Controls in an emerging profession: a stakeholder approach
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Purpose - The purpose of this article is to increase knowledge and understanding of how a combination of control mechanisms, i.e. a control package, has been used to align knowledge and practice in nascent professions. The case is not only characterized by a changing and uncertain context, but also by the interests of several stakeholders; a combination which contributes to a complex control situation.
Design/methodology/approach – Malmi and Brown‘s (2008) typology is used as a framework for identifying and analyzing how different control mechanisms relate to each other as a package; whether they complement or substitute each other. Stakeholder theory is employed to illustrate the (dis)interests of different stakeholders. The results presented in this article mainly draw upon observation notes, interviews, and secondary data in form of prior evaluations and studies, job descriptions, statutes and judiciary documents.
Findings – The results illustrate how different types of control mechanisms are implemented and used in a nascent service profession characterized by uncertainty and changes and where several stakeholders are involved in the alignment process. A gradual expansion, i.e. complementing mechanisms, in addition to sharpening of existing mechanisms is noted. However, there is no evidence of conflicts of interests between different stakeholders; instead the developed administrative structure seems to balance not only the potential conflicts of interest, but also the discretion which is highly associated with professions.
Originality/value – This study contributes to the package view of management control systems (MCS) in presenting a contemporary case where focus lies not a cross-functional coordination within one particular organization, but rather on inter-personal and interorganizational coordination in a multi-stakeholder context.
Control package, control mechanisms, alignment, service profession, multiple stakeholders
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-74750OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-74750DiVA: diva2:491821