Journal of Management Control

, Volume 26, Issue 2–3, pp 249–273 | Cite as

Use of Monte Carlo simulation: an empirical study of German, Austrian and Swiss controlling departments

  • Cathérine Grisar
  • Matthias MeyerEmail author
Original Paper


This paper addresses current and future aspects of the use of Monte Carlo simulation in controlling departments and examines context as well as company-internal factors that may drive the intensity of its usage. To this end, we conducted an empirical survey that was completed by 445 participants from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The results suggest a rather low adoption rate of Monte Carlo simulation in controlling, but at the same time, the quality of knowledge concerning Monte Carlo simulation within the companies is much higher. In addition, we identify a strong increase in the use of Monte Carlo simulation very recently, and its use is expected to increase threefold within the next 5 years. Furthermore, regression analyses indicate that the use of Monte Carlo simulation is mainly driven by company-internal factors such as its perceived relevance and years of usage. Contrary to our expectations, context factors such as perceived environmental uncertainty do not explain usage, and only company size and industry sector have significant effects.


Controlling Monte Carlo simulation Survey  Perceived environmental uncertainty Use 

JEL Classification

C60 M41 



An earlier version of the paper benefited from discussions at the ACMAR in Vallendar. We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Weber and the team of the WHU-Controller Panel for the opportunity to integrate our questions in the annual WHU-Controller Panel.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Management Control and AccountingHamburg University of TechnologyHamburgGermany

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