A new research project I'm involved in will be included in the Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management Meeting, this time for the 2014 Meeting in my wife's hometown Philadelphia, PA:
Formal and informal controls as complements or substitutes? The role of the task environment
Markus Kreutzer*, Laura Cardinal**, Jorge Walter***, & Christoph Lechner*
* University of St. Gallen, ** University of Houston, *** The George Washington University
This study contrasts the substitution logic advanced by the traditional organizational control view with the complementarity logic inherent in the more recent, holistic organizational control view. In particular, we examine whether formal and informal behavior and outcome controls act as complements or substitutes for each other in their influence on performance outcomes, and whether any such interaction will be stable across different organizational contexts or subject to contextual contingencies. Our empirical findings from an analysis of 184 strategic initiatives conducted by firms across a variety of industries provide broad support for the holistic view and the positive impact of a complementary use of formal and informal behavior control as well as formal and informal outcome control on initiative performance. While the former is stable for all degrees of exploration, the latter is more pronounced in the context of lower degrees of exploration. Our study thus contributes to a more nuanced understanding of organizational control.
Keywords: Control theory, organizational control, informal control, complementarity, strategic initiatives, degree of exploration
For a copy of this paper, please contact me directly.