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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…

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

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Emilio Passetti, Massimo Battaglia, Francesco Testa and Iñaki Heras-Saizarbitoria

This paper aims to analyse the extent to which health and safety action controls, results controls and informal controls affect the integration of health and safety issues…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse the extent to which health and safety action controls, results controls and informal controls affect the integration of health and safety issues into management actions, which in turn leads to improve health and safety performance. It also investigates the extent to which those health and safety control mechanisms contribute complementarily to the integration of health and safety issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of 108 Italian non-listed firms tests a set of hypotheses based on complementarity theory and object of control framework.

Findings

Not all the health and safety control mechanisms positively influence the integration of health and safety issues into business practices and external stakeholder relations. Complementarity between health and safety control mechanisms is significant only for higher health and safety performance companies, indicating that the health and safety control mechanisms operate as a package.

Research limitations/implications

The health and safety performance measure could be replaced in future research by improved inter-subjectively testable information, although collecting health and safety quantitative data is difficult. An additional limitation is the response rate.

Practical implications

The findings encourage companies to design and use a comprehensive set of health and safety control mechanisms to promote a healthy workplace.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the management control, sustainability management control and health and safety accounting literature. The paper provides an in-depth interdisciplinary analysis of the effectiveness of different control mechanisms in the context of health and safety that hitherto has rarely been investigated despite the multiple importance of the topic.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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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

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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

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Brian C. Renauer

The present study aims to examine the relationship between public and informal social control by investigating whether perceptions of neighborhood policing exhibit a…

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2423

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to examine the relationship between public and informal social control by investigating whether perceptions of neighborhood policing exhibit a positive or negative relationship to informal control. The influence of police‐resident coproduction (police attendance at community meetings, police accessibility, police‐resident problem solving) on informal control is contrasted with general perceptions of police effectiveness and legitimacy.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data from 81 neighborhood leaders representing 81 Portland, OR neighborhoods (i.e. unit of analysis), along with crime and census data is used. Analysis involves multivariate OLS regression and correlations.

Findings

A frequency of police attendance at community meetings was negatively related to informal social control, controlling for neighborhood demographics, crime, and social cohesion. Results indicate a community style of policing may not be enough to overcome deeply entrenched attitudes toward the police in the most disadvantaged communities and at worst may discourage informal social control. Perceptions of neighborhood social cohesion and government responsiveness are the best predictors of increased informal social control.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to understand the development of attitudes toward the police, especially in the most disadvantaged communities. The conclusions of the study are limited by the cross sectional design and use of a single neighborhood leader informant.

Practical implications

This paper attempts to identify how clear, tactical methods of collaborating with residents are related to informal social control.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to empirically assess whether public social control through neighborhood policing, in particular police‐resident coproduction and police legitimacy, is related to informal social control.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Content available
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…

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.

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。

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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.

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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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1761

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

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Sindhuja P N and Anand S. Kunnathur

This paper aims to discuss the need for management control system for information security management that encapsulates the technical, formal and informal systems. This…

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2481

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the need for management control system for information security management that encapsulates the technical, formal and informal systems. This motivated the conceptualization of supply chain information security from a management controls perspective. Extant literature on information security mostly focused on technical security and managerial nuances in implementing and enforcing technical security through formal policies and quality standards at an organizational level. However, most of the security mechanisms are difficult to differentiate between businesses, and there is no one common platform to resolve the security issues pertaining to varied organizations in the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper was conceptualized based on the review of literature pertaining to information security domain.

Findings

This study analyzed the need and importance of having a higher level of control above the already existing levels so as to cover the inter-organizational context. Also, it is suggested to have a management controls perspective for an all-encompassing coverage to the information security discipline in organizations that are in the global supply chain.

Originality/value

This paper have conceptualized the organizational and inter-organizational challenges that need to be addressed in the context of information security management. It would be difficult to contain the issues of information security management with the existing three levels of controls; hence, having a higher level of security control, namely, the management control that can act as an umbrella to the existing domains of security controls was suggested.

Details

Information & Computer Security, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4961

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Basil Tucker and Helen Thorne

This paper aims to provide insights into how organizational performance in a prior period may influence the nature of control subsequently used by senior not-for-profit…

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1637

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide insights into how organizational performance in a prior period may influence the nature of control subsequently used by senior not-for-profit (NFP) managers.

Design/methodology/approach

This investigation is based on data collected from semi-structured interviews of CEOs and senior executives in 32 Australian NFPs.

Findings

Although performance has a considerable influence on the subsequent use of control, the findings point to a broad conceptualisation of performance as it is perceived to apply within a NFP context. Moreover, the roles of formal management control systems and informal control are quite distinct, with the latter predominating in responding to prior performance.

Originality/value

Despite recognition in the management accounting literature of the likely influence of organizational performance in previous periods on control, empirical studies investigating organizational performance as an antecedent to the use of control have been surprisingly limited. The current study directly responds to this gap in our knowledge, and also, to prior calls for the need for more management control research into the NFP sector. This contribution is important in view of the considerable economic and social impact of this sector in most Western economies, coupled with the increasing recognition of the importance of both performance and control within this sector.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 10 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

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