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Control Theory in Organizational Behavior: Review, Critique, and Prospects

Martin R. Fellenz

Trinity College Dublin - School of Business

October 1997

This paper reviews the control theory debate in organizational behavior and argues that published criticism is valid for mechanical, rather than human, control theory conceptions. It advances further criticisms that distinguish additional limitations of current control theory models, and identifies avenues for theory development and empirical research. The article then examines the ramifications for control theory of Weick's(1979) argument that goal-setting follows action, and discusses the need for the integration of retrospective sensemaking and goal inferences into control theory.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: control theory, organizational behaviour, self-regulation

JEL Classification: M10

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Date posted: October 24, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Fellenz, Martin R., Control Theory in Organizational Behavior: Review, Critique, and Prospects (October 1997). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=939714 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.939714

Contact Information

Martin R. Fellenz (Contact Author)
Trinity College Dublin - School of Business ( email )
College Green
Dublin 2
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