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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Berend van der Kolk, Henk J. ter Bogt and Paula M.G. van Veen-Dirks

The purpose of this paper is to examine how management control (MC) within governmental departments is used in times of austerity, and how insights from agency and…

1966

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how management control (MC) within governmental departments is used in times of austerity, and how insights from agency and stewardship theory can enhance the understanding of this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors distinguish two types of MC (constraining and facilitating) based on their different assumptions regarding human behavior (agent-like and steward-like). The authors empirically analyze changes in the use of these types of MC in four cases located in two municipalities. The collected data consists of 51 semi-structured interviews, desk research and multiple field observations.

Findings

The authors find that MC at the departmental level becomes more constraining in times of austerity. The authors suggest that an overemphasis on constraining MC has negative consequences. It can, for instance, evoke agent-like, opportunistic behavior while it disregards potential steward-like behavior. These negative consequences are less prevalent when there is a simultaneous increase in emphasis on the use of facilitating MC elements.

Originality/value

The authors acknowledge “human ambivalence,” i.e. an employee’s recurring choice between agent-like and steward-like behavior, and illustrate the dangers of overly relying on constraining types of MC. The authors also contemplate alternative strategic managerial responses to austerity in a public sector context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2019

Kevin Baird, Sophia Su and Rahat Munir

This study aims to reinforce the important role of management control systems (MCSs) in managing change through adopting a unique approach to the conceptualisation of…

2195

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to reinforce the important role of management control systems (MCSs) in managing change through adopting a unique approach to the conceptualisation of Simons’ (1995) levers of control, specifically focussing on the enabling (beliefs and interactive) and constraining (boundary and diagnostic) levers of control and empirically examining their association with management innovation and organisational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A mail survey questionnaire was used to collect data, with the Dillman (2007) tailored design method used in regards to the development of questions, and the personalisation and distribution procedures. A total of 645 questionnaires were distributed to either the Financial Controller or Chief Financial Officer of manufacturing business units identified in the OneSource database.

Findings

The findings reveal that the use of enabling controls was directly associated with organisational performance and with three management innovation dimensions (new structures, processes and practices) with new structures positively associated with organisational performance. It was also found that the use of constraining controls was indirectly, through the extent of adoption of new management techniques, associated with organisational performance.

Practical implications

The findings have important implications for managers in respect to how they use controls to enhance innovation and organisational performance.

Originality/value

The findings highlight the importance of the use of MCS, specifically both enabling and constraining controls, in facilitating change (management innovation) and performance. Hence, the findings provide empirical evidence in support of Simons’ (1995, 2000) theoretical assertion that the levers coexist to provide benefits to organisations.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

Sharon M. Danes, Amanda E. Matzek and James D. Werbel

The purpose of this study was to explore the couple relationship context within the venture creation process over time. Conservation of Resources and Family FIRO theories…

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the couple relationship context within the venture creation process over time. Conservation of Resources and Family FIRO theories were the theoretical foundation, and constructs from these theories were integrated to develop the analytical framework. The sample consisted of couple-level data from 94 start-up businesses at Time 1 with information from entrepreneur and spouse; there were 78 businesses at Time 2. Analysis of spousal resources invested in the newly created businesses indicated that direct and indirect spousal involvement in the business, spousal moral commitment, spousal perception of entrepreneur's business self-efficacy, business communication quality, and emotional support from the spouse were enabling resources during the venture creation process. Work overload and work and family conflict were constraining resources during this process. Couples in a very strong relationship reported significantly more enabling resources and fewer constraining resources than couples not in a very strong relationship.

Details

Entrepreneurship and Family Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-097-2

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

Kim Sundtoft Hald and Jan Mouritsen

This research aims to explore the enabling and constraining effects of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and speculate on how these can be linked to the four…

7445

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to explore the enabling and constraining effects of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and speculate on how these can be linked to the four generic roles of operations management (OM) proposed by Slack et al.

Design/methodology/approach

This research understands ERP as boundary objects characterised by modularity, abstraction, accommodation, and standardization. An in‐depth cross‐disciplinary literature review and role synthesis is conducted.

Findings

Four enabling and three constraining effects of ERP are deduced from existing literature. ERP and OM are linked conceptually. Based on the identified effects of ERP, the paper speculates on the managerial tasks of the production and operations manager (POM) in an ERP environment and lists a set of central concerns of potential relevance to POM and to future research.

