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Management Control Systems and Innovation: a levers of control analysis in an innovative company

Management Control Systems and Innovation: a levers of control analysis in an innovative company Building on the growing body of research that has addressed management control systems and innovation, the purpose of this study is to assess the extent and nature of the use of controls in an innovative setting and how they work together unveiling the relationships and tensions amongst the Simons’ levers.Design/methodology/approachThis study resorts to an in-depth and single case study in a company that has both a strong orientation to innovation and stable control practices in place. Evidence was collected from 32 interviews, visits to the company and internal documentation.FindingsAt the case company, it was possible to find the presence of controls according to all the levers of control. Likewise, joint effects of controls used according to interactive and beliefs approaches and diagnostic and boundary controls showed a consistent reinforcement that push the organization in a single direction. Signs of some countervailing reinforcement between these pairs were also detected, creating tensions. This in general shows that innovation can be weighed against the necessity of goal achievement taking place within fields in which the company can exploit the effort developed.Originality/valueThis study documents the collective use of controls in a context in which innovation is needed and how the combination of the levers of control with their inner workings and tensions allow the company to have a corporate environment of innovation that is friendly. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change Emerald Publishing

Management Control Systems and Innovation: a levers of control analysis in an innovative company

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1832-5912
eISSN
1832-5912
DOI
10.1108/jaoc-09-2020-0137
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Building on the growing body of research that has addressed management control systems and innovation, the purpose of this study is to assess the extent and nature of the use of controls in an innovative setting and how they work together unveiling the relationships and tensions amongst the Simons’ levers.Design/methodology/approachThis study resorts to an in-depth and single case study in a company that has both a strong orientation to innovation and stable control practices in place. Evidence was collected from 32 interviews, visits to the company and internal documentation.FindingsAt the case company, it was possible to find the presence of controls according to all the levers of control. Likewise, joint effects of controls used according to interactive and beliefs approaches and diagnostic and boundary controls showed a consistent reinforcement that push the organization in a single direction. Signs of some countervailing reinforcement between these pairs were also detected, creating tensions. This in general shows that innovation can be weighed against the necessity of goal achievement taking place within fields in which the company can exploit the effort developed.Originality/valueThis study documents the collective use of controls in a context in which innovation is needed and how the combination of the levers of control with their inner workings and tensions allow the company to have a corporate environment of innovation that is friendly.

Journal

Journal of Accounting & Organizational ChangeEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2022

Keywords: Innovation; Management control systems; Simons’ framework; Case study; Levers of control

References