Conceptualisations of ‘controlling’ in German-speaking countries: analysis and comparison with Anglo-American management control frameworks
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Guenther, T.W. J Manag Control (2013) 23: 269. doi:10.1007/s00187-012-0166-7
- 1.2k Downloads
Management control systems (MCSs) as formal, routine-based systems that help to maintain or alter organisational activities and guide the behaviour of a firm’s employees are in the focus of normative and empirical management accounting research. This article explores the different MCS conceptualisations, named ‘controlling’ approaches, that have been developed over more than 40 years in German-speaking countries. After investigating the underlying theoretical foundations, five major approaches are analysed and compared with each other. This enables readers to perceive and understand the MCS frameworks developed in a non-Anglo-American setting. The common traits and differences between these German frameworks are derived and discussed. Finally, the commonalities and differences in comparison with Anglo-American frameworks are analysed, helping scholars to understand the different traditions and practises of MCSs. The paper intends to inspire future research on common traits of MCSs across cultures and regions and to explore the impact of different national cultures or regions on the design of MCSs.