Integrated Performance Management Through Effective Management Control

Topics: Strategic management, Management, Control theory Pages: 27 (8114 words) Published: March 31, 2013

Integrated Performance Management through Effective Management Control WERNER BRUGGEMAN

Performance measurement and performance management are vivid themes in the literature on management control. So, it is only natural that we investigate how this literature has contributed to the field of Integrated Performance Management. The purpose of this chapter is to describe how management control systems can be used to effectively manage company and business performance. First, we define the scope of management control and describe the link with organizational strategy. Then, we focus on the three elements of the management control system: (1) the management control structure; (2) the control process; and (3) the management control culture (beliefs systems). We will describe these three elements in greater detail and give an overview of the findings in mainstream contingency research studying the effectiveness of control systems in various environmental and organizational contexts.

Management control defined
Management control and the link with strategy Following Anthony and Govindarajan (1995), management control can be defined as a process of motivating managers to perform actions and activities in line with the goals and strategies of the organization. According to this definition, an organization is ‘under control’ when its members do what the management wants them to do. Management control comprises various tasks, among which are:

• • • • • •

Planning the future activities of the organization; Coordinating the activities of the various members of the organization; Communicating information; Evaluating this information; Deciding on the actions to be taken; and Influencing people to adapt their behaviour according to the company goals (Anthony and Govindarajan, 1995).

Integrated Performance Management through Effective Management Control


From the definition above, it follows that management control plays a central role in managing the company’s performance and the implementation of its strategies. Therefore, it is of vital importance that management behaviour, which is stimulated by the management control system, is consistent with the strategy to be implemented (the so-called ‘intended strategy’ – see also Chapter 6). The starting points of the management control process are the mission, the vision and the strategies of the organization. We refer to Chapter 6 for a more thorough discussion of each of these concepts, but recapitulate them very briefly here. The mission of an organization is a description in general terms of the role of the company towards its stakeholders. It describes the reasons for the company’s existence, its strategic focus and values, as well as how the long-term goals should be realized. The goals are descriptions of the long-term desired future of the company. The mission and goals translate into strategies, which specify the way in which the vision aspired to should be reached. The strategy in turn is translated into concrete performance objectives or targets. This is usually done through formalized action plans. Management control and goal congruence The purpose of management control is to maximize congruence among the goals of the organization, its various entities and its individual managers. This is called goal congruence. The way in which managers react to management control information depends to a large extent on their personal goals. For effective management control, it is important to be able to measure the impact of these motivators, because they largely determine the behaviour of people in an organization, as well as the desirability of the consequences of their behaviour. The management control system should be designed in such a way that, whenever managers take decisions that fit into their personal goals, these decisions should also be in the interests of the company as a whole. In other words, the management control system must create the conditions...
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