Purpose The study analyses how management control supports the organisation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Design/methodology/approach Video interviews with top and middle-level managers who were directly involved in handling the response to the COVID-19 crisis in late winter and spring 2020 form the empirical base. The object-of-control framework and the distinction between organic and mechanistic management controls inform the exploratory case analysis of a large food retail cooperative in Italy. Findings Both organic and mechanistic management control mechanisms enabled an immediate response and management of the crisis. The use of cultural, action and results controls supported employees' health and safety coordination, a tight monitoring of financial performance and social interventions in support of the local community. Originality/value The study provides original exploratory insights on the use and role of management control in the context of an unprecedented emergency and an unplanned setting (i.e. a pandemic crisis), which is an under-investigated topic in the accounting literature. The study shows how management control operated, linking moral and technical aspects as well as facilitating organisational adaptation and pandemic effects mitigation.

Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic: the technical, moral and facilitating role of management control

Annesi Nora
Data Curation
2021-01-01

Abstract

Purpose The study analyses how management control supports the organisation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Design/methodology/approach Video interviews with top and middle-level managers who were directly involved in handling the response to the COVID-19 crisis in late winter and spring 2020 form the empirical base. The object-of-control framework and the distinction between organic and mechanistic management controls inform the exploratory case analysis of a large food retail cooperative in Italy. Findings Both organic and mechanistic management control mechanisms enabled an immediate response and management of the crisis. The use of cultural, action and results controls supported employees' health and safety coordination, a tight monitoring of financial performance and social interventions in support of the local community. Originality/value The study provides original exploratory insights on the use and role of management control in the context of an unprecedented emergency and an unplanned setting (i.e. a pandemic crisis), which is an under-investigated topic in the accounting literature. The study shows how management control operated, linking moral and technical aspects as well as facilitating organisational adaptation and pandemic effects mitigation.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/554673
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