Research Summary

Control Mechanisms in Chain Organizations

by Tatiana Sandino


This line of research examines problems that top management faces in controlling employees who operate in organizations with large numbers of “like” business units. By enabling organizations to leverage their knowledge and expertise broadly, control mechanisms allow firms to scale up their services. Working primarily with retail organizations, Professor Sandino provides insights on the types of organizational design and control choices (such as introducing budgets and other types of internal controls, franchising, standardizing operations, setting compensation and incentives, and delegating decision rights) that can be used to enhance the coordination of operations across multiple units, provide incentives that are consistent with the local environments where the units operate, ensure that employees in diverse units are engaged with the organization’s goals,  and enable firms to use information from multiple units to learn about the effectiveness of their core business models.