Power and Management Control

  • Keith Robson
  • David J. Cooper


Management control is conventionally regarded as a set of practices designed to ensure that individuals, organisations and societies satisfy their goals (Anthony, 1965). This statement, bland in itself, has been elaborated, explored and criticised in the management control literature (see, for example, the chapters in this book). Yet the above argument is also one about power or at least there is a theory of power (as authority) present, even in its absence. Individuals have goals which they act to satisfy. The statement also suggests that organisations have goals which individuals act to satisfy. But what is the relationship between the two? Are these goals themselves interdependent with the social world in which they are located? How is it we can account for the construction of these ‘goals’? This is itself a question of power. Further, if conflict and resistance inhabit organisational life, then management control practices can be evaluated as power systems, reproducing or undermining the economic social and political patterns in organisations and society.


Management Control Industrial Relation Subjectivist Approach Management Control System Historical Materialist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Wai Fong Chua, Tony Lowe and Tony Puxty 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Robson
  • David J. Cooper

There are no affiliations available

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