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Management control systems in innovation companies: A literature based framework

Haustein, Ellen; Luther, Robert; Schuster, Peter


Ellen Haustein

Robert Luther

Peter Schuster


Past research has traditionally argued that management control systems (MCSs) may present a hindrance to the creativity of innovation companies. This theoretical paper surveys the literature to focus an investigation on the MCSs of innovation companies. Within the object of control paradigm the paper develops and presents a theoretical model of the impact of eleven external, organisational and innovation related contingency factors on the MCSs in companies that engage in innovation activities. We also suggest measures for further empirical research. By formulating hypotheses on 43 potential interactions the model predicts contradictory influences on two direct control categories, results and action control, but stresses the importance of two indirect categories, personnel and cultural control. More specifically, the high levels of technological complexity and innovation capability in this type of company are expected to be negatively associated with the application of results and action control, whereas personnel and cultural seem to be more appropriate. Furthermore, important sources of finance, venture capital and public funding, are both hypothesised to be positively associated with the application of results, action and personnel control; whereas only public funding is predicted to be positively related to the application of cultural control. The principal contribution of this paper lies in synthesising the literature to provide a model of the impact of a unique set of eleven contingency factors for innovation companies on a broad scope of controls. In addition, the contingency model, if empirically validated, would add value by inferring the particular forms of management control which would be beneficial in innovative company settings. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Haustein, E., Luther, R., & Schuster, P. (2014). Management control systems in innovation companies: A literature based framework. Journal of Management Control, 24(4), 343-382.

Journal Article Type Article
Conference Name EBES 2012 Conference
Acceptance Date Dec 3, 2013
Publication Date Feb 1, 2014
Journal Journal of Management Control
Electronic ISSN 2191-477X
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 4
Pages 343-382
Keywords management control systems, innovation companies, contingency model, organisational maturity, venture capital, public funding
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via
Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : EBES annual conference 2012, Warsaw


JoMAC article Framework MCS in innovation companies FINAL.docx (401 Kb)

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