Justice: A Sufficient Condition for Goal Congruence in Management Control Systems
European Accounting and Management Review, 2(1), 104-122
20 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 24, 2016
Control systems are a fundamental tool in the management process. Management control systems have been judged under the criterion of goal congruence, i.e., on whether the possible rewards given to people when they take specific actions benefit at the same time individuals and the organization as a whole. Often the concept of justice is not included in the analysis. In recent papers, some theoretical developments have shown that the concept of justice is essential to their dynamics, because it has the potential to change the attitudes of people towards the organization and, therefore, their interest in future decisions. But these developments have been essentially conceptual and have not attempted to go beyond theoretical terms. This paper, using a stylized example, tries to show how this framework can be applied in practice. It also attempts to clarify the concept of goal congruence, by distinguishing when it is merely quantitative or qualitative, and when it can be considered 'weak' or 'strong'. Finally, it goes back to the conceptual model of Cugueró-Escofet and Rosanas (2013) and shows how the practical vision of this case adapts to the conceptual analysis offered in their framework, and draws some conclusions.
Keywords: management control systems, goal congruence, formal justice, informal control systems, informal justice
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