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Additional info for Management Control: Theories, Issues and Practices
This belief has been the basis for much of the recent legislation in respect of the UK public sector. First implementation of these principles in organisations such as the National Health Service (NHS) was in their peripheral acti vities. It was required that services such as catering, cleaning and laundry be put out to competitive tender to test the efficiency of the internally organised serv ices. Similar local government services ha ve also been required to submit to competitive tendering processes.
Management control is argued by these authors to be built around a financial control system and, as such, the budgetary control cycle is seen as central. The inclusion of financial systems is important enough for the authors to highlight the distinctions between management, task and accounting control. Amongst these the authors highlight the people primarily involved in the different functions, and their source disciplines. Thus management control is the domain of managers and has a source discipline of psychology, accountants deal with accounting control using the source discipline of economics, while supervisors control tasks, using engineering as their source discipline.
Nevertheless contingency theory does signal that managers and controllers should give consideration to variables in the environment of the organisation. Consequently it alerts us to a wider set of issues than does the classical approach. This rather broader approach can be illustrated by the work of Emmanuel et al. (1990) which shows how this approach can be used, in the form of accounting techniques, as a way to achieve management control. Unlike the classical approach it signals the different approaches which need to be adopted in various circumstances.