This study uses the survey method to investigate the influence of several contingent variables on the design of MCS in service organizations. MCS was conceptualized in terms of five dimensions: action/results controls, formal/informal controls, tight/loose controls, restricted/flexible controls, and impersonal/interpersonal controls to form a composite measure of the degree of MCS bureaucracy. The framework used in this study recognizes that the service process type, business strategy, and stage in the organizational life cycle influence the choice of MCS design within an organization. Questionnaires were administered to financial controllers of service organizations operating in Australia. Using t tests and multiple regression analysis, the results indicated that (1) mass service, mature and cost leader firms place a greater emphasis on more bureaucratic forms of MCS, compared to professional service, growth and differentiator firms, and (2) service process type, organizational life cycle stage, and business strategies have a significant influence on the design of a firm's MCS.
Management Accounting Research – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2005
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