Management scientists have devoted much effort to the development of corporate models and in general the extent of the use of such models has been disappointing, largely because of the less than enthusiastic support of management. Through a discussion of the concepts of system and control it is suggested that the key characteristic of corporate models is as a method of measuring the output of business systems rather than as simplified planning devices. Measurement of the output is seen as the essential pre‐requisite of any business control system of an adaptive type and it is argued that measurements of the necessary variety or detail can best be made through the process of corporate modelling and simulation. Such an approach could make the expense of corporate modelling more justifiable.
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