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Relational systems between actors in the face of management control’s contradictory injunctions

Relational systems between actors in the face of management control’s contradictory injunctions Many French organisations have recently chosen to decentralise their management control systems, extending them into the middle‐management level. This “irrigation” of management structure by management control systems called for a study of the articulation between central management control practices (at the head‐office level) and local management control practices (at the unit level). This exploratory study investigates the meaning that the actors in the organisational units‐local controllers and operational managers‐give to their practices aimed at implementing the central management control system. Starting from the standpoint of the subjectivist contingency theory, this research is founded on an interpretive epistemology and is based on a comparative analysis of eight case studies conducted at the regional level of a large French bank’s distribution network. The “Findings” section shows that the central management control system, developed at the bank’s head office, conveys a good many “contradictory injunctions”. A typology of the differentiated regional implementation practices is proposed. Next, the interactions between local actors exert a complex influence on these practices. Finally, a qualitative typology of the relational systems in play between management controllers and operational managers is proposed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management Emerald Publishing

Relational systems between actors in the face of management control’s contradictory injunctions

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References (19)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1176-6093
DOI
10.1108/EUM0000000007306
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Many French organisations have recently chosen to decentralise their management control systems, extending them into the middle‐management level. This “irrigation” of management structure by management control systems called for a study of the articulation between central management control practices (at the head‐office level) and local management control practices (at the unit level). This exploratory study investigates the meaning that the actors in the organisational units‐local controllers and operational managers‐give to their practices aimed at implementing the central management control system. Starting from the standpoint of the subjectivist contingency theory, this research is founded on an interpretive epistemology and is based on a comparative analysis of eight case studies conducted at the regional level of a large French bank’s distribution network. The “Findings” section shows that the central management control system, developed at the bank’s head office, conveys a good many “contradictory injunctions”. A typology of the differentiated regional implementation practices is proposed. Next, the interactions between local actors exert a complex influence on these practices. Finally, a qualitative typology of the relational systems in play between management controllers and operational managers is proposed.

Journal

Qualitative Research in Accounting & ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2005

Keywords: Management control; Case study; Operations

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