What is it about?

Purpose - This aim of this study is to explore the relationship between management control systems (MCSs) and the formulation of strategy in not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. Design/methodology/approach - The paper views the relationship between MCS and strategy through the contrasting lenses of new-institutional and contingency theory, using data collected from semi-structured interviews of CEOs and senior executives in 32 Australian NFPs. Findings - Strategy is formulated predominantly by intended means, through structured strategic planning processes. Emergent strategy is typically a rare means by which strategy is developed, and is in fact often actively discouraged in the NFPs investigated. Contrary to expectations, control is predominantly exercised through informal means, rather than by formally designed systems. Originality/value - With strategy and control being central concerns for most NFPs, this sector provides a unique vehicle for exploring the "robustness" of prior MCS strategy empirical findings. Investigating the MCS strategy relationship within a highly complex NFP context is thus an "acid test" of existing understanding of the MCS-strategy nexus. As one of the few studies to investigate the relationship between control and strategy as it may apply in this context, this study refines and further develops extant management control theory.

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This page is a summary of: Out of control? Strategy in the NFP sector: the implications for management control, Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal, February 2013, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/09513571311303729.
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