Employees’ perception of management control systems as a threat: effects on deliberate ignorance and workplace deviance
Accounting Forum, https://doi.org/10.1080/01559982.2022.2140500
52 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020 Last revised: 2 Dec 2022
Date Written: June 17, 2022
We examine the impact of employees’ perceptions of management control systems (MCS) as a threat on two forms of misconduct: deliberate ignorance and workplace deviance. Drawing on the theory of cognitive dissonance, we predict that a perceived threat is associated with a decrease in workplace deviance but may also trigger unintended consequences, such as deliberate ignorance. Hypotheses are tested using survey data from three large hospitals. Taken together, our results suggest that employees’ perceptions of MCS as a threat have (1) a negative curvilinear effect on workplace deviance and (2) a positive linear association with deliberate ignorance. Additionally, we find that the need for professional autonomy shapes the effect of employees’ perception of MCS as a threat on both forms of misconduct. Overall, by providing new empirical evidence on how employees perceive MCS and their (un)intended consequences, we add to the growing body of research on the effects of control systems on employees’ behaviour.
Keywords: Perception of control; management control systems; misconduct; deliberate ignorance; workplace deviance; cognitive dissonance.
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation