The Multiplicity of Performance Management Systems: Heterogeneity in Multinational Corporations and Management Sense-Making

50 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2017

See all articles by David J. Cooper

David J. Cooper

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems

Mahmoud Ezzamel

Cardiff Business School - Accounting and Finance Section

Keith Robson

HEC Paris

Date Written: August 30, 2017

Abstract

This field study examines the workings of multiple performance measurement systems (PMSs) used within and between a division and Headquarters (HQ) of a large European Corporation. We explore how multiple PMSs arose within the multinational corporation. We first provide a first order analysis which explains how managers make sense of the multiplicity and show how an organization’s PMSs may be subject to competing processes for control that result in varied systems, all seemingly functioning, but with different rationales and effects. We then provide a second order analysis based on a sense-making perspective that highlights the importance of retrospective understandings of the organization’s history and the importance of various legitimacy expectations to different parts of the multinational. Finally, we emphasize the role of social skill in sense-making that enables the persistence of multiple systems and the absence of overt tensions and conflict within organizations.

Keywords: performance management systems, multiplicity, BSC, EFQM, sense-making, social skill, legitimacy, multinationals

Suggested Citation

Cooper, David J. and Ezzamel, Mahmoud and Robson, Keith, The Multiplicity of Performance Management Systems: Heterogeneity in Multinational Corporations and Management Sense-Making (August 30, 2017). University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 3051551, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3051551 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3051551

David J. Cooper (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Mahmoud Ezzamel

Cardiff Business School - Accounting and Finance Section ( email )

Colum Drive
Cardiff CF10 3EU
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 29 2087 4277 (Phone)
+44 (0) 29 2087 4419 (Fax)

Keith Robson

HEC Paris ( email )

1 rue de la Liberation
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

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