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Title: Management Control Systems (MCS) in the Context of Knowledge Management
Author: Petchchedchoo, Pattanant
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 3514
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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The inspirations for this study were a call for research into the evolution of management accounting in the context of knowledge management (Bhimani and Roberts, 2004) and the increasing interest of Thai public and private organisations in implementing knowledge management initiatives, which were encouraged by the Thai government in order to move Thailand towards becoming a knowledge economy. The aim of this research is to extend the current knowledge and understanding of the adoption and evolution of management control systems (MCS) in the context of knowledge management. The study provides insights into whether and to what extent an MCS can be used to promote knowledge management. This includes an investigation of the mechanisms ofMCS that can be used to encourage knowledge management in organisations. It also involves defining what is meant by the terms knowledge and knowledge management, as these terms are broadly and differently defined in the literature of the various relevant disciplines. Two case studies of Thai organisations were used to explore the implications of MCS for knowledge management The cases provided contextual insights into the practicalities of knowledge management and MCS in the context of knowledge management The cases are in different businesses (one financially-oriented and the other non-financially-oriented) and different organisational contexts (one a bureaucratic organisation and the other a professionally dominated organisation). The differences in business purposes and organisational settings provide detailed data on how MCS can be devdoped to support knowledge management in different contexts. The findings suggest that the two organisations used the behaviouml mechanisms of MCS to promote their knowledge management initiatives in order to accomplish two aims: developing human capital and structural capital Several people-based knowledge management methods (e.g. education and training, communities of practice- (CoPs), etc.) were developed to achieve these aims. Three behvioural mechanisms of MCS (ie. individual performance measures, incentive systems and organisational rules) were used to encourage employees to participate in knowledge management work. MCS for knowledge management in the bank (a bureaucmtic and financially-oriented organisation) is more problematic than in the university partly because the bank's MCS is financially-oriented and more hierarchical than the university's, which is knowledge-oriented and more horizontal. The study also illustrates the use of personnel and cultural controls for promoting knowledge management in the two organisations. Finally, a conceptual framework, for explaining the synergy of MCS and knowledge management, is proposed for further development The framework suggests that the role of MCS in the context of knowledge has two dimensions: promoting horizontal co-ordination (by connecting economic activities horizontally) and encouraging HRM practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available