Sifting Through the Inconsistencies of Organizational Learning and Management Control

53 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2012 Last revised: 1 Jan 2013

See all articles by Michael Lee

Michael Lee

Boise State University

Sally K. Widener

Clemson University

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

The evidence on the relations between the use of management control systems and organizational learning is conflicting and inconclusive. One reason for this may be that both management control systems and organizational learning are multi-faceted. To shed insights on the existing inconsistent evidence, we draw on cognitive load and framing theories to argue that the use of different types of management control systems will differently affect different types of organizational learning. Using survey data from 241 respondents our structural equation model provides evidence that the use of a cybernetic system is positively associated with generative learning while the use of a planning system is positively associated with adaptive learning. Moreover, the effect of each of the management control systems on performance outcomes is either partially or fully mediated by organizational learning. These results show the importance of recognizing the multi-faceted nature of both management control systems and organizational learning.

Keywords: Management control, organizational learning, firm performance, mediating, structural equation models

JEL Classification: M40, L20

Suggested Citation

Lee, Michael and Widener, Sally K., Sifting Through the Inconsistencies of Organizational Learning and Management Control (June 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2131288 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2131288

Michael Lee

Boise State University ( email )

1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83716
United States

Sally K. Widener (Contact Author)

Clemson University ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States

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