The Covid-19 Pandemic and Management Controls
We examine how firms respond to the Covid-19 pandemic by adjusting their management controls and what the consequences are in terms of firms’ resilience to the crisis. We review literature that deals with the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic on business and investigate results from a survey conducted within a large international multi-divisional service firm and the German Business Panel. We find evidence consistent with the claim that the Covid-19 pandemic is associated with a shock to transparency and increased incentive problems. We document firms’ adjustments of their management controls in response to the Covid-19 crisis: Action controls are stronger, result controls are more flexible, and cultural controls are weaker. Regarding firms’ resilience, we provide supportive evidence that more resilient firms face a smaller shock to transparency, adjust their management controls to a smaller extent, and are associated with stronger cultural controls in terms of higher organizational trust.