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How managerial capabilities of cognitive and behavioural complexity enable dynamic tension between management controls

How managerial capabilities of cognitive and behavioural complexity enable dynamic tension... Inspired by leadership research, this paper aims to further the literature on management controls (MCs) by highlighting two managerial capabilities that cultivate dynamic tension. More specifically, we explore how countervailing MCs can be designed and used to create a coordinated and adaptable organisation. These capabilities reveal key insights into dynamic tension because they help us to understand the role of managers and why, how and when some companies succeed in creating dynamic tension while others struggle.Design/methodology/approachThese research objectives are met through a case study on a global manufacturing company called GLOCOMP to preserve anonymity. The authors chose GLOCOMP because it comprises many internal units that must work in a coordinated fashion. However, it is equally important that the units are flexible enough to adapt to their unique local conditions. These two aspirations must be balanced, which necessitates dynamic tension between MCs. Hence, the case provides fertile ground for us to investigate the capabilities that help managers design and use countervailing MCs.FindingsThe empirical setting shows that cognitive and behavioural complexity are the keys to successfully designing and using countervailing loose and tight MCs concurrently. Using MCs that work in opposite directions produces a dynamic tension that helps individual units to coordinate their internal supply chains while adapting to fulfil unique roles within the company.Originality/valueThis paper extends previous research by exploring two specific managerial capabilities that enable dynamic tension – cognitive and behavioural complexity. The authors provide specific insights into how managers can create dynamic tension and, further, by highlighting the specific capabilities that give rise to dynamic tension, the authors outline a procedural perspective where a manager’s capabilities and dynamic tension inform one another. The resulting virtuous circle extends the understanding of the relationship between dynamic tension and managerial expertise beyond what the authors currently know as a linear cause-effect correlation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management Emerald Publishing

How managerial capabilities of cognitive and behavioural complexity enable dynamic tension between management controls

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References (62)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1176-6093
eISSN
1176-6093
DOI
10.1108/qram-05-2022-0091
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Inspired by leadership research, this paper aims to further the literature on management controls (MCs) by highlighting two managerial capabilities that cultivate dynamic tension. More specifically, we explore how countervailing MCs can be designed and used to create a coordinated and adaptable organisation. These capabilities reveal key insights into dynamic tension because they help us to understand the role of managers and why, how and when some companies succeed in creating dynamic tension while others struggle.Design/methodology/approachThese research objectives are met through a case study on a global manufacturing company called GLOCOMP to preserve anonymity. The authors chose GLOCOMP because it comprises many internal units that must work in a coordinated fashion. However, it is equally important that the units are flexible enough to adapt to their unique local conditions. These two aspirations must be balanced, which necessitates dynamic tension between MCs. Hence, the case provides fertile ground for us to investigate the capabilities that help managers design and use countervailing MCs.FindingsThe empirical setting shows that cognitive and behavioural complexity are the keys to successfully designing and using countervailing loose and tight MCs concurrently. Using MCs that work in opposite directions produces a dynamic tension that helps individual units to coordinate their internal supply chains while adapting to fulfil unique roles within the company.Originality/valueThis paper extends previous research by exploring two specific managerial capabilities that enable dynamic tension – cognitive and behavioural complexity. The authors provide specific insights into how managers can create dynamic tension and, further, by highlighting the specific capabilities that give rise to dynamic tension, the authors outline a procedural perspective where a manager’s capabilities and dynamic tension inform one another. The resulting virtuous circle extends the understanding of the relationship between dynamic tension and managerial expertise beyond what the authors currently know as a linear cause-effect correlation.

Journal

Qualitative Research in Accounting & ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 14, 2023

Keywords: Management control; Dynamic tension; Cognitive complexity; Behavioural complexity; Managerial capabilities

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