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6a6Management Control Research
Wrap-up for the first two weeks!

During the first two weeks the main goal was to provide a holistic overview and understanding about management control research. After these two weeks you should be able to: 1. Understand what are MACS (book, p. 5) + developed further in chapter 4 of the book. a. Agency theory: Organizations are a web of two-person contracts between owner (principal) and managers/employees (agents). MACS are used to monitor, control, and motivate the agents (e.g. incentive system) – owner’s position; b. Nerve center: Managers need (formal and informal) information to support their decisional, interpersonal and informational roles – manager’s position; c. Accounting symbolism: MACS are used in a ceremonial way: more symbolic than functionalistic. Can be used either to influence or persuade (offensively) or to a posteori justify decisions (defensively) – accounting’s position; d. Labor process: MACS are used to weaken and exploit workers (managers can both be victims and users of MACS) – workers’ position; e. Dialectic controls: Historical analysis and evolution / change based on tensions amongst organizational elements – managers and workers’ position.

2. Understand two typologies about Management Control Research. a. The three paradigms proposed by Chua (1986) and their main characteristics.

Dialectic controls

Labor process

Nerve center

Agency theory Symbolism

Slides 15+16

Slides 17+18

Slides 13+14

See also three alternative approaches (attached) and DEBATE (lecture 1) Mainstream accounting research – Standard in USA, dominates PhD and Master programs and academic journals. Interpretive research – Describe, understand and interpret the meanings that human actors apply to accounting information. Critical research – Does not belief in a neutral view of the uses of accounting (often...

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