Strategy and Control: Findings from a Set-Theoretical Analysis of High-Performance Manufacturing Firms

47 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2013 Last revised: 4 Jan 2015

See all articles by David H. Erkens

David H. Erkens

Georgetown University - Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business

Wim A. Van der Stede

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: January 3, 2015

Abstract

We examine how management control systems combine with the organizational context, particularly strategy, to result in firm performance, and introduce fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to accounting research as an alternative empirical tool for testing and building contingency theory. Using fsQCA on data from U.S. manufacturing firms, we provide not only novel large-sample confirmatory evidence for two high performance configura-tions that are primarily based on Simons’ field research (1990, 1991), but also exploratory evidence that is useful for extending contingency research. Specifically, we identify alternative configurations that consistently lead to high performance, and find that the collection of equally-well performing configurations changes depending on the level of performance. In addition, we illustrate some appealing features of fsQCA in relation to other quantitative statistical methods hitherto commonly used in this line of research. Conceptually, our study speaks to the notion of “contingent configurations” by drawing on tenets from both the configurational and contingency views of organizations.

Keywords: Management control systems, strategy, organizational configurations, qualitative comparative analysis

JEL Classification: L22, M41, M52

Suggested Citation

Erkens, David Hendrik and Van der Stede, Wim A., Strategy and Control: Findings from a Set-Theoretical Analysis of High-Performance Manufacturing Firms (January 3, 2015). Marshall School of Business Working Paper No. ACC 03.13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2296468 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2296468

David Hendrik Erkens (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Wim A. Van der Stede

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7955 7420 (Fax)

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