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School of Business | Department of Accounting and Finance | Accounting | 2009
Thesis number: 12120
Examining management control systems packages and organisational ambidexterity - case Tekla Oyj
Author: Sorsanen, Joni
Title: Examining management control systems packages and organisational ambidexterity - case Tekla Oyj
Year: 2009  Language: eng
Department: Department of Accounting and Finance
Academic subject: Accounting
Index terms: laskentatoimi; accounting; ohjausjärjestelmät; control systems; johtaminen; management
Pages: 108
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12120.pdf pdf  size:3 MB (2387297)
Key terms: management control systems package; exploration; exploitation; organisational ambidexterity
Research objectives

The study endeavours both to examine management control systems packages operating within two business units of the case company and to compare and contrast how these control packages and their functionality stand vis-à-vis each other. Moreover, this thesis aims at assessing the performance implications of the management control system packages by examining whether control packages of certain kind, if any, enable a firm to achieve ambidextrous strategy, i.e. simultaneous effective execution of explorative and exploitative capabilities.

Sources and research method

The study draws on a wide array of theoretical references encompassing journal articles and books addressing management control systems, their operation as a package as well as organisational ambidexterity. The empirical evidence, in turn, was collected from a range of sources. These included eight interviews, a number of internal company documents, several business press reports and annual company reports. The various sources of evidence were used to provide multiple measures of the same issue (triangulation), rather than simply being used as mixed methods of data collection.

A case-based approach was employed in this study. The comparative case study was conducted by interviewing eight (8) representatives at both senior and middle management level. All interviews were recorded and transcribed. Once the analysis was completed, findings were fed back to the interviewees for review in order to ascertain the veracity of the researcher’s understanding of various issues.


Several findings emerge from the study. First, the control packages of the business units were found to be virtually akin to each other but, however, equally functional in the face of different contingencies. Second, the packages seemed to rely more on informal and “organic” controls as opposed to formal and “mechanistic” controls. Third, whilst cultural controls were argued to provide a contextual frame for other controls, reward and compensation controls were asserted to remain relatively separate from other package elements. Planning, cybernetic, and administrative controls, on the other hand, appeared to be tightly linked in practice. Finally, the business units’ management control systems packages were argued to be of assistance in fostering organisational ambidexterity.
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