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Coercive, enabling, diagnostic, and interactive control: Unravelling the puzzle of their connections

Bisbe, J., Kruis, A., Madini, P.M. (2016) Coercive, enabling, diagnostic, and interactive control: Unravelling the puzzle of their connections. In: 10th Conference on New Directions in Management Accounting, 14-16 Dec 2016, Bruxelles, Belgium. (KAR id:59720)

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Recent accounting research has connected the typology of coercive and enabling types of formalisation (Adler and Borys, 1996) (A&B96) with the distinction between diagnostic and interactive control as proposed by Simons (1995, 2000) (LOC) in order to tackle research questions on complex control situations that involve both the degree of employees’ autonomy and the patterns of top management attention. In this paper, we assess the extent to which the conceptual clarity of the connection between A&B96 and LOC is at risk. Based on an in-depth content analysis of 59 recent papers drawing on A&B96 and/or LOC, we observe some key points of ambiguity and divergence across frameworks (the perspective from which reality is being studied and the decision focus; whether categories capture choices driven by design or by style-of-use; the properties of control systems). We observe an additional source of divergence resulting from the different forms of connection that are proposed (co-existence, inclusion and combination approaches). We assess how the identified points of ambiguity and divergence across frameworks manifest in each approach. Based on this assessment, we provide guidelines to enhance conceptual clarity in future accounting research interested in drawing upon both A&B96 and LOC frameworks. We further propose a series of generic research models under different forms of connection between the two frameworks, pointing out some opportunities for future conceptually clear research.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics > HA33 Management Science
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Paola Madini
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2016 10:32 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 13:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Madini, P.M.:
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