University of Oulu

The influence of national culture on management control systems

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Author: Isojärvi, Jussi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Accounting, Accounting
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Isojärvi, 2014
Publish Date: 2014-11-17
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Moilanen, Sinikka
Reviewer: Järvinen, Janne
Moilanen, Sinikka
This master’s thesis aims to point out if national culture has an influence on the use of management control systems. The focus in on studying possible differences found in cultural attributes between Finland and USA. Identified differences are then compared against differences found in management control systems and practices used in these two countries. Geert Hofstede’s original typology of four cultural dimensions is utilized as a basis for identifying and interpreting cultural differences between Finland and USA. Cultural dimensions which are used to identify cultural differences include power distance, individualism, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance. Management control alternatives are examined by dividing them into four groups: results controls, action controls, personnel controls, and cultural controls, based on the work of Merchant and Van der Stede. The study presents assumptions between possible relations of cultural attributes and the control alternatives. The empirical part of the study was conducted in spring 2014. In order to give the thesis a Finnish view of American culture, four Finnish individuals, who all have worked in the United States for two years or more, were interviewed. The interviews focused on perceptions made at work in US organizations. The interviewees were inquired of their experiences considering differences in national culture, and differences identified between management practices between Finland and USA. Findings from the interviews are then compared against Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, in order to see if a correlation to Hofstede’s results can be identified. Management control alternatives are discussed in the light of the findings, in order to point out whether differences in management control practices are visible. Based on the results it can be stated, that the influence of national culture is visible when comparing management control systems used in Finland and USA.
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Copyright information: © Jussi Isojärvi, 2014. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.