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Title: Towards an understanding of the balanced scorecard as a means of management control of knowledge workers
Author: Wake, Nicholas
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis explores how the Balanced Scorecard supports management control of knowledge workers. The research takes a case study approach, analyzing three divisions within the Rolls Royce Marine business. The literature is used to both frame the research question and to generate a number of theoretical propositions and a priori constructs which the research explores. The work relies on participant observation, in‐depth interviewing and documentary data as data collection methods. Data analysis is through in vivo analysis of interview data, relying on triangulation between data sources. The analysis yields a number of results. Firstly, the research situates the balanced scorecard as an important strategic communication mechanism, but one that is not used for operational control system. It situates the balanced scorecard as one of a number of control systems within the organisations case studied, providing evidence of where the balanced scorecard supports control activities. This research provides a number of contributions to knowledge. Two frameworks are created: the first – the management control typology is important since it draws together strands of research and provides a single framework for management control systems. The second, the knowledge worker typology provides a system for understanding the different types of knowledge work and hence advances the debate on defining what is a knowledge worker. The empirical investigation provides some tentative conclusions on the different types of control systems used for different types of knowledge worker. It also identifies that the way in which the balanced scorecard is used within the case study organisations differs from the approach suggested by the original literature. The work argues that to understand management control systems in their entirety, it is necessary to both understand what the management control system is and also how it is used. The work concludes by suggesting a research agenda which explores the cultural aspects of management control systems in more depth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management