Management control systems for rapid innovation

Suresh Cuganesan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Rapid innovation has become increasingly important for contemporary organisations. However, there is evidence of low innovation success rates and project terminations, raising concerns about the management control systems (MCS) that surround innovation initiatives. Concurrently, academic interest in the relationship between MCS and innovation has grown. Focusing on the formal elements of MCS, research evidence remains equivocal on whether these support or hinder innovation processes. This paper adds to this literature by examining MCS and rapid innovation and, specifically, the paper analyses various MCS discourses or 'logics' that emerged and sought to intersect with a rapid e-business innovation project. The setting for the study is an Australian wholesale financial services organisation labeled 'TransactCo'. In relation to the extant literature on MCS and innovation, this study makes two contributions. Firstly, in contrast to prior literature which examines an unproblematic and functional MCS 'in existence', a sociotechnical perspective is adopted here to examine precarious and problematic MCS while 'in the making'. Thus, it is argued that controls by themselves do not possess any inherent characteristics that predetermine their role within innovation settings or effects that can be described as positive, negative or irrelevant. Rather, it is the interests of those who seek to impose or resist the controls in question, and their ability to do so, that shape MCS and their consequences for processes of innovation. Secondly, prior literature has been concerned with a singular MCS, its antecedents and its innovation consequences. By adopting a broader focus, multiple logics that sought to enact control over the studied innovation were discovered, advanced by different organisational participants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2005 AFAANZ conference proceedings
PublisherAccounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)0975697617
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventAccounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference (2005) - Melbourne
Duration: 3 Jul 20055 Jul 2005


ConferenceAccounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference (2005)


  • Management Control Systems
  • innovation
  • e-business


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