The paradox of a functional Management Control System


  • Martin Kartomo European Business University


Management Control, Management Control Systems, Strategy Execution


The design and use of MCS have been extensively researched and debated. However, whether the MCS is functional for strategy execution has received limited attention as MCS research has focused on isolated MCS components debating multiple perspectives with contradicting results, ignoring the experience of practitioners.

This qualitative research paper aims to illuminate the paradox of a functional MCS, provides the opportunity to develop a more complete MCS theory and help organizations to evaluate their MCS. We explored the MCS literature and use conceptual maps to rationalize the MCS findings. We identified factors that MCS researchers evaluated as functioning MCS, nevertheless we found that there are some non-included factors that make MCS being dysfunctional.

This paper is useful to bridge the gap between functional and dysfunctional MCS.