Research limitations/implications

The identified roles of ERP and their implications could be empirically tested using case based and survey research.

Practical implications

The results provide insights into how ERP has multiple and parallel roles, and how these roles are relevant to the function of OM. Such knowledge is valuable for practicing POMs in managing the implementation and design of ERP to support the different domains of OM.

Originality/value

Current studies of the effects of ERP and their link to the practice of OM tend to focus on one or a few roles of the emerging system. Such studies do not properly take into account the modularised and pluralistic nature of ERP. This research provides a platform from where future research on the effects, managerial dilemmas and implications of ERP can be reconciled across research communities.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Kim Sundtoft Hald and Aseem Kinra

The purpose of this paper is to understand the enabling and constraining roles of blockchain technology (BCT) in managerial work practices and conceptualise the…

4274

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the enabling and constraining roles of blockchain technology (BCT) in managerial work practices and conceptualise the technology–performance relationship in supply chain management (SCM).

Design/methodology/approach

A structured literature review and a theory-driven approach are used. A set of propositions are developed, suggesting how the use of BCT in supply chains can be understood to simultaneously enable and constrain SCM and performance.

Findings

The analysis identifies four enabling and three constraining blockchain identities to explain how the technology either “facilitates” or “impedes” SCM and supply chain performance. Traceability, which emanates from its ability to provide data immutability, ranks highly as a core innovation of the technology. The blockchain is mainly seen as an opportunity to exploit existing supply chain resources and competencies.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of the research is its conceptual nature. Future research should test the developed propositions empirically. Further research should focus on BCT as an opportunity to explore and as a relationship-building technology. More research is also needed focussing on the complex and simultaneous enabling and constraining effects of BCT in supply chains.

Originality/value

The paper shows the important and complex Janus-faced implications of embedding BCT in supply chains and demonstrates how organisational theory can be applied to explore the relationship between blockchain and SCM.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 49 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Eva Ellström, Bodil Ekholm and Per‐Erik Ellström

The purpose of this paper is to first elaborate on the notion of a learning environment based on an empirical study of care work. Second, to explore how aspects of a…

4048

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to first elaborate on the notion of a learning environment based on an empirical study of care work. Second, to explore how aspects of a learning environment may differ between and within units in the same organization, and how to understand and explain such differences.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on a multiple case‐study design including four departments within two care units. Data were collected through direct observation of working conditions and work practices as well as semi‐structured interviews with all care‐workers within the two units (29 persons), and with the head and deputy head for each of the two units.

Findings

It was possible to distinguish between two qualitatively different patterns of working conditions and practices within the four teams. These patterns of practice were interpreted as representing an enabling and a constraining type of learning environment as these concepts were defined in this study. The evidence suggests that the emergence of an enabling learning environment was an outcome of a dynamic interplay between a number of factors that had the character of a virtuous circle.

Originality/value

The article adds to previous research through a distinction between two types of learning environment (enabling and constraining), and by linking these two types of learning environment to different conceptions of learning and to different working conditions and practices.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 November 2019

Sally Valentino Drew and Cathy Sosnowski

This study aims to explore the construct of teacher resilience. Researchers examined the relationship among complex risk (constraining) factors leading to burnout and…

3007

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the construct of teacher resilience. Researchers examined the relationship among complex risk (constraining) factors leading to burnout and attrition, as well as protective (enabling) factors that allow teachers to adapt and thrive within stressful school settings.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents results from three focus groups comprised of 33 English language arts teachers across diverse school districts. Utilizing situational analysis, developed from grounded theory, the research plan included six stages: development of initial situational map honoring theoretical sensitivity, theoretical sampling, data collection, coding, memoing, sorting, revising of the initial map based on analysis and literature review to develop the relational map.

Findings

Three propositions emerged beginning to comprise a theory of teacher resilience. (1) Resilient teachers embed roots in their school communities to withstand challenges, pulling from a sense of purpose to navigate constraining factors and benefit from enabling factors. (2) Resilient teachers embrace uncertainty, reframing negative experiences into learning experiences. Reframing helps teachers retain power, not cede it to situations, which helps balance constraining and enabling factors. (3) Teachers use relationships with colleagues, students and school leaders to endure challenges. The dynamic interaction between internal and external enabling and constraining factors is depicted on the situational map illustrating how factors counterbalance to either predict positive outcomes such as resilience and agency or negative outcomes such as burnout or attrition.

Originality/value

Despite a robust international evidence base, there is a dearth of US studies exploring teacher resilience. This study proposes a theory of teacher resilience relevant to US schools and recommends practical applications and future research.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Wendelin Kuepers

This paper aims to propose to rehabilitate prâxis and revive possibilities of practical wisdom (phrónêsis) and a reinterpret excellence as an ethically committed way for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose to rehabilitate prâxis and revive possibilities of practical wisdom (phrónêsis) and a reinterpret excellence as an ethically committed way for responsible and sustainable form of living, while operating in the midst of a systematically constrained world of neoliberal regimes.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review, this essay first presents some basic understandings of prâxis, practices and its architecture as well as phrónêsis and its interconnection. Further, possibilities for integrating excellence in prâxis and success in poiêtic practice are suggested in form of a critical poiêtic phrónêsis, and some implications are outlined in conclusions.

Findings

Considering the systemic constrains of contemporary neoliberal regimes, this paper has shown the significance of a reviving the inter-relational nexus between prâxis, embodied practices, phrónêsis and sustainable action. An integral holonic approach of constrained prâxis was discussed, by which the macro-level is holonically connected to meso-level of likewise constrained practices to micro-level of action and vice versa. In particular, constrained excellence-oriented practical wisdom was connected with constraining result- and success- poiesis in a critical poietic phrónêsis and creative actions in inter-practices as part of inter-prâxis discussed.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is a meta-reflective paper and view point, but links to “prâxis-related research” are offered.

Practical implications

Some practical and political implications are provided.

Social implications

Some links to social and societal implications are discussed.

Originality/value

The proposed integration of prâxis, embodied practices, sustainable actions and practical wisdom for organisation and in relation to society is genuine and critical. It is orginal in that it provides possibilities to re-assess, re-vive and further investigate the relevance of embodied forms of an integral prâxis, practicing, phronesis and action in and through organizations as well as stakeholder towards a flourishing unfoldment.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 March 2021

Aurélien Ragaigne

This study aims to investigate the empowering and constraining effects of performance measurement. The levers of control perspective emphasises the fact that interactive…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the empowering and constraining effects of performance measurement. The levers of control perspective emphasises the fact that interactive processes play an important role in balancing these effects. This paper proposes to extend the analysis of effects in this literature, by looking at them in conjunction with the role of dialogue.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses a longitudinal case study of the use of user satisfaction indicators in the reception of a French local authority. The data were collected using a three-year longitudinal case study method from semi-directive interviews and participations at meetings.

Findings

The case study shows that performance measurement was introduced to encourage reception employees to make changes to the experience of service users. Employees were involved in the design phase of the survey and in the development of proposals. The dialogue approach represented a way of encouraging employees to agree to accept changes. However, this dialogue offered greater empowerment of employees by the managers.

Research limitations/implications

Further work would be needed to enrich the characteristics of the dialogue and its effects on other performance measurement systems.

Practical implications

The dialogue between employees and managers was designed to be interactive and created a situation with both empowering and constraining effects. The method of organisation, involving regular meetings with formal tasks to be accomplished at each meeting, appears significant for the evolution of the effects.

Originality/value

We extend the levers of control perspective to demonstrate the importance of the dialogue in balancing the effects. The case study makes it easier to understand how the empowering effects are related to the objective of constraint in the dialogue approach, and how these effects evolve.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 February 2014

Jerry Sun, George Lan and Guoping Liu

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of independent audit committees in constraining real earnings management. This study examines the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of independent audit committees in constraining real earnings management. This study examines the relationships between audit committee characteristics and real activities manipulation.

Design/methodology/approach

US firms with stronger incentives to undertake real earnings management are selected as a sample. Regressions are run for the empirical analyses.

Findings

It is found that audit committee members' additional directorships are positively associated with real earnings management measured by abnormal cash flows from operations, abnormal discretionary expenses and abnormal production costs, suggesting that audit committees with high additional directorships are less effective in constraining real earnings management. The findings are consistent with the notion that audit committee members' busyness impairs their monitoring effectiveness.

Originality/value

This study extends the extant research on audit committees' oversight of real earnings management by using refined research design and updated data. This study also provides further evidence on how audit committee members' additional directorships affect their ability to oversee both accrual and real earnings management.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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