study aims to explore how management control systems (MCS) compliment institutional entrepreneurship. It provides a case illustration of how the Vice Chancellor (VC) as an institutional entrepreneur used MCS to bring about a change in an Australian public sector university in anticipation of an externally imposed research assessment exercise.


This case study gathered qualitative data through key informant interviews (including deputy VCs, research managers, executive deans and heads of departments) and a review of university and other electronic policy-related documents.


The study contributes to an understanding of the external environment that drives university leaders to become institutional entrepreneurs, and what they precisely do to facilitate the internal dynamic change in line with political demands.

Research limitations/implications

Being a single case study, care should be taken in generalizing the findings. However, it raises significant issues that deserve further attention, for example, the impact of change on the working life of academics.

Practical implications

The research study identifies the proposed imposition of a research assessment exercise as an enabling condition under which an institutional entrepreneur could promote and activate a new vision. It provides useful insights for other universities operating in the rapidly changing environment.


In identifying the way institutional entrepreneurs bring about change by promoting a vision and operationalizing it through MCS, the research study extends literature on institutional entrepreneurship MCS and organizational change.



Martin-Sardesai, A. (2016), "Institutional entrepreneurship and management control systems", Pacific Accounting Review, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 458-470.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited