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Tremendous change has taken place in organisational structures, networks and strategy over the past 25 years. Yet, a strategic management framework developed 25 years ago…
Tremendous change has taken place in organisational structures, networks and strategy over the past 25 years. Yet, a strategic management framework developed 25 years ago has increased in popularity among researchers in the past decade. This paper aims to review how Simons’ Levers of Control (LOC) framework has been used in empirical research studies over the past 25 years.
The findings are based on electronic database searches of papers adopting Simons’ framework published in accounting and management journals.
A total of 45 empirical studies adopting the LOC framework are presented chronologically by research method. The review highlights the far greater use of the framework in qualitative compared to quantitative studies. Qualitative studies have extended the application of the framework to broader organisational issues such as sustainability, environmental accounting and inter-organisational controls. The quantitative studies have mainly sought to add to our understanding of the antecedents and outcomes of the use of interactive control systems.
This paper furthers our understanding of Simons’ framework by synthesising and analysing the literature over 25 years. It provides insight into the varying interpretations of the concepts underlying the framework in empirical studies including differences in operationalisation of the concepts in quantitative studies. In addition, it highlights the application of the framework beyond the original domain in which it was developed. Fruitful areas for future research are pointed to in the paper.
Certain elements of Hayek’s work are prominent precursors to the modern field of complex adaptive systems, including his ideas on spontaneous order, his focus on market…
Certain elements of Hayek’s work are prominent precursors to the modern field of complex adaptive systems, including his ideas on spontaneous order, his focus on market processes, his contrast between designing and gardening, and his own framing of complex systems. Conceptually, he was well ahead of his time, prescient in his formulation of novel ways to think about economies and societies. Technically, the fact that he did not mathematically formalize most of the notions he developed makes his insights hard to incorporate unambiguously into models. However, because so much of his work is divorced from the simplistic models proffered by early mathematical economics, it stands as fertile ground for complex systems researchers today. I suggest that Austrian economists can create a progressive research program by building models of these Hayekian ideas, and thereby gain traction within the economics profession. Instead of mathematical models the suite of techniques and tools known as agent-based computing seems particularly well-suited to addressing traditional Austrian topics like money, business cycles, coordination, market processes, and so on, while staying faithful to the methodological individualism and bottom-up perspective that underpin the entire school of thought.
Despite extensive adoption of Simons’ Levers of Control (LoC) framework, there is still considerable diversity in its operationalization which impedes the coherent…
Despite extensive adoption of Simons’ Levers of Control (LoC) framework, there is still considerable diversity in its operationalization which impedes the coherent development of the literature and compromises its value to researchers. The purpose of this paper is to draw researchers back to the conceptual core of the framework as a basis for stable, consistent definitions of the domain of observables.
We derive the conceptual core of the framework from Simons’ writings. We highlight instability in existing operational definitions of the LoC, weaknesses in the extent to which these definitions reference this conceptual core, and inconsistencies in the restriction of LoC to formal information-based routines.
We draw on the inconsistencies identified to build the case for commensuration or a “common standard” for the framework’s use on two levels: the constructs within the framework (through reference to the conceptual core of the framework) and the framework itself (through explicit inclusion of informal controls).
We illustrate the benefits of commensuration through the potential to guide the scope of the domain of observables in empirical LoC studies, and to study LoC as complementary or competing with other management control theories.
Our approach to resolving tensions arising from inconsistencies in the empirical definitions of LoC differs from others in that we focus on the strategic variables underlying the framework to define the conceptual core. We believe this approach offers greater potential for commensuration at the level of the constructs within the framework and the framework itself.
Client engagement increases substantially when staff teams implement active support. The impact of active support on challenging behaviour is less clear. There are grounds…
Client engagement increases substantially when staff teams implement active support. The impact of active support on challenging behaviour is less clear. There are grounds for believing that active support procedures could in some cases neutralise environmental conditions known to evoke challenging behaviour. We implemented a three‐phase clinical intervention to increase engagement and reduce passive and challenging behaviour. In phase 1 we trained staff to deliver inviting activity‐based instruction at eye level. In phase 2 we introduced activity support plans to increase client choice and control. In phase 3 staff used peer‐monitoring procedures to consolidate implementation. We measured staff behaviour and client outcome across the three phases of intervention and at follow‐up. Staff provided warm and inviting activity‐based instruction at eye level more frequently after participating in phase 1 on‐site training. The proportion of activity‐based interactions with choice increased when activity plans were introduced in phase 2. Engagement replaced passive and challenging behaviour. Staff observations suggested changes were maintained over the short run. Our own observations indicated decay at 22 months. Our data suggest that active support procedures can make challenging behaviour less likely by altering antecedent conditions that reliably evoke such behaviour. Without sustained effort, interventions are susceptible to decay.
