What is it about?

This article draws attention to a void in the literature on enterprise flexibility: The (MCS) Management Control Systems' role in the enterprise flexibility and stability discussion. MCS can be instrumental in securing an organization’s strategic performance objectives, far beyond the mere managerial control and accounting perspectives of traditional MCS’ roles.This paper provides original research on enterprise flexibility and stability analysis, covering all aspects of MC and its role on the enterprise’s metacontrollability. Design and coordination of the seven basic elements which comprise MCS are analyzed, as well as how they influence one another. The paper includes two tables to illustrate the approach being proposed. Table 1 presents a classification of the literature reviewed in the paper while Table 2 (in Appendix 1) presents the choice of the theoretical lens on enterprise flexibility from other authors which contrasts with the model proposed. The role of MCS in the enterprise is also included.

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Why is it important?

To operate optimally, enterprises must be able to manage their limited physical and managerial resources in efficient and effective manner. This is especially so when dealing with uncertainty and contingencies on an ongoing basis, while following a defined strategic choice. Such choices are expected to mirror enterprise flexibility types and measures without neglecting enterprise stability requirements, linking both to strategic performance measurement indicators. The paper shows how to accomplish this by presenting a new approach based on Management Control Systems in a way that makes it possible to advance in enterprise flexibility while securing and maintaining the necessary enterprise stability measures.


MCS can and should take part of an organization’s strategic performance measures but these are to be understood from a systemic design perspective of the enterprise system’s metacontrollability, addressing flexibility and stability jointly.

Dr Franco F Yanine
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Rethinking enterprise flexibility: a new approach based on management control theory, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, October 2016, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/jeim-06-2015-0054.
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