No. 71: Working from home and management controls

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic and the corresponding shift towards working from home (WFH) amplifies control problems within organizations and poses severe challenges for management control. We examine how the physically distant working environment caused by the shift towards WFH influences the design of action controls. Based on a survey among employees in a large international corporation, we find that under WFH conditions the organization more intensively uses standardization and planning participation and grants broader autonomy to employees. We also identify interrelations between pairs of action controls that are moderated by WFH. Finally, we examine the effect of WFH on employee outcomes. Our findings suggest that WFH has increased the time employees spend in meetings as well as employee job focus and decreased the remaining working hours per day. We also find that effectively adjusted action controls can offset negative effects of WFH. Overall, our study adds to the literature by exploring the dynamic nature of management control systems.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, der ESMT Berlin, der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt und der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.