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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Mark Evans and Basil Phillip Tucker

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which both formal and informal control, operating as a package, are implicated in responding to organisational change…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which both formal and informal control, operating as a package, are implicated in responding to organisational change arising from the introduction of the Australian Federal Government’s Clean Energy Act (2011).

Design/methodology/approach

This investigation is based on a review of archival data, and semi-structured interviews conducted with 15 staff at different hierarchical levels within an Australian renewable energy company.

Findings

Although formal management control systems and informal control both played important roles in the organisation’s reorientation to organisational change, it was the latter form of control that predominated over the former. The influence of the prevailing organisational culture, however, was pivotal in orchestrating both formal and informal control efforts within this organisation.

Originality/value

This study contributes to management control theory and practice in two ways: first, it provides much needed empirical evidence about the ways in which management controls act as a package; second, it offers insights into the relative importance of the components of a management control package in the context of a particular organisational change. In addition, it responds to Laughlin’s (1991) call for empirical “flesh” to be added to the skeletal framework he advocates to make this conceptualisation of organisational change, “more meaningful”.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 August 2020

Wen Pan Fagerlin and Eva Lövstål

This study aims to understand the formal and informal practices of top managers as they seek to control product innovation processes and how the style of control used…

1027

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand the formal and informal practices of top managers as they seek to control product innovation processes and how the style of control used differs during development stages and gates.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative in-depth case study was conducted at a multinational corporation (pseudonym: MEC). The authors examined 12 product innovation projects and carried out semi-structured interviews to understand the experiences, perceptions and challenges of the people involved in product development projects with a focus on the interactions between top managers and the project teams.

Findings

The authors found that MEC uses formal control mechanisms such as a stage-gate model and a project management and reporting system to keep track of the progress of innovation projects. In addition, top managers use informal controls through involvement in innovation activities and interaction with the team members during the stages and gates of the development process. To carry out their control practices top managers use four distinct styles of control as follows: participative, facilitative, empowering and authoritative.

Practical implications

Suggestions are provided for managers on how formal and informal management control tools can be used in innovation processes. The authors show how top managers can broaden their range of interventions by involving themselves in product innovation projects in different ways.

Originality/value

This paper shows how the combination of formal and informal controls can generate a more holistic view of management control in innovation. It also adds to previous conceptualizations of control use by suggesting four distinct styles, which top managers can use to involve themselves in product innovation processes.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 8 December 2021

Daniel Espinosa Sáez, Paola Andrea Ortiz-Rendón and José Luis Munuera Alemán

This paper aims to examine the relationship between control mechanisms and marketing performance based on a sample of marketing managers. To that end, this paper focuses…

1287

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationship between control mechanisms and marketing performance based on a sample of marketing managers. To that end, this paper focuses on the relationship between the types of controls used in marketing and the market and business results.

Methodology

This study collected the data through a survey among marketing professionals with experience and decision-making capacity involving marketing budgets and plans, in practical terms a sample of 97 marketing managers and analyzed the data via a structural equation model using Smart PLS 3.

Findings

The findings confirm that marketing control mechanisms have a significant impact on business results, demonstrating the relationship of formal controls with market results and the relationship between informal controls with financial results. Likewise, the authors were able to prove that there is a relationship between formal and informal control.

Practical implications

The implementation of the control mechanisms should be based on the development of a detailed evaluation system of the activities carried out by the marketing employees and an analysis of their capabilities and abilities. In addition, managers should integrate formal control decisions into their marketing strategy to improve organizational results.

Originality

The results of this study help explain the relationship between marketing control mechanisms and organizational results and allow to understand what the level of influence is that marketing control mechanisms have on market and financial results.

Objetivo

Examinar la relación entre los mecanismos de control y los resultados a partir de una muestra de directores de marketing. Con ese fin, el documento se centra en la relación entre los tipos de controles utilizados en marketing y los resultados de mercado y financieros.

Metodología

Los datos fueron recolectados a través de una encuesta entre profesionales del marketing con experiencia y capacidad de toma de decisiones sobre presupuestos y planes de marketing. Contando con una muestra de 97 gerentes de marketing. Los datos se analizaron mediante un modelo de ecuación estructural (SEM) utilizando Smart PLS 3.

Hallazgos

Se confirma el impacto significativo de los mecanismos de control de marketing sobre los resultados organizacionales, demostrando la relación del control formal con los resultados de mercado, y la relación entre el control informal con los resultados financieros. Asimismo, se pudo comprobar que existe una relación entre el control formal e informal.

Originalidad

Los resultados ayudan a explicar la relación entre los mecanismos de control de marketing y los resultados organizacionales, y permiten comprender cuál es el nivel de influencia que tienen los mecanismos de control de marketing sobre los resultados de mercado y los financieros.

Implicaciones prácticas

La implementación de los mecanismos de control debe basarse en el desarrollo de un sistema de evaluación detallado de las actividades realizadas por los empleados de marketing y un análisis de sus capacidades y habilidades. Además, los gerentes deben integrar las decisiones de control formal en su estrategia de marketing para mejorar los resultados organizacionales.

