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Contemporary Issues in Management Control

Special issue call for papers from Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal


Editors: John Burns (Exeter University) and Bill Nixon (Dundee University)

Submissions are invited for a special issue of QRAM that addresses contemporary issues in management control.

Traditional focus on management control emphasises budgeting and product costing techniques, as well as the division of organizations into responsibility centres that can be monitored separately and individuals incentivized to meet budgets in their areas of responsibility. However, this approach was designed for relatively stable environments, where control can be viewed as a rational process of deliberate calculation and analysis.

Nowadays, most organizations face turbulent and unpredictable conditions, with change and discontinuity becoming more the norm than the unexpected. Uncertainty has increased, power has shifted from shareholders to knowledge workers and customers, and managers increasingly face the paradoxical dynamic of being in control yet not in control. Many organizations depend on such arrangements as alliances, joint ventures and partnerships to acquire new technology, manage risk and gain access to markets. The phenomenon, or rather the process, of management control today would seem a far cry from the notion of control in independent organisations dealing with the world at arm’s length.

This special issue targets current knowledge on how organizations are being steered through their fast-changing landscapes. We invite any papers that highlight contemporary management control practices in all kinds of organization (e.g., public, private, not-for-profit, third sector organizations). Submissions of papers that deal with innovative management control practices, combining detailed case study evidence with qualitative research methods and a theoretical lens, are particularly relevant to the special issue. While not an exhaustive list, the following are some examples of the types of issues that would be warmly received:

Innovation in management control practices
Conceptual frameworks of management control
Organisational risk and management controls
New organisational designs/forms and management control
Changing and contested roles of management accountants
The impact of regulation on management control practices
The interface between organizational strategy and management controls
Management control systems for (e.g.) big data, ERPs, e-commerce
New product development and design and management controls
Management controls for social and environmental sustainability

The submission deadline for this special issue is January 11th, 2015; the expected date of publication is September 2015. Papers should be submitted through the ScholarOne online submissions system: and selecting the special issue. Authors are welcome to contact the guest editor in advance, to discuss their proposed submission and are advised to check the QRAM author guidelines before submitting: