Management control systems

Theory and lessons from practice

Authored by: David Dugdale

The Routledge Companion to Performance Management and Control

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138913547
eBook ISBN: 9781315691374
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter begins with a review of contemporary theoretical contributions to management control theory. The specific aim is to show that overall goals and strategy, linked to performance measurement and target-setting, with further linking to rewards and incentives, permeate much of the management control literature. Three case studies are then described and their implications for theory discussed. In these cases, senior managers have consciously chosen not to set operational targets, and there are no incentives based on short-term operational performance. To some extent, the strategic concerns of senior managers are “decoupled” from the operating concerns of middle managers. It is concluded that for some companies, theory overemphasises the importance of linking organisational vision and goals through strategy and planning to the setting of targets, performance evaluation and incentives.

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