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Book part
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Chang Liu, Zijie Li, Yi Li and Lin Cui

This paper seeks to provide an understanding of the relationship between the management control policy of emerging economy (EE) firms and the knowledge transfer with the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to provide an understanding of the relationship between the management control policy of emerging economy (EE) firms and the knowledge transfer with the acquired firm, as well as the mechanism by which specific management control policy facilitates knowledge transfer with the acquired firms.

Design

Employing an organizational learning theory, this paper examines the knowledge transfer from acquired firms to acquiring EE firms through multiple-case study of three EE firms.

Findings

Based on organizational learning theory and the results of case studies, this paper finds that the cooperation and willingness of employees in the acquired firm and language barriers are the main factors influencing the relationship between management control policy and the parent company’s knowledge transfer process.

Research implication

This study sheds light on cross-border knowledge transfer to EE firms from an organizational learning perspective and broadens the understanding of post-acquisition knowledge transfer in an emerging market context.

Practical implications

This study suggests that the low-level management control facilitates knowledge transfer from acquired firms. This is especially true when the parent company from the EE has limited learning experience and faces substantial language barriers between itself and its acquired firm.

Originality

This paper extends existing research by exploring how low-level control of acquired firms in developed markets facilitates knowledge transfer of EE firms after cross-border acquisition. Future research can extend this line of research by examining the knowledge transfer mechanism of EE firms through qualitative and quantitative methods.

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Emerging Market Firms in the Global Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-066-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Norman T. Sheehan, Ganesh Vaidyanathan and Suresh Kalagnanam

Most, if not all, management control tools were formulated for firms employing an industrial value creation logic (i.e., Ford, McDonald’s, and Wal‐Mart). We argue that…

Abstract

Most, if not all, management control tools were formulated for firms employing an industrial value creation logic (i.e., Ford, McDonald’s, and Wal‐Mart). We argue that given the growth, both in number and importance, of firms employing a knowledge value creation logic (i.e., Accenture, Goldman Sachs, and Clifford Chance) and firms employing a network logic (i.e., Verizon, eBay, and Expedia) that these control tools should be revisited in light of this potentially critical contingency. This paper outlines the key characteristics of knowledge intensive firms and network service firms and then examines how these contingencies impact Simons’ (1995) Levers of Control and Kaplan and Norton’s (1996) Balanced Scorecard. We find that whilst each lever/perspective is still relevant for each value creation logic, the relative importance and thus intensity of use should vary between logics.

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Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Anders Richtnér and Pär Åhlström

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of top management control in stimulating innovation through their effect on the creation of knowledge in new product…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of top management control in stimulating innovation through their effect on the creation of knowledge in new product development (NPD) projects. Top management has a crucial role in stimulating innovation in companies, in particular as top managers affect knowledge creation through their interaction with project teams before and during an NPD project, which can of course affect innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

Through comparative case‐based research in two companies in high‐velocity industries, chosen through theoretical sampling, the authors have studied six NPD projects.

Findings

The control top management exercise over an NPD project influences the creation of knowledge in different ways, both hampering and facilitating knowledge creation. In particular, this control focuses on explicit knowledge, and not tacit knowledge, which may reduce the overall capacity for knowledge creation and ultimately innovation.

Research limitations/implications

The results are considered to be generalizable within high‐velocity industries. In terms of future research the results should be tested in other industries using either case‐based research or by increasing the sample and doing survey‐type research.

Practical implications

The advice, or perhaps challenge, for managers is to know when to exercise control, when not to and what type of control to exercise. In particular the paper highlights the importance of managers not solely controlling projects by focusing on explicit knowledge in the project, but also by understanding that tacit knowledge is necessary in order to facilitate knowledge creation and innovation.

