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Introduction to Management Control Systems

Ch-1-Introduction of MCS

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management control system

Text of Ch-1-Introduction of MCS

Introduction to Management Control Systems

Definition By Robert Anthony & Vijay Govindarajan

Management control is the process by which managers influence other members of the organization to implement the organization's strategies.


In the Management language , control traditionally refers to the activities of establishing Standards of Performance, Evaluating actual Performance against these standards, and Implementing corrective actions to accomplish Organizational Objectives.

Nature of Management Control SystemsControl :-

The objective of control is to ensure that the things/activities follow the pre-determined track.

Control System of A Car

Press the accelerator , and your car goes faster, rotate the steering wheel, and it changes direction. Press the brake pedal, and the car slows or stops. With these devices, you control speed and direction, if any of them is inoperative, the car does not do what you want it to . In other words, it is out of control

Control of an Organization

An organization must also be controlled. That is devices must be in place to ensure that its strategic intentions are achieved. But controlling an organization is much complicated than controlling a car

Management control

The process by which management: ensures

that people in the organization carry out organizational objectives and strategies;


enables, or, sometimes forces employees to act in the organizations best interest.control includes all the devices/mechanisms managers use to ensure that the behavior of employees is consistent


world-Class CompaniesConsider the world-class companies such as 3M corporation, Dell Computers, Wal-Mart, South west Airlines. Their long term success is not just because they have developed good strategies, but more importantly, they have designed systems and processes that energize their employees to execute those strategies effectively

Collapse Of Companies

Consider the collapse of companies such as World Com, Enron and Global Crossings. Part of their demise was the lapse in controls. CEO and Top management compensation in these companies was so heavily tied to stock options that executives were motivated to manipulate financials to hold up the short term stock price

The nature of MCS

The central focus of MCS is Business Strategy Implementation.MCS provides knowledge , insight, and analytical skills related to how a corporations senior executive design and implement the on going management systems that are used to plan and control the firms performance

Nature of Management Control SystemsManagementSuccessful Strategy Execution





Control Device

Detector: g Information About whats happening

Effector: Behavior Alteration, if needed Entity being controlled

Elements of control systemEvery control system has at least four elements1.Detector or Sensor A Device that measures what is actually happening in the process being controlled. (to measure actual behavior ) 2.An Assessor A Device that determines the significance of what is actually happening by comparing it with some standard or expectation of what should happen. (compare actual with standard)

Continue . . .3.An Effectors A Device that alters behavior if the assessor indicates the need to do so. (called feedback, it alters behavior if assessor indicates need to do so) 4. A Communications network A Device that transmit information between the detector and the assessor and between the assessor and the effectors.

Examples of CS1. 2. 3.

Thermostat Body Temperature Driver of an automobile

Thermostat1. Thermometer which measures the current temperature of a room (detector) 2. An Assessor which compares the current temperature with the accepted standard for what the temperature should be.

Thermostat3.An effectors which prompts a heater to emit heat or activates an air conditioner which also shuts off these appliances when the temperature reaches the standard levels 4. A communication network, which transmit information from thermometer to the assessor and from the assessor to the heating or cooling element

Body temperature1.



The sensory nerves scattered through the body The Hypothalamus center in the brain, which compares information received from detectors with the 98.6 f standard. The muscles and organs (effectors) that reduce the temperature when it exceeds the standard and rise the temperature when it falls below the standard

Body temperature4. The overall communications system of nerves is self regulating. If the system is functioning properly, it automatically corrects for deviations from the standards with out requiring conscious effort.

Automobile DriverAssume you are driving on a high way where the legal speed 65 kmph. Your control system acts as the following. 1. your eyes measures actual speed by observing the speedometer. 2. your brain compares the actual speed with desired speed, and, upon detecting a deviation from the standard.

Automobile Driver3. Directors your foot to ease up or press down on the accelerator. 4. As in body temperature regulation your nerves form the communication system that transmit information from eyes to brain and brain to foot.


