Investigating the links between management control approaches and performance measurement systems

Suresh Cuganesan*, Jerome Donovan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A number of studies across a variety of disciplines call for further research investigating the factors that influence performance measurement (PM) systems and practices. Despite management control systems (MCS) comprising performance measurement as one of its elements, the influence of MCS on PM systems and practices has received little attention. This study attempts to address this need by examining the associations between MCS and PM practices through a survey of large Australian organisations, with MCS characterised in terms of Simons' (1991; 1995) levers of control (LOC) framework and the objects-of-control (OOC) framework (Emmanuel et al., 1990; Merchant and Van der Stede, 2007). We find that MCS approaches and the specific LOC and OOC that these comprise influence both the purpose for which PM systems are used and the selection of KPIs, but has little influence on the use of benchmarking. Also, diagnostic MCS are associated with the design of causally structured PM systems while results-focused MCS are linked with an absence of structure. Adding to the findings are evidence that interactive LOC are not associated with strategic learning, validation and the use of causality in PM systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-204
Number of pages32
JournalAdvances in Management Accounting
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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