The relationship between management control systems and strategy

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This thesis sheds light on the relationship between management control systems (MCS) and strategy. While this is a widely investigated topic, the multidimensionality of MCS is neglected in studying this phenomenon. This multidimensionality contains three different dimensions related to MCS. First, MCS level contains a distinction between hierarchical levels. Second, MCS typology includes the elements of the control packages of Malmi & Brown (2008). Third, MCS information distinguishes between structured and unstructured information. To investigate the effect of the multidimensionality of MCS to the MCS-strategy relationship, a positivistic qualitative research methodology is adopted. An explorative case study at the E-commerce business unit at Jumbo is conducted to obtain an in-depth understanding of this phenomenon. The findings of this study indicate that a bidirectional and cyclical relationship exist between MCS and strategy, but that this relationship varies across hierarchical level. Strategy influences MCS mainly in cybernetic control systems and is visible in all hierarchical levels. In contrast, the relationship of MCS affecting strategy is only visible in cybernetic control systems. On strategic and tactical level, they are intended to foster strategic changes and decisions. At operational level, they only contribute to this relationship in supporting and substantiating these strategic decisions.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen