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Analyse of economic and financial performance in the activities of industrial service.

Abstract : This thesis investigates how managers use the management control systems as levers of strategic change. This question is interesting both from a theoretical and a practical viewpoint. The investigation is focused on the case of industrial service operations. The specificities of this sector - immaterial flows, heterogeneous competences, customer involvement - make its environment particularly unstable. Meanwhile, the information technology era forces the service companies to continually carry out strategic change to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Simons (1995, 2000)'s lever-of-control framework is used as starting point. This framework proposes two extreme benchmarks to classify management control systems: interactive versus diagnostic systems depending on the degree of involvement of the top management. This thesis develops two new ideas: firstly, that the framework of analysis could be extended to cover four dimensions: the management tool, the organizational structure, the use of control system, and the compensation system; secondly, it explores how all four dimensions interact in practice. The tool dimension originates from the managerial literature on control systems. It emphasizes the importance of the horizontal coordination of the material flows from suppliers to customers. The organisational dimension comes from the literature on project management, which enlarges this coordination issue to new products and new services. The compensation dimension has already been introduced by Simons, though this dimension has rarely been explored in practice. Two case studies are used to explore the relevance of this grid. The analysis covers several years in which strategic changes occurred, making explicit how these changes were translated into the four dimensions of our grid. It appears that some configurations along these four dimensions are more efficient than others. A more efficient configuration simultaneously exhibits some interactive and diagnostic features. This balanced approach, which we characterize for industrial service companies, is offered as an interesting idea to be explored in future research. Consequences in terms of the role of the controller are also discussed.
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Contributor : Ecole Polytechnique <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 10:57:57 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 10:46:55 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, October 25, 2010 - 11:09:36 AM



  • HAL Id : pastel-00003889, version 1



Cam Tu Doan. Analyse of economic and financial performance in the activities of industrial service.. Humanities and Social Sciences. Ecole Polytechnique X, 2008. English. ⟨pastel-00003889⟩