Originality/value

The paper helps clarify the relationship between top management control and knowledge creation by specially examining how and why top management control hampers or facilitates knowledge creation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 30 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2009

Mats Edenius and Alexander Styhre

The management and the control of knowledge‐intensive organizations have recently been subject to empirical studies. Much of the literature suggests that management control

Abstract

Purpose

The management and the control of knowledge‐intensive organizations have recently been subject to empirical studies. Much of the literature suggests that management control, defined and operationalized in a variety of ways and examined within different traditions, in essence affects co‐workers negatively. On the other hand, proponents of management control practices such as consultants stress the positive and productive aspects of such practices. Contrary to these skeptical and overtly rosy views, this paper seeks to contribute with a different perspective on the uses of total quality management (TQM) in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a study of the Swedish insurance company Agria employing a number of TQM methods and tools to monitor, control and evaluate the performance of the activities from a social embeddedness perspective.

Findings

Seeking to encourage accounts within such an affirmative view, the paper calls for more research into the knowledge workers' purposive action embedded in concrete, ongoing systems of social relations. That is, management control mechanisms are neither imposed from above, nor are they procedures that can be individually selected and enacted. Instead, management control practices are embedded in social relations including norms, values, and preexisting standard operating procedures.

Practical implications

By conceiving of management control practices as being socially embedded, the Scylla and Charybdis of under‐ and oversocialized theories of management control can be avoided. That is, TQM practices may be regarded as “technologies of the self” that knowledge workers may use as part of their day‐to‐day work.

Originality/value

The paper presents an affirmative view of TQM and shows how TQM practices are used in a Swedish insurance company.

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2013

Vincenza Esposito, Ernesto De Nito, Mario Pezzillo Iacono and Lucia Silvestri

This article sets out to investigate the relationship between performance management systems (PMSs) and knowledge in public universities. In particular, this paper intends…

Abstract

Purpose

This article sets out to investigate the relationship between performance management systems (PMSs) and knowledge in public universities. In particular, this paper intends to verify how different choices related to PMS affect the nature of knowledge, in terms of the well‐known tacit vs explicit dichotomy.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical focus is on the recent PMS changes that have been developing in the “modernisation agenda” of the Italian public sector. In particular, 15 case studies of PMS design in Italian universities are presented. The interpretation of the results is based on the Simon's theoretical framework related to the four levers of control.

Findings

Results show how PMSs (in the different forms presented in the universities’ evaluation plans) could represent an important social tool to facilitate the management of organizational knowledge, combining explicit and tacit forms of knowledge.

Originality/value

This paper tackles a topic neglected in the knowledge management literature, aiming to open up a discussion on the possible interconnections between PMSs and knowledge in the public arena.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Paul Jackson, Hosein Gharavi and Jane Klobas

This paper seeks to develop insights into control, power, consent and commitment with virtual knowledge workers who are removed from the immediate sphere of influence of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to develop insights into control, power, consent and commitment with virtual knowledge workers who are removed from the immediate sphere of influence of management and co‐workers.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is a detailed case study of a highly successful Scandinavian engineering company. A post‐structuralist approach is used to understand how the modes of influence on knowledge worker productivity within the organisation come into being and operate across boundaries of time, space and organisational structure. The notion of the panopticon is used to identify and characterise forms of control and undertake interpretive and critical analysis of interview data and staff behaviour.

Findings

It was found that the totality of the modes of power relations operating upon virtual knowledge workers in this case study comprises a complex and sophisticated ensemble of control and constraint. Whilst initial observations indicate that control is restricted to a small set of direct controls, the research led one to observe a complex, pervasive web of integrated and overlapping constraints emanating from the external and internal panopticon.

Originality/value

The critical approach leads one to a pragmatic understanding of the range of influences which keep virtual knowledge workers “on task”. Also a better understanding of the “network effect” of these constraints and their co‐reinforcement is reached, which may well further understanding of managing the performance of virtual knowledge workers.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Will Seal and Ruth Mattimoe

This paper aims to develop a methodology of business knowledge creation based on a synthesis between the perspective of reality informed by pragmatic constructionism (PC…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a methodology of business knowledge creation based on a synthesis between the perspective of reality informed by pragmatic constructionism (PC) and critical approaches to narrative analysis informed by antenarrative concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies commonalities and contrasts between narrative and PC. Interpreting an original case study of a hotel by deploying both methodologies, the paper shows how a synthesis of the two approaches can help to construct management control knowledge.

