Management control systems in a non-enterprise network: The greenhouse gas protocol initiative

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Accounting Review, 2009, 19 (2), pp. 93 - 102
Issue Date:
2009-06-01
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This article is based on the action research project of a multi-stakeholder collaboration formed to produce the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This non-enterprise cross-sector collaboration had two sets of problems: the first being the ideological differences of the stakeholders, who had differing interests and agendas regarding the production of standards. The second set relates to the practical problems of enabling 300 people from different organisations and time zones, with different levels of resource access and no clear financial goal or endpoint, to work together. To overcome these issues three types of management control systems were developed: strong planning processes, administrative and governance structures, and socio-ideological controls. The result of the collaboration is a set of greenhouse gas accounting standards that have widespread acceptance internationally. This study contributes to both practice and research on management control systems (MCS) by outlining how alternative forms of MCS can be designed for non-enterprise cross-sector collaboration.
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