In this paper we discuss the Management Control Systems (MCSs)–strategy relationship in the light of an empirical analysis. We debate the attention to the fit of MCS and strategy at given moments in time which is typical of a contingency approach, and we search for an understanding of the dynamic evolution of the company over a continuous span of time. We deploy a diachronic analysis which involves a vertical and a horizontal conception of dynamics. We show that instantaneous fit between formal MCS and deliberate strategy is not helpful in illustrating evolution, nor is able to explain success. Conversely, the fit is to be played continuously on MCS and strategies at the level of practices. We also show the role of misfit between MCS and strategy: ambiguity implies the definition of blurred constraints for action which is freed. In this sense, we conclude that in the design of the MCS or strategy, attention does not have to be focused on the reciprocal fit, but rather on the ability of both (MCS and strategy) to support the exploration of new directions of evolution. Our case offers the intuition that identities, beyond practices, account for success in this case, as they embed both practices but also a way of being that, as a set of basic principles, directs behaviour when practices are missing, i.e., in the face of the new.

The Strategy and Management Control System relationship as emerging dynamic process

Frigotto, Maria Laura;Coller, Graziano;Collini, Paolo
2013-01-01

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the Management Control Systems (MCSs)–strategy relationship in the light of an empirical analysis. We debate the attention to the fit of MCS and strategy at given moments in time which is typical of a contingency approach, and we search for an understanding of the dynamic evolution of the company over a continuous span of time. We deploy a diachronic analysis which involves a vertical and a horizontal conception of dynamics. We show that instantaneous fit between formal MCS and deliberate strategy is not helpful in illustrating evolution, nor is able to explain success. Conversely, the fit is to be played continuously on MCS and strategies at the level of practices. We also show the role of misfit between MCS and strategy: ambiguity implies the definition of blurred constraints for action which is freed. In this sense, we conclude that in the design of the MCS or strategy, attention does not have to be focused on the reciprocal fit, but rather on the ability of both (MCS and strategy) to support the exploration of new directions of evolution. Our case offers the intuition that identities, beyond practices, account for success in this case, as they embed both practices but also a way of being that, as a set of basic principles, directs behaviour when practices are missing, i.e., in the face of the new.
2013
17.3
Frigotto, Maria Laura; Coller, Graziano; Collini, Paolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/90016
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