Management control and public sector performance management Christoph Reichard
Uploaded by Christoph Reichard     Uploaded date: February 27, 2019    
Publication date
January 15, 2019
Paper language
Purpose—To investigate whether and how evolving ideas about management control (MC) emerge in research about public sector performance management (PSPM)
Design/methodology/approach—Literature review on PSPM-research through using a set of key terms derived from a review of recent developments in MC
Findings—MC-research, originating in the management accounting discipline, is largely disconnected from PSPM-research as part of public administration and public management disciplines. Overlaps between MC and PSPM-research are visible in a cybernetic control approach, control variety and contingency-based reasoning. Both academic communities share an understanding of certain issues, although under diverging labels, especially enabling controls or in a more general sense usable performance controls, horizontal controls and control packaging. Specific MC-concepts are valuable for future PSPM-research, i.e., trust as a complement of performance-based controls in complex settings, and strategy as a variable in contingency-based studies
Research limitations/implications—Breaking the boundaries between two currently remote research disciplines on the one hand might dismantle ‘would-be’ innovations in one of these disciplines and on the other hand may provide a fertile soil for mutual transfer of knowledge. A limitation of our review of PSPM-research is that it may insufficiently cover research published in public sector accounting journals, which could be an outlet for MC-inspired PSPM-research
Originality/value—Unravelling the ‘apparent’ and ‘real’ differences between MC and PSPM-research, and in doing so, take the detected ‘real’ differences as a starting point for discussing in what ways PSPM research can benefit from MC-achievements.
Preferred Citation
Helden, Jan van, Christoph Reichard (2019): Management control and public sector performance management. Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 14, No 1, pp. 158-176.
management control; performance management
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  • Management accounting
  • Performance measurement
Type of Paper
Published paper

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