Strategy implementation through hierarchical couplings in a management control package: an explorative case study

B. van der Kolk, Tom Schokker

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


© 2015, The Author(s).We examine how couplings of management control (MC) elements help to implement an organization’s strategy. Despite prior research stating that couplings between MC elements form a fruitful soil for further research, empirical studies in this area are still scarce. We draw on coupling theory to explore three hierarchical relations between MC elements, and examine how these couplings help to implement the organization’s strategy. We conducted a single case study in a medium-sized Dutch municipality, using interviews, observations and desk research. We identified three different types of couplings which yielded different effects, but were all distinctively helpful in implementing particular parts of the organization’s strategy. This study contributes to the MC literature by demonstrating how coupling theory can be operationalized to examine relations between MC elements in an MC package, and by showing how various hierarchical couplings can help to implement an organization’s strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-154
JournalJournal of Management Control
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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