Management Control and the Customer Experience
In this line of research, I explore the design of management control systems when the strategic objective is to differentiate on service or the customer experience more broadly. The service sector represents an increasingly important class of organizations which have unique coordination and control problems whose solutions are not well understood.
Most notably, services are difficult to fully standardize as cost and quality are heavily influenced by heterogeneous customer behaviors, needs, and preferences; they are often delivered by geographically dispersed employees far removed from the executive level of the organizational hierarchy; and they are difficult to measure both in terms of service output and financial outcomes. These characteristics combine to establish a need for control (due to decentralization) in a context in which managers are significantly constrained in their ability to use two of the primary conventional mechanisms for establishing it – monitoring (due to constraints on standardization) and incentive alignment through explicit performance contracting (due to constraints on measurement).
Focusing my work on studying this problem has led to interdisciplinary contributions to the accounting and operations management literatures and to more general insights into the problem of coordinating and controlling organizations when managers are constrained in their ability to use traditional performance measurement and incentive systems.
Keywords: Management Control Systems;
management accounting and control systems;