Palabras clave

Control formal, Control informal, Resultados de mercado, Resultados financieros, Departamento de marketing, Calidad del producto, Cobertura de mercado, Precio relativo, Valor de la marca, Lealtad, Marketing digital

Tipo de artículo – Trabajo de investigacion

目的

基于对营销经理的抽样调查, 研究控制机制与营销业绩之间的关系。为此, 本文着重研究了市场营销中使用的控制类型与市场和经营结果之间的关系。

设计/方法/途径

我们通过对具有涉及营销预算和计划的经验和决策能力的营销专业人员的调查来收集数据, 实际上是对97名营销经理的抽样调查, 并通过使用Smart PLS 3的结构方程模型(SEM)来分析数据。

研究结果

研究结果证实, 营销控制机制对商业结果有重大影响, 证明了正式控制与市场结果的关系, 以及非正式控制与财务结果的关系。同样, 我们也能够证明正式控制和非正式控制之间存在着关系。

原创性/价值

本研究的结果有助于解释营销控制机制与组织结果之间的关系, 使我们能够了解营销控制机制对市场和财务结果的影响程度如何。

实践意义

控制机制的实施应该建立在对营销员工所进行的活动制定详细的评估体系, 以及对他们的能力和水平进行分析的基础上。此外, 管理者应将正式的控制决策纳入其营销战略, 以提高组织结果。

关键词

正式控制;非正式控制;市场结果;财务结果;营销部门;产品质量;市场覆盖率;相对价格;品牌价值;忠诚度;数字营销

纸张类型 – 研究论文

Article
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Stefan Grunwald-Delitz, Erik Strauss and Juergen Weber

This paper aims to advance understanding of the role of informal controls for governing day-to-day interactions in the execution phase of interfirm collaborations. It…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to advance understanding of the role of informal controls for governing day-to-day interactions in the execution phase of interfirm collaborations. It explores the nature of these informal controls and how they are used by the firm’s partners during this phase.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth case study of a lateral relationship between a car manufacturer and its suppliers, based on interviews, observations and archival material, and using concepts from the field of psychology.

Findings

The results reveal an interfirm collaboration in which the supplier, in particular, relies on so-called informal interpersonal controls for micro-contracting and solving the control problems of its day-to-day interactions. Specifically, the study finds that the collaboration partners rely on interpersonal influence tactics for influencing behavior, coordinating the activities of the collaboration partners, and mitigating collaborative risks. Depending on the specific individual, in terms of, for example, their “mood”, and the contingencies of the explicit interaction, such as contradicting flanking contractual agreements, the actors engage in different activities, including ingratiation, pressure or rational persuasion.

Originality/value

This study illuminates the role of informal controls in interfirm settings by distinguishing analytically between interpersonal and interorganizational informal controls. By mobilizing the psychological concepts of interpersonal influence tactics, the extant research in this field is complemented through the illustration of how the actors use informal control mechanisms, depending on their corresponding counterpart, and the specific situation of the interaction. The findings thereby highlight the situated nature of governance, suggesting that governance between collaboration partners is not a static condition, rather an ongoing process in which the actors use, and alternate between, distinct tactics in their daily interactions.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 August 2019

Anna Frieda Rosin, Stephan Stubner, Sushil S. Chaurasia and Surabhi Verma

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of retailers’ organizational controls and controls of their boundary personnel on manufacturers’ outsourcing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of retailers’ organizational controls and controls of their boundary personnel on manufacturers’ outsourcing performance. It further assesses the moderating impact of information symmetry in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 230 Indian apparel manufacturers engaged in outsourcing activities with two international retailers. Organizational control is scrutinized as formal and informal controls, and outsourcing performance is studied in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The partial least squares approach is used to test the proposed research model.

Findings

First, the retailers’ and the boundary person’s formal controls have a direct, positive effect on outsourcing efficiency. Second, although no significant effect of the boundary person’s formal controls on outsourcing effectiveness is identified, a significant effect of retailers’ formal controls on effectiveness is seen. Third, the boundary person’s informal controls are associated with a decrease in efficiency, whereas they have a positive effect on effectiveness. Fourth, although the retailers’ informal controls enhance outsourcing effectiveness, they negatively affect efficiency. Fifth, information symmetry is statistically significant in enhancing outsourcing efficiency and effectiveness.

Practical implications

The results have important implications for retailers and retailers’ boundary persons who are keen to improve their relations with manufacturers. This paper offers practical insights into the ways that manufacturers, boundary personnel and retailers can exercise control mechanisms in order to achieve effective and efficient outsourcing outcomes.