Findings

PC and narrative have many overlaps and complementarities. Practitioners like stories both to make sense of their own roles and to develop personal strategic agendas. Antenarrative concepts demonstrate the potentially generative properties of organizational storytelling. The PC approach also constructs corporate narratives but, additionally, provides a set of criteria against which we can evaluate the stories of practitioners on the basis of “does it work?”.

Research limitations/implications

More interpretive field study processes are called for as a way of testing the robustness of the research design developed in the paper.

Practical implications

A successful management control topos has to be business-specific and co-authored with contributions from participants both inside and outside the organization. Narrative and PC research methodologies both encourage reflexivity, in which the researchers explicitly explore not just the positions of their interviewees, but also their own position and reactions. The creation of business knowledge is seen as a co-production between the researchers and the researched, as they share concepts and reflections during the fieldwork process.

Originality/value

The paper compares and contrasts two interpretive research methodologies, narrative and a pragmatic constructivist perspective. Especially when the concept of antenarrative is deployed, the two methodologies offer fruitful possibilities for dialogical conversation, as they espouse slightly different views on the nature of actor reality.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Lai Hong Chung, Patrick T. Gibbons and Herbert P. Schoch

This study examines the control issues related to three major flows among MNC subsidiaries: knowledge flows, product flows and capital flows. It also investigates the…

Abstract

This study examines the control issues related to three major flows among MNC subsidiaries: knowledge flows, product flows and capital flows. It also investigates the relationship between the strategic management style of headquarters and the control approaches employed. The results show the dominance of output control, even in situations where researchers have argued that they should not be relied upon. The study also found that as knowledge flow increases, reliance on financial control decreases and reliance on socialisation control increases. Consistent with other studies, the dominant management style is the strategic control style, while the least popular is the financial control style. The paper calls for using alternative theoretical lenses, such as institutional theory, to provide additional insights not available through the contingency lens.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2020

Philipp Lill, Andreas Wald and Jan Christoph Munck

The number of theoretical and empirical research on management control of innovation activities has significantly increased. Existing studies in this field are…

Abstract

Purpose

The number of theoretical and empirical research on management control of innovation activities has significantly increased. Existing studies in this field are characterized by a wide dispersion and a multitude of different definitions. The purpose of this article is to provide a systematic review of the literature on management control of innovation activities and to synthesize the current body of knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a systematic review approach, this article reviews 79 articles on management control for innovation activities from 1959 to 2019 and inductively derives a multi-dimensional framework.

Findings

The review of existing studies advances the debate about the detrimental versus beneficial character of management control systems for innovation, showing that the repressing character of control is not inherent to control itself, but emanates from the design of the respective management control system.

Research limitations/implications

The multi-dimensional framework connects and combines existing research and thus synthesizes the current state of knowledge in this field. Additionally, the framework can guide practitioners to systematically assess context factors and consequences of their management control systems design, and it shows avenues for future research.

Originality/value

The scientific and practical value of this paper is the convergence of the current body of knowledge consisting of various definitions and conceptualizations and the identification of avenues for future research.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Nicholas John Wake

– The purpose of this paper is to question whether the balanced scorecard provides an appropriate control mechanism for management control of knowledge workers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to question whether the balanced scorecard provides an appropriate control mechanism for management control of knowledge workers.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach is taken to explore the way in which management control of employees engaged in research and development is undertaken.

Findings

The key finding of this work is that the balanced scorecard is not in itself a useful approach to management control of knowledge workers but provides an important mechanism for ensuring that there is alignment between the strategic objectives of an organisation and the work being undertaken.

Research limitations/implications

The inductive approach taken in a single-company case study has provided a rich data set for exploratory research, however, this research design limits the generalisability of the findings.

Practical implications

The work provides insights into how the balanced scorecard can be used in knowledge-worker environments.

Originality/value

The balanced scorecard is often reported as a tool that allows organisations to cascade strategic priorities down to the level of the individual though the use of measures. This research provides an alternative explanation of how the balanced scorecard can support knowledge worker control.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 64 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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