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MBA Dissertation Investigation into Management Control Strategy (2005)

Ref: busman0009

The paper outlines the tension between predictable goal achievement on the one hand, and organisational change on the other. This challenge is complicated since it posits two traditionally antagonistic literatures: the strategy literature which has been largely concerned with managing change, and the management control literature – quintessentially understood as “keeping things on track”. Consequently, this interdisciplinary literature review is able to provide fresh insight into our understanding of the management control-strategy relationship. The first research objective demonstrates that notions of management control have lagged behind developments in the strategy literature – to the extent that “strategy was not used explicitly as a variable in management control systems (MCS) research until the 1980s”. The second research objective establishes that recent conceptions of management control have advanced our understanding of the management control-strategy interplay, but still provide little insight into the nature of the relationship below the apex of the firm. In these circumstances, firms need to know the management control effects upon the strategy process, the strategy process effects upon MCS design and use, and – a major intention of this dissertation – middle managers’ response to pressures to be both formulators and implementers of strategy. This challenge led to the consideration of the role of middle-level managers in the strategy process, and with it consideration of how firms may seek to control these managers’ strategic activities. Future research problems are outlined.


  • 20,000 words - 70 pages in length
  • Outstanding use of literature
  • Good in depth analysis
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for business and management students


1: Objectives

2: Early model of Management Control-Strategy Relationship
Anthony's Legacy

3: Strategy Literature Review
Structure-Strategy Debate
Planning School versus Emergent School
'Grass-roots' Model
Role of the Middle Manager in Strategy Making
Floyd and Wooldridge Typology
Summary

4: Belated Developments in Management Control Literature
Conventional Wisdom
Robert Simons' Contribution
Control of Strategy as Perspective - Beliefs Systems
Control of Strategy as Position - Boundary Systems
Control of Strategy as Plan and Pattern - PMS
MC-Strategy Interplay
Summary

5: Issues/Evidence at Middle Levels
Learning
Social Control
Participation, Empowerment and Accountability
Summary

6: Conclusion
Dissertation Synopsis
Discussion and Future Research
Summary



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