This paper questions the issue of the dynamics of corporate governance in Japan using a conceptual framework adapted from North’s theory of institutional change. National…
This paper questions the issue of the dynamics of corporate governance in Japan using a conceptual framework adapted from North’s theory of institutional change. National systems of corporate governance can indeed be considered a particular case of institutions. We thus suggest transposing North’s propositions about institutional change to national systems of corporate governance. As an illustration for our propositions, we choose to use a case study: the so-called Sogo crisis. The Sogo group is a Japanese chain of department stores, which has encountered financial problems in the late 1990s. The handling of those difficulties by the firm’s main stakeholders highlights both the recent changes in the Japanese system of corporate governance and the resistance opposed to them.
Research has demonstrated that public organizations commonly adopt performance measurement systems to assess the operational accountability of service delivery. This same…
Research has demonstrated that public organizations commonly adopt performance measurement systems to assess the operational accountability of service delivery. This same research, however, has revealed that public managers struggle with using performance measures for improving service performance and for determining long-term budget needs. One plausible explanation for the limited use of performance statistics is found in the strategic management literature on the evolutionary theory of routine. It suggests that private firms make decisions by identifying alternatives to base routines for process innovation rather than relying on the traditional theory of profit maximization. By applying the routines-based perspective to public organizations, this article presents a model of results-based management where performance of service delivery represents our proxy for profit and where performance measures serve primarily to monitor the performance of selected service dimensions. The results of output, outcome, and efficiency measures are then used to support performance, financial, and strategic management, including the selection and implementation of strategies to alter the base routines of service delivery. These new routines, created under the boundaries of rational choice, often have substantial budgetary implications over time when they change the calculus between resource consumption and service provision.
We present a continuous time series on first cabin passenger fares for ocean travel from New York to the British Isles covering nearly a century of time. We discuss the…
We present a continuous time series on first cabin passenger fares for ocean travel from New York to the British Isles covering nearly a century of time. We discuss the conceptual and empirical difficulties of constructing such a time series, and examine the reasons for differences between the behavior of advertised fares and those based on passenger revenues. We find that while there are conceptual differences between these two measurements, as well as differences in the average values, the two generally moved in parallel, which means that the advertised fare series can serve as a reasonable proxy for movement of the revenue-based fares. We also find that advertised fares declined over time, roughly paralleling the drop in freight rates for US bulk exports, until around 1890, but thereafter increased while freight rates continued to decline. We propose several hypotheses for this divergent behavior and suggest lines of future research.
The traditional role of computer‐based information systems is to provide support for individual decision making. According to this model, information is to be seen as a…
The traditional role of computer‐based information systems is to provide support for individual decision making. According to this model, information is to be seen as a valuable resource for the decision maker faced with a complex task. Such a view of information systems in organizations does however fail to include such phenomena as the daily use of information for misrepresen‐tation purposes. The conventional systems analysis methods, whether they are data‐ or decision‐oriented, do not help in understanding the nature of organizations and their ways of processing information. This paper proposes what appears to be a more realistic approach to the analysis and design of information systems. Organizations are seen as networks of contracts which govern exchange transactions between members having only partially overlapping goals. Conflict of interests is explicitly admitted to be a factor affecting information and exchange costs. Information technology is seen as a means to streamline exchange transactions, thus enabling economic organizations to operate more efficiently. Examples are given of MIS, data base and office automation systems, where both the organization and its information system were jointly designed. These examples illustrate the power of the approach, which is based on recent research in the new institutional economics.
This chapter presents the hetrodox theory of Islamic finance in regard to the theme of corporate governance in the light of the particular Islamic epistemological premise…
This chapter presents the hetrodox theory of Islamic finance in regard to the theme of corporate governance in the light of the particular Islamic epistemological premise. A vast social implication of corporate governance is opened by its epistemological inquiry comprehending integrated decision making and systemic complementarities expending across society at large. Thereby, a socio-financial theory of corporate governance in the epistemological context is elaborated upon. This is a path-breaking chapter premised on its epistemological approach of unity of knowledge and learning systems as a distinct contribution to the theory of corporate governance in the field of ethical socio-financial perspective.