The relationship between management control systems and strategy: Multiple institutional logics in practice
Sammanfattning: Background and problem: SKF AB, one of the world's largest roller bearing manufacturing companies, has considered the introduction of a payment factory. This constitutes a potential strategic change and a good opportunity to contribute to literature on management control systems (MCSs) and strategy. Purpose: To investigate the interrelationship between MCSs and strategy through the lens of institutional logics. Research questions: I. How the overarching MCS influences the strategic decision of implementing a payment factory. II. How the strategic change of implementing a payment factory implies a change in the micro MCS controlling the payment process. Theoretical frame: A macro MCS is distinguished from a micro MCS. The macro MCS is defined as critical success factors and their enforcement while the micro MCS is defined as various actions and results controls aimed at controlling the payment process. The micro MCS is the object of strategic change and the enforcement of the macro MCS is viewed through a lens of institutional logics. Method and data: A qualitative study based on interviews, internal and publicly available documentation. Three interviews with treasury departments outside the case firm and three interviews with business unit financial managers inside the case firm supplemented by informal meetings in the group treasury department. Documentation consisting of procedure descriptions, project plans, payment statistics and annual reports. Analysis and conclusions: Dynamics of three distinctive institutional logics were centred around three CSFs identified within the macro MCS. The implied impact of these dynamics and the macro MCS were evaluated in terms of the potential strategic change in the form of the payment factory. This resulted in two discrete alternative designs of the new payment process with the associated micro MCS designs detailed. Discussion and theoretical contributions: The analysis results in two distinctive professional logics, a controlling logic and a treasury logic, previously not emphasized in the literature. It also leads to a detailed account of the bidirectional nature of the MCS-strategy relationship highlighting the heterogeneity of the MCS concept and the complex nature of the relationship.
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