The Design and Use of Management Control Systems: An Extended Framework for Analysis

Posted: 27 Jul 2009

See all articles by Aldónio Ferreira

Aldónio Ferreira

Monash University - Department of Accounting

David Otley

Lancaster University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 24, 2009


Issues in the area of performance management and management control systems are typically complex and intertwined, but research tends to be based on simplified and partial settings. Simplification has made the work easier to carry out, but it has come at the price of increased ambiguity and conflicting findings from different studies. To help mitigate these issues, this paper puts forward the Performance Management Systems Framework as a research tool for describing the structure and operation of performance management systems (PMSs) in a more holistic manner. The framework was developed from the relevant literature and from our observations and experience. In particular, it elaborates the five questions of Otley’s [Otley, D., 1999. Performance management: a framework for management control systems research. Management Accounting Research, 10, 363-382.] performance management framework into twelve questions and integrates aspects of Simons’ levers of control framework.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the extended framework provides a useful research tool for those wishing to study the design and operation of performance management systems by providing a template to help describe the key aspects of such systems. It allows an holistic overview to be taken whilst making this a feasible task. The paper uses material from two field studies to illustrate how the framework can be used to provide an overview of the major performance management issues within an organization.

Keywords: Management control systems, performance management systems framework, design and use of performance management systems

JEL Classification: M4

Suggested Citation

Ferreira, Aldónio and Otley, David T., The Design and Use of Management Control Systems: An Extended Framework for Analysis (July 24, 2009). Management Accounting Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Aldónio Ferreira (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Accounting ( email )

​E1065, Menzies Building, Level 10
​20 Chancellors Walk
Clayton, Victoria 3800
+61 3 9905 24267 (Phone)
3800 (Fax)

David T. Otley

Lancaster University ( email )

The Management School
Lancaster LA1 4YF
United Kingdom
+441 524 593 632 (Phone)
+441 524 652 01 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics