Management Control in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Full course description
This course covers management control issues in small business environments. The starting point for this course is the field of management control. Management control can be broadly defined as the function of management which takes care of the effective execution of organizational goals. Seen in this way, control can be considered the back end of the management process, following goal setting and strategy formulation. In this way it has the same meaning as the terms execution and strategy implementation. The elements of this definition are based on a number of implicit assumptions which need to be made explicit in order to develop a clear starting point for this course. First of all, the definition assumes that organizations have goals, and that managers are responsible for attaining these goals. Second, management control is defined as a managerial function, involving forecasting, planning, organizing, coordinating, directing and controlling. This implies that management control is not a separate nor a separable managerial activity, but rather an integral aspect of management. Because management control is an integral aspect rather than a separable management activity, there are many links between management control and other fields of business administration. It has a strong link to topics traditionally discussed in the organization and strategy domain. Because it is the people in the organization who in general execute the organization’s goals, management control is related to organizational behaviour. Organizational behaviour is concerned with the behaviour of organizational participants – and thus comprises theories of motivation, power and leadership – while management control is occupied with fostering that this behaviour is in accordance with organizational objectives. A field rooted in organizational behaviour is human resource management (HRM). HRM attempts to obtain congruence between individual and organizational goals by means of selection, training, performance appraisal and compensation. Although from different perspectives, HRM and management control attempt to realize the same objective and are thus intertwined. Furthermore, management control is related to strategic management since the strategy formulation process embodies decisions on the organization’s objectives. Management control has, however, also strong roots in management accounting, managerial economics, and organizational economics.
After finishing this course you will:
- Have a good understanding of the meaning and importance of management control as a basic part of managerial activity;
- Be able to critically analyse and evaluate real-life management control practices in small and medium-sized enterprises;
- Be able to understand and analyse the interactions between management control and related areas of business administration;
- Be able to apply (transfer) your knowledge and understanding to real-life problems and cases in small business environments;
- Be able to envision new types of organizations with new modes of management control that foster a higher level of consciousness in organisations.
Textbook and academic articles.