Strategy and control systems
: a framework for analysis

  • Stephen G. Longden

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This research explores the links between the strategies adopted by companies and the mechanisms used to control the organisation. This is not seen as a one way process with the control system following from the strategy but rather as an interactive process between the control systems, the environment and the business strategy. The main proposition of the research, derived from a review of the relevant literature, is that the dimensions of Business Pro-Activity and Environmental Change provide a plausible explanation of the reasons why companies need to adopt different strategies in order to be successful in different markets. A model is proposed which links these dimensions with the business strategy, organisational structure, strategic planning system and management control systems. The model is used as a framework for analysing four companies in order to further our understanding of these interactions and the mechanisms which act to both promote and resist change. Whilst it is not suggested that the model in its present form is a perfect instrument it has, during the course of this research, proved to be an appropriate framework for analysing the various mechanisms used by four companies to formulate and implement their strategies. The research reveals that these should not be viewed independently but as a balanced system.
Date of Award1993
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorTed Davis (Supervisor)


  • strategy and control systems
  • framework for analysis
  • strategy
  • strategic typologies
  • organisational structure
  • strategic planning
  • control systems

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