This research is a longitudinal study of 10 newly‐appointed top managers; the research focuses on understanding (1) their business vision and strategy and (2) how they use formal control systems as levers of strategic change and renewal. The results reported in the paper are based on data collected over a period of approximately 18 months following the appointment of each new manager. Analysis of the data suggests that control systems are important levers used to manage both evolutionary and revolutionary change. In situations of strategic change, control systems are used by top managers to formalize beliefs, set boundaries on acceptable strategic behavior, define and measure critical performance variables, and motivate debate and discussion about strategic uncertainties. In addition to traditional measuring and monitoring functions, control systems are used by top managers to overcome organizational inertia; communicate new strategic agendas; establish implementation timetables and targets; and ensure continuing attention to new strategic initiatives.
Strategic Management Journal – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1994
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