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Individual motivation and incentives

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Accounting for Management Control


A major aim of a management control system is to induce individuals to behave in ways which contribute to overall organizational performance. An important element of the control process is therefore concerned with how and why individuals are motivated to act. In this chapter, we shall consider two major classes of motivational theory, namely content and process theories, and apply them in the context of accounting control.

Central to effective motivation is the link between incentives (i.e., rewards and/or penalties) and those aspects of behaviour that it is wished to encourage. There seems to be little difficulty in providing incentives that will encourage behaviours designed to gain them; the major problem lies in ensuring that achievement of the required measures of performance is done in the desired manner. That is, it is devising adequate systems of performance measurement that is crucial to linking performance with rewards.

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© 1990 Clive Emmanuel, David Otley and Kenneth Merchant

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Emmanuel, C., Otley, D., Merchant, K. (1990). Individual motivation and incentives. In: Accounting for Management Control. Springer, Boston, MA.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-412-37480-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4899-6952-1

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive

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