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Tuesday 01 November 2011

Parution d'ouvrage : "The art of management control : Issues and practices" par Françoise Giraud, Olivier Saulpic, Carole Bonnier, Marie-Hélène Delmond, Fabien de Geuser, Léon Laulusa, Carla Mendoza, Gérard Naulleau, Robert Zrihen

This book offers analytical frameworks for studying real-world situations as well as certain 'normative' discourses on the tools and methods of enterprise performance management with a view to helping senior executives, operational managers and controllers to find suitable solutions to the complex issues that they are faced with in this field.

The authors reject a very widespread, though simplistic approach where ‘turnkey solutions’ or ‘best practices’ are offered without putting them into perspective. Nor do they adopt the opposite, purely theoretical approach which overlooks or neglects operational constraints. On the contrary, this book is the product of a team of professors, researchers and practitioners who share one ambition: to build a balanced dialogue between theory and practice. It is also the fruit of an original creative approach: all of the chapters are co-authored and have been the subject of a great deal of discussion and debate among the team of writers.

Four areas for further exploration are presented:

  • Broadening of the traditional framework of management control: the book highlights the diversity of possible ‘control systems’ that exist beyond the dominant method of guiding behaviour that is at the core of management control: results control. Management control systems and tools are also compared and contrasted with the broader set of ‘performance improvement programmes’ that are used in companies.
  • Enrichment of the presentation and analysis of management control systems through the study of complementary issues and other lines of questioning: How should transfer prices be set? Should budgeting be abolished? How can companies foster horizontal coordination and cross-functional management?
  • Extension of the investigation of the issues involved in designing performance management tools to include that of their implementation: how can organisations ensure that management control systems and tools are appropriated by managers? How does the ongoing evolution of information systems support the performance management process?
  • Analysis of how traditional performance management approaches are adapted to specific contexts, in particular, support and service departments, the public sector and different national cultures.


Devoting significant attention to the principles that guide the construction of performance management systems, this book sheds light on an often neglected dimension of management control: the subtle art of balancing multiple, potentially conflicting and complementary managerial perspectives.

De GIRAUD F., SAULPIC O. (eds), DELMOND M.-H., BONNIER C., DE GEUSER F., LAULUSA L., MENDOZA C., NAULLEAU G., ZRIHEN R., (2011), The art of management control : Issues and practices, Business, Pearson Education France, Paris, 294 p.

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