- Hardcover: 232 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (November 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0875845592
- ISBN-13: 978-0875845593
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Levers of Control: How Managers Use Innovative Control Systems to Drive Strategic Renewal 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, I was looking for a piece that was more theoretical in nature. Skip this if that is not your goal or if you do not approach topics by first building a theoretical framework.
Here are a few key points:
Belief Systems - what the organization has set out to do, to achieve
Boundary Systems - what an individual part of the organization must never do (ex: 10 commandments)
P. 53 - "Organizational participants can view boundary systems either as either constraining or liberating... a lack of rules can be deceiving. At first, subordinates believe they have freedom of action, but they quickly learn that superiors hold them accountable to unwritten rules that can only be determined by trial and error. The result is uncertainty and a reluctance to act."
P. 54 - "If improperly set, strategic boundaries can hinder adaptation to changing product, market, technology, and environmental conditions. Boundary systems make it risky for employees to search for new opportunities ouside acceptable domains of activity. Rigid strategic boundaries make it clear to employees that using company resources to experiment in proscribed product markets is subject to discovery and punishment."
Thoughts: These concepts point to the idea that structure is everything inspiring people to fulfill actions in a particular manner that is counter-intuitive to the concept of the ID.
P. 81-83 talks about dysfunctional side effects.Read more ›
In any event, Robert Simons wrote this book in order to explain "how managers use innovative control systems to drive strategic renewal." There is a paradox involving innovation that has always fascinated me: That innovation initiatives are most productive and lucrative when launched and then sustained within a stable (albeit flexible) environment. In other words, innovative thinking needs order, structure, discipline, etc. to which it can respond. There had to be a GE for Jack Welch to "blow up" when Reginald Jones selected him to become its CEO. The same was true of IBM when Lou Gerstner became its CEO. Moreover, another paradox, organizational renewal - if not transformation - requires control systems (key phrase) that are themselves innovative. In this volume, Simons focuses primarily on "the informational aspects of management control systems - the levers managers use to transmit and process inf0ormation within organizations. For the discussion to follow, I adopt the following definition of management control systems: [begin italics] management control systems are the formal, information-based routines and procedures managers use to maintain or alter patterns for organizational activities. [end italics]" More than a decade ago, Simons saw the need for a new theory of control that recognizes the need to balance competing demands.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a well-written, highly informative book for anyone seeking to understand controls at a systems thinking level and how controls interact with business strategy and culture. Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Bruce V. Ballengee
I was looking forward to reading this book but gave up after the first few chapters. The book starts off on solid footing but quickly shifts into a maze of verbosity so cumbersome... Read morePublished on February 24, 2008 by Trevor Cross