Management Control of Public and Not-for-Profit Activities

Hofstede, G. (1981). Management Control of Public and Not-for-Profit Activities. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-82-045. Reprinted from Accounting, Organizations and Society, 6(3) [1981].

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Traditional approaches to management control usually fail for public and not-for-profit activities. The type of control applicable to such activities depends on four criteria: are objectives unambiguous, outputs measurable, effects of interventions known, and is the activity repetitive? Depending on where activities stand with regard to these criteria, the control applicable corresponds to one of six different types: routine, expert, trial-and-error, intuitive, judgemental, or political control. The first three types can be represented by cybernetic models; the other three ask for more complex and less deterministic models. For these,a "political" and a "garbage-can" model can be described. Key elements in the latter models are the values and the culture of the actors. As an example, the typology for management control is applied to the area of budgeting, covering regular budgeting as well as such techniques as PPBS, MBO, and ZBB and distinguishing between investment budgets, operations budgets for input centers, and operations budgets for input-output centers. Coming back to management control in general, the paper discusses the consequences of choosing the wrong model for a given management control situation: it distinguishes between "Type I" and "Type II" errors. It finally relates management control to organizational adaptation and suggests how to avoid control systems which prevent an organizational system from learning.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: Management and Technology Area (MMT)
Bibliographic Reference: Reprinted from Accounting, Organizations and Society; 6(3) [1981]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:49
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:10

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