An organization consist of a group of people who work together to achieve certain common goals. The CEO decides on the overall strategies that will enable the organization to meet its goals. Subject to the approval of the CEO , the various business unit mangers formulate additional strategies that will enable their respective units to further these goals

The management control process is the process by which managers at all levels ensure that the people they supervise

Contrast with Simple Control Processes (Nature of Mgmt. Control):

The standard is not preset. It involves planning process Management control is not automatic Management control requires coordination among individuals The connection from perceiving the need for action to determining the action required to obtain the desired result may not be clear. Much management control is self-control


A system is a prescribed and usually repetitious way of carrying out an activity or a set of activities. Systems are characterized more or less rhythmic, coordinated, and recurring series of steps intended to accomplish a specified purpose. Skills & personality of person involved is more important in system Here, more or less routine decisions are taken for which recurring series of steps are available

Management control systems: Far More complex & Judgmental Rules are not well-defined Managers have to use their best judgment to decide on best course of action

THE ELEMENTS OF MCSElements of MCS include Strategic Planning, Budgeting, Resource Allocation Performance measurement Evaluation & rewards Responsibility & transfer pricing


Management control is the process by which managers influence other members of the organization to implement the organizations strategies.

It includes following main activities

Planning- what the org. should do Coordinating-the activities of several parts of the org. Communicating-information. Evaluating-information. Deciding what if any, action should taken. Influencing people to change their behavior.

MC is the process by which managers influence other members of the organization to implement the organizations strategies

Activity Nature of End Product Strategy formulation Goals, strategies, policies Management control Implementation of strategiesTask Control performance Efficient and Effective of individual tasks

Concepts of MCSThe MCS builds on concepts from Business Strategy, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource and Financial & Managerial Accounting.

Goal Congruence

Managers have personal as well as organization goals Goal congruence means that, insofar as is feasible, the goals of an organizations individual members should be consistent with the goals of the organization itself The MCS should be designed and operated with the principle of goal congruence in mind

MCSTool for Implementing Strategy

MCS help managers move an organization toward its strategic objectives It focuses primarily on strategy execution MCS encompass both financial (bottom-line of the company-net income , return on equity etc.) and nonfinancial (Product quality, Market share, Customer satisfaction ) performance measures MCS provide information in developing new strategies (Todays control Tomorrows strategy) : Interactive control focuses management attention on positive and negative developments, which signal the need for new strategy formation Information of non-financial nature is used to make

Framework for Strategy Implementation (exhibit 1.3 & 1.4)

Strategy Implementation mechanisms: Organization

structure Management controls Human resource management Culture


Strategy Formulation

It is the process of deciding on goals of the organization and the strategies for attaining those goals Strategies are important, big plans, showing the direction in which senior management wanted the organization to move Need for formulating strategies usually arises in response to a perceived threat or opportunity Complete responsibility should never be assigned to a particular person or

Difference between strategy formulation & Management controlStrategy Formulation

Management control

It is the process of deciding on new strategy It is essentially unsystematic Rough estimation for strategic analysis Strategy process involves few people

It is the process of implementing those strategy It is systematic It uses reliable estimates for analysis Management control process involves all level staff in the organization

Task Control

It is the process of assuring that specified tasks are carried out effectively and efficiently Task control is transaction-oriented Many task control activities are scientific i.e. using management science and operations research techniques Most of the information in an organization is task control information Many activities performed by managers in the past have been automated and are task control activities

Difference Between Task Control & Management ControlTask Control

Management Control

Task control system are scientific Either human beings are not involved at all or the interaction is between managers &nonmanagers It focus on specified task It Is relates to specified tasks

It can not turn in to science Managers interact with other managers It focus on organizational unit It is concerned with broadly define activities of managers

Strategy-formulation, Mgmt.Control, and Task Control

Least systematic (SF); most systematic (TC); in between (MC) Focuses on long run (SF); short run (TC); in between (MC) Using rough approximations data of the future (SF); current accurate data (TC); in between (MC) Includes planning and control, but the planning process is much more important (SF); control process is much more important (TC); equal importance (MC)

ExamplesStrategy formulationAcquired an unrelated business Enter a new business Add direct mail selling Change debt/equity ratio Adopt affirmative action policy Devise inventory speculation policy Decide magnitude and direction of research

Management controlIntoduce new product or brand w/in product line Expand a plant Determining advertising budget Issue new debt Implement minority recruitment program Decide inventory level

Task ControlCoordinate order entry Schedule production Book TV commercials Manage cash flows Maintain personnel records Reorder an item Run individual research project

Control research organization

Internet for Management Control

Instant access Costless communication Multi-targeted communication Ability to display images Shifting power and control to the individual Facilitates coordination and control Availability of large amounts of data

Judgments required to design & operate optimal control system involve:

Understanding relative importance of competing goals Developing specific objectives for business units, Functional areas and Departments Determining key variables for an individuals Contribution to Strategic goals Evaluating actual Performance Designing right reward structure