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Culture Controls Effectively

​‒ The culture of the company is its most important control mechanism, says post-doctoral researcher Jan Pfister.

He states that in its inner control system a strong and functional organisation brings together necessary control and empowering practices that enable creativity. For example, directions are balanced with process ownership and the kind of discussion that approves of many, different but equally correct, ways of thinking.

Pfister’s culture based management control system integrates the more technical aspects of control (e.g., performance measures) with the social aspects of control.

‒ Culture based management control system is a framework that can be placed in any control setting and used in interpreting the dominating culture.

Potential to Innovation

According to Pfister, every corporate culture has both open and closed features that he calls opening and closing drivers. Both are equally essential. Openness is the word of the day, as it increases creativity and helps to generate innovation.

‒ Opening up the culture unlocks human potential and makes the organisation more open to the surrounding world as well.

The relationship between financial control and innovation is not usually seen as fruitful. Pfister says that measuring has been seen as something that breaks innovation. Today it is clear that creativity need financial guiding and measuring tools as its counterparts.

‒ There is always tension between the open and the closed. While others want to go to new directions and change the world, in more conservative, controlling roles people focus on measuring risk. However, different roles are important, and these matters have to be seen from different perspectives. What is essential is to be able to work together and find shared denominators. It is crucial that the management is able to create a uniform culture.

A Top Environment for Research

Management control belongs to the field of Accounting and Finance. The research area is very multidiscliplinary, and the link to Management research – for example – is strong. 

An internationally acknowledged research group studies management control at the Department of Accounting and Finance at Turku School of Economics. The research is focused on the innovation process.

Jan Pfister started at TSE as a visitor from Lancaster University in 2012-13, but is now appointed as a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Accounting and Finance.

‒ Research in Management Control is of internationally high quality here in Finland. It is very fruitful to work in such a strong research environment that is very open-minded. The close-knit relationship with the surrounding society and businesses is great here! 

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 INFO

 
  • ​Jan Pfister started at TSE as a visitor from Lancaster University in 2012-13, and is now appointed as a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Accounting and Finance.
  • He studies the role of organisational culture in accounting research.
 

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