The Role of strategic flexibility in the associations between management control system characteristics and strategic change

Mark Srour, Kevin Baird, Herb Schoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The research question addressed in this paper is this: what is the role of strategic flexibility as a product of MCS characteristics, an enabler of strategic change, and a mediating variable in the relationships between MCS characteristics and strategic change? This focus fills a gap in the literature which in the past has reported research primarily on the nexus between MCS characteristics and strategic change. Data are collected through a mail-based survey of strategic business units in Australian manufacturing organizations. The findings indicate that two MCS characteristics (the timeliness and interactive use of information) lead to strategic flexibility, that strategic flexibility leads to strategic change (operational change), and that strategic flexibility mediates the relationships between these particular MCS characteristics and strategic change. The study’s findings offer a more comprehensive theory of strategic management in dynamic environments, which contributes to the MCS–strategy literature and informs the practice of organizational management with reference to the resource-based view of the firm. In particular, the findings indicate to researchers in the MCS–strategy field that, although some MCS characteristics might lead directly to strategic change, greater attention should be paid to the role of strategic flexibility as a product of MCS characteristics, an enabler of strategic change, and a mediator in the relationships between certain MCS characteristics and strategic change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-406
Number of pages36
JournalContemporary management research
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • management control systems
  • strategic flexibility
  • strategic change

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