Originality/value

The effect of organizational control and information symmetry on outsourcing performance in typical outsourcing practices in manufacturer‒retailer relationships is shown.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Laura B. Cardinal, Sim B Sitkin, Chris P. Long and C. Chet Miller

In this chapter, the authors argue that organizational controls are best depicted and studied as sets of control configurations. Concepts from extant control research…

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors argue that organizational controls are best depicted and studied as sets of control configurations. Concepts from extant control research streams describing basic control elements as well as ideal types of control systems are used to identify and classify control configurations. The authors present compositional distinctions among four control configurations using a decade-long case study of a start-up company. By displaying how specific control elements are simultaneously distinct and intertwined in this company, the authors reveal significant theoretical insights that can assist scholars in distinguishing between different configurational patterns and in comprehending dynamics present in holistic perspectives of control. The authors conclude by discussing how conceptualizing controls as configurations most accurately reflects both organizational and managerial practice in ways that can motivate the development of new theories and approaches to studying this key aspect of organizational design. Because control configurations inherently reflect interdisciplinary concerns, and because such configurations affect the attainment of strategic goals, this work provides findings and ideas that fit the interests of a broad audience.

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1976

Rolf Höyer

When computers were first used in work organizations they were seen principally as devices able to perform simple and limited functions. In consequence they were used to…

Abstract

When computers were first used in work organizations they were seen principally as devices able to perform simple and limited functions. In consequence they were used to automate routine tasks which had previously been done manually — producing bills, payrolls etc — and they appeared in organizations primarily concerned with large‐scale information processing such as banks, insurance, finance institutions and departments concerned with control. They were also to be found in organizations and departments where large‐scale data processing was a means for achieving desired goals, for example, engineering firms and research and development departments.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Book part
Publication date: 6 November 2012

Inya Egbe, Mathew Tsamenyi and Hadiza Sa’id

Purpose – This paper reports on the results of a case study that investigates the operations of formal and informal controls in a multinational-subsidiary in Nigeria.…

Abstract

Purpose – This paper reports on the results of a case study that investigates the operations of formal and informal controls in a multinational-subsidiary in Nigeria.

Design/methodology – Data has been gathered by way of semi-structured interviews, observation, document analyses and a focus group discussion.

Findings – Findings suggest that although issues relating to budgets, performance evaluation and rewards, staff recruitment and other formal aspects of controls were built on the platform of formality, these systems operated alongside informal controls in the organization. We suggest that beliefs systems, values and norms existing within the local community where the subsidiary is located could have a controlling effect and influence the formal organizational controls. Forms of informal controls such as trust were found to be prominent in the organization where superiors in certain instances assigned responsibilities to members of their teams not on the basis of their abilities or skills possessed by the member but because the member could be trusted.

Implications – The findings as reported here have significant implications for understanding the design of management controls in less developed countries (LDCs).

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2018

Masahiro Hosoda

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become part of daily business for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Japan. The purpose of this study is to explore…

1752

Abstract

Purpose

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become part of daily business for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Japan. The purpose of this study is to explore how management control systems (MCSs) can support the translation of activities into CSR actions using a case study of a SME in Japan.

Design/methodology/approach

The case is based on an interview with a CEO of a SME in Japan. The paper contributes to the discussion on CSR and MCSs and investigates the integration of CSR activities in SMEs in Japan through MCSs.

Findings

The case company’s formal control systems incorporate environmental and social aspects that are reflected in its top-down, stakeholder-centered approach into CSR through a formal CSR policy. An informal control system is evident and reflected in the CEO’s emphasis on creating shared value by implementing CSR. An interactive control system, a type of formal control system, is useful in the interactions between CEOs and employees and in translating the opinions of stakeholders into CSR actions. Formal control systems can be supported by informal control systems in the implementation of CSR activities.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the management accounting literature by showing that formal and informal control systems can support the motivation of employees and the integration of stakeholders’ opinions on the implementation of SMEs CSR activities in Japan. The MCS approach also contributes to SMEs in Japan that seek to address the demographic and economic challenges.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Lamia Laguir, Issam Laguir and Emmanuel Tchemeni

The purpose of this paper is to take into account Simons’ (1994) formal levers of control framework and more informal processes to examine how organizations implement and

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to take into account Simons’ (1994) formal levers of control framework and more informal processes to examine how organizations implement and manage corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities through management control systems (MCSs).

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study was conducted in ten large French organizations. Qualitative data were collected during in-depth semi-structured interviews with the managers who were best informed on CSR practices and MCSs. The authors then performed within-case and cross-case analysis.

Findings

The study shows that organizations use different MCSs to manage CSR activities directed toward their salient stakeholders – that is, employees, customers, suppliers and community. Specifically, the authors found that social MCSs are used to communicate CSR values, manage risk, evaluate CSR activities, and identify opportunities and threats. In addition, the use of MCSs to implement CSR activities is mainly driven by the need to satisfy salient stakeholder demands, manage legitimacy and reputation issues, and meet top management expectations and enhance their commitment. Last, the use of social MCSs is hindered by a lack of clear strategic CSR objectives and action plans, a lack of global standards and measurement processes for CSR, and a lack of time and financial resources.

Originality/value

The study addresses recent calls in the literature for research into the ways formal and informal control systems are used to implement CSR activities and provides insight that may stimulate further research.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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