Expanding beyond life-cycle theory to explain MCSs development: The journey of two Swedish high-tech firms

Detta är en D-uppsats från Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för redovisning och finansiering

Författare: Henrik Blomqvist; Camilla Giacomazzo; [2017]

Nyckelord: MCSs; Change; High-tech; Life-Cycle;

Sammanfattning: This paper examines the development and the adoption of MCSs in growing high-tech companies. Until recently life-cycle theory has been the most common way to describe how MCSs change, and managers have designed MCSs based on life-cycle stages. This theory fits traditional companies but newer studies (Phelps et al., 2007) have shown that growing companies do not follow linear life-cycle stages; while others (Granlund & Taipaleenmäki, 2005) have argued that life-cycle theory is insufficient to explain the development of MCSs in high-tech firms. By introducing Van de Ven & Poole's (1995) four change theories (life-cycle, teleological, dialectical and evolutionary) to explain the development of MCSs in high-tech firms, we aim to contribute to this new research field. With a longitudinal study on two Swedish high-tech companies, we find that life-cycle/evolutionary change processes are linked to a linear increase in the formalization of MCSs, whereas the presence of teleological/dialectical change processes is linked to more abrupt changes in the formalization of MCSs. We propose two new models to display these linkages. Finally, we show that the role of life-cycle theory in explaining the development of MCSs in high-tech companies is much smaller than previously stated.

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