Management Control System Imitation in Supply Chains



This study investigates the design of management control systems (MCS) in supply chains. The focus is on whether the use of MCS by buyers with first-tier suppliers results in imitative MCS usage by these first-tier suppliers with second-tier suppliers. To investigate the conditions under which MCS imitation is likely to occur, a survey was conducted using a unique sample of vertically linked supply chain triads. We show that suppliers often imitate MCS used by the buyer. We also find that environmental uncertainty and affective commitment impact the level of imitation. These effects, however, are not similar for all types of MCS. Distinguishing between imitation of outcome, behavior, and social MCS, results reveal different effects on each particular type of MCS. Altogether, by expanding our view of the supply chain beyond dyadic interactions, this study contributes to the understanding of how MCS become imitated in supply chains.

This seminar is organised by the Erasmus Accounting Research Group.