Quotation Greve, Jan, Ax, Christian, Bedford, David S., Bednarek, Piotr, Brühl, Rolf, Dergard, Johan, Ditillo, Angelo, Dossi, Andrea, Gosselin, Maurice, Hozee, Sophie, Israelson, Poul, Janschek, Otto, Johanson, Daniel, Johansson, Tobias, Madsen, Dag Ovind, Malmi, Teemu, Rohde, Carsten, Sandelin, Mikko, Strömsten, Torkel, Toldblod, Thomas, Willert, Jeannette. 2017. The impact of society on management control systems. Scandinavian Journal of Management. 33 (4), 253-266.




The aim of this study is to investigate whether certain configurations of management controls dominate in certain societies (socio-cultural contexts) and whether the effectiveness of a given archetype of management control systems (MCSs) varies depending on the socio-cultural setting—the society—in which it operates. The study focuses on three socio-cultural groups and the corresponding institutional contexts (an Anglo-Saxon group, a Central European group, and a Northern European group) and three MCS archetypes (delegated bureaucratic control, delegated output control, and programmable output control). We use unique data from a cross-national, interview-based survey encompassing 610 strategic business units from nine countries (seven European countries plus Canada and Australia). The idea that firms tend to adapt MCSs to the socio-cultural context does not gain empirical support in this study. No significant differences in the distribution of MCSs between the three socio-cultural groups are noted. However, we do find that programmable output control has a more positive impact on effectiveness in Anglo-Saxon cultures, while delegated output control has a more positive impact on effectiveness in Northern Europe. Taken together these findings indicate that distinct differences between societies make a particular MCS design more appropriate in a given society, but where such differences are not dramatic (as in the present case), multiple MCS designs can be found in the same society.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Scandinavian Journal of Management
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, STRAT-B, VW-D, WH-B
Language English
Title The impact of society on management control systems
Volume 33
Number 4
Year 2017
Page from 253
Page to 266
Reviewed? Y
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956522116303086
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2017.08.002
Open Access N


Janschek, Otto (Details)
Ax, Christian (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Bedford, David S. (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
Bednarek, Piotr (Wroc¿aw University of Economics, Poland)
Brühl, Rolf ( ESCP Europe, Germany, Germany)
Dergard, Johan (Lund University, Sweden)
Ditillo, Angelo (Università Bocconi, Italy)
Dossi, Andrea (Università Bocconi, Italy)
Gosselin, Maurice (Université Laval, Canada)
Greve, Jan (Örebro University, Sweden, Sweden)
Hozee, Sophie (Ghent University, Belgium)
Israelson, Poul (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Johanson, Daniel (Norwegian School of Economics, Norway)
Johansson, Tobias (Karlstad University and Örebro University, Sweden)
Madsen, Dag Ovind (University College of Southeast Norway, Norway)
Malmi, Teemu (Aalto University, Finland)
Rohde, Carsten (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Sandelin, Mikko (Aalto University, Finland)
Strömsten, Torkel (Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden)
Toldblod, Thomas (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Willert, Jeannette (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Institute for Strategy and Managerial Accounting IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5327 Accounting (Details)
5333 Business management (Details)
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