The Use & Consequences of Performance Management & Control Systems : A Study of a Professional Services Firm.

Ururuka, Valentine Okechukwu (2007) The Use & Consequences of Performance Management & Control Systems : A Study of a Professional Services Firm. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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It has long been recognized that Performance Management and Control Systems (PMCSs) impact positively on organizational efficiency and effectiveness by affecting the behaviour of organizational participants. However, PMCSs also create tensions between achieving shortterm and long-term objectives which often times lead to unintended negative consequences. These effects of PMCSs are much more attributed to their design than the way they are used. This coupled with the undesirable PMCSs' effects has led to several innovations that propose complementing, and some proposing total replacement of, the traditional PMCS with a wider range of non-financial or operational measures. This study investigates the way a PMCS, encompassing both financial and non-financial measures, is used and the effect on work behaviour and performance. It examines the possible influence of hierarchical levels on the nature of measures employed in the PMCS, the way it is used, as well as the effects of the PMCS. It also investigates other factors that affect the consequences of PMCS use, and the mechanisms by which these effects are transmitted. Furthermore, it seeks to shed light on the complexity of the way PMCSs impact on work behaviour and performance by examining the interplay of the factors that affect PMCSs' effects and the mechanisms by which these effects are transmitted. The results of the study show that PMCSs do have some positive effects on performance, but also have albeit unintended positive effects on dysfunctional behaviour. It also shows that hierarchical levels influence the nature of measures employed in PMCSs, the manner in which they are used, as well as PMCSs' effect on work effort. More financial measures tend to be employed at higher hierarchical levels, while PMCSs tend to be used in more target-focused manner at lower levels of the organisation. However, the effects of PMCSs do not vary at different levels of the organisation except for the effect on work effort. Nonetheless, it was also found that the way that a PMCS is used impacts work behaviour and performance much more it seems than its design in terms of the type or nature of PMCS measures. Furthermore, the level of goal difficulty, interactive use of control systems, and supervisory trust were found to affect the impact of PMCSs use on behaviour and performance. In addition, the findings reveal goal commitment to be an important mechanism that mediates the effects of PMCSs use. Also, the perception of equity and fairness was found to be another mediator of PMCS effects. Finally, the study reveals that the interplay of interactive use of control systems and perceptions of equity and fairness significantly influence PMCSs' effects on dysfunctional behaviour; while the interplay between goal difficulty and goal commitment significantly influence PMCSs' effects on performance.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2007.
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02 May 2019 16:25
Last Modified:
20 Mar 2024 00:03