Management Control as a Meso-Foundation of Organizational Capabilities
26 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 20, 2010
The management accounting field has called for work which crosses academic boundaries, such as the field of strategic management. On the other side, the strategic management field has called for conceptual work on the foundations of organizational capabilities. Given that the strategy field lacks a comprehensive explanation as to how managers can entice their employees to effectively deploy their capabilities, we draw on the management control literature. The paper moves beyond discussing incentives to a discussion of management control frameworks to examine what are the underlying, implicit elements impacting employee behavior. It proposes that the meso-level foundations of organizational capabilities lie in the employee motivation literature. These foundations have been best operationalized within the management control literature by two comprehensive management control frameworks: Merchant’s management control system and Simons’ levers of control. We conclude by arguing that a full discussion of the origins of organizational capabilities needs to include the management control literature, and more specifically, work by Merchant, Simons and others.
Keywords: capabilities, management controls, meso-foundations, dynamic capabilities
JEL Classification: M4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation