اثرات کنترل ارگانیک و مکانیکی در نوآوری های اکتشافی و بهره برداری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16706||2014||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 25, Issue 1, March 2014, Pages 93–112
This study investigates the indirect effects of mechanistic and organic types of control on project performance acting through innovativeness in exploratory and exploitative innovation projects. It also examines the interaction effect of these controls on performance. The research model is empirically tested with survey data from 119 projects in various project organizations, using Partial Least Squares (PLS) with controls for the size of the project and task uncertainty. The results illustrate that organic control, acting through innovativeness on project performance is an important form of control in exploratory innovations, and also enhances performance in exploitative innovations. In addition, the results indicate that the interaction effect of organic and mechanistic control types enhances performance in both exploratory and exploitative innovation projects, suggesting a complementary effect. The findings are discussed in relation to theory and their managerial implications.
Scholars have long considered innovation a major determinant of organizational long-term performance (e.g., Bisbe and Otley, 2004 and Kanter, 2001) and an effective management of innovation projects is a challenge facing today's organizations (e.g., Jansen et al., 2006 and Tushman and O’Reilly, 1996). Empirical studies investigating the innovation–performance relationship have also suggested that the relationship's strength is moderated by the type of innovation (Calantone et al., 2010). As an innovation project is the most widespread vehicle for organizing and managing innovation activities (Chiesa et al., 2009 and Martino, 1995), this study takes exploratory and exploitative innovation projects as its unit of analysis. Exploratory (radical) innovations cause fundamental, revolutionary changes in technology and represent clear departures from existing practice (Ettlie et al., 1984) by developing new products and services for emerging customers or markets and pursuing new knowledge. In contrast, exploitative (incremental) innovations are other changes in products and processes, which are generally less significant or which do not introduce considerable novelty (OECD, 2004) as they extend existing products and services for existing customers and build on existing knowledge (Benner and Tushman, 2003). Previous research has asserted that control mechanisms exert differing influences on exploratory and exploitative innovations (e.g., Benner and Tushman, 2003, Davila et al., 2009b and Hill and Rothaermel, 2003), but empirical studies examining such relationships have produced mixed results (Cardinal, 2001, Damanpour, 1991, Dewar and Dutton, 1986, Ettlie et al., 1984 and Jansen et al., 2006). For example, results by Cardinal (2001) at the organizational level show that input, behavior, and output control enhance exploratory (radical) innovation, and input and output controls enhance exploitative (incremental) innovation, and Cardinal concluded that incremental and radical innovations should not be managed differently. Conversely, results by Jansen et al. (2006) at an organizational unit level indicate that centralization negatively affects exploratory innovation; formalization positively influences exploitative innovation; and connectedness (social relations among unit members) appears to be an important antecedent of both exploratory and exploitative innovations. Thus, the issue of whether exploratory and exploitative innovations require different control mechanisms remains largely unresolved. Examining these innovations separately, but within the same empirical study, offers a means to analyze whether project controls differ across innovation projects. Drawing on the classification in Chenhall (2003), this study adopts the concepts of the mechanistic control (MC) and organic control (OC) forms of project control mechanisms to represent two opposing forms of control. Mechanistic project controls rely on formal rules, standardized operating procedures and routines, whereas organic project controls are more flexible, responsive, involve fewer rules and standardized procedures and tend to be richer in data (Chenhall, 2003). Organic project control as used here reflects two important characteristics: (i) informal control reflecting norms of cooperation, communication and emphasis on getting “things done”, and (ii) open channels of communication and free flow of information between project manager and subordinates (Burns and Stalker, 1961). Prior studies (Burns and Stalker, 1961) maintain that a formal management control system (MCS) supports the periodic execution of the same routines in organizations where changes are small or non-existent. Empirical evidence also confirms this (e.g., Ouchi, 1979). In this regard, mechanistic forms of project controls would appear to be of little relevance to the innovation process associated with high level of uncertainty. These limitations proposed for the traditional MCS have, however, been questioned and proved unfounded in more recent studies, as researchers find that these systems may be important in providing the discipline to help manage uncertainty, and show that there is also a need for formal MCSs in uncertain settings, such as project environments (see e.g. Abernethy and Brownell, 1999, Bisbe and Otley, 2004, Cardinal, 2001 and Davila et al., 2009a). Furthermore, Adler and Borys (1996), distinguishing between coercive and enabling bureaucracies, found that an MCS may be instrumental to innovation, and Simons (1995) that an interactive systems concept can play an explicit role in sparking innovation around strategic uncertainties. Thus, for the most part recent empirical evidence indicates that innovation processes may gain from the presence of an MCS. More recent studies have also suggested that opposing control mechanisms should be implemented simultaneously to foster innovativeness and performance (e.g., Chenhall and Morris, 1995, Henri, 2006, Lewis et al., 2002 and Sheremata, 2000). Despite prior studies, scholars claim that there is little systematic evidence of potential indirect effects or whether the effects of one form of control are governed by the level of simultaneous reliance on another form of control (Abernethy and Brownell, 1997 and Malmi and Brown, 2008). Moreover, although scholars generally agree that innovation contributes to firm performance and that the understanding of innovation and control issues requires a unit of analysis other than the organizational level (e.g. Davila et al., 2009b), there are few accounting studies that have investigated the relevance of MCSs in project environments (Chenhall, 2008). In projects resembling temporary matrix organizations that draw on resources from many functions and are characterized by a high level of uncertainty (Tatikonda and Rosenthal, 2000a), project managers may face issues managing the dynamics of their project teams. That is because innovation and development require a high degree of flexibility in the structural and communication processes (Burns and Stalker, 1961 and Van de Ven, 1986) as well as efficiency. Therefore, drawing on Dougherty (1996), it is suggested that a focus on the relationships between project controls, innovativeness and performance at the project level permits a more thorough treatment of the particular project controls acting at this level and will likely produce greater stability in the proposed relationships. Therefore, the objective of this study is to examine the effects of mechanistic and organic forms of control on project performance through innovativeness in exploratory and exploitative innovation projects. Innovativeness or innovative accomplishments are here defined very broadly to include any policy, structure, method or process, product