Management control systems in enabling university research performance

European Accounting Association (EAA)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Program of 31st Annual Congress of European Accounting Association, 2008, pp. 1 - 26
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The purpose of this study is to investigate how management control systems (MCS) are used to enable university research performance at the operating level. At the sector level, institutionally framed research within New Public Management literature has observed the more uniform use of managerialist and programmed approaches to university research management. However, empirical contingent studies within a private sector R&D setting have evidenced how such approaches are ineffective in enabling operating level research performance. Drawing on both literatures, as well as wider MCS package research, the research uses an exploratory case study to examine two high performing faculties with contrasting research characteristics. From these micro-level accounts, the paper develops a conceptual model demonstrating how a combination of institutional and technical factors contributes to the use of MCS. More specifically, while a similar complementary package of socio-ideological, administrative and incentive controls is used to satisfy the diverging managerial and collegial institutional interests, within each operating unit managers tailor the use of these categories of controls to suit their respective research cultures and contexts in order to enable university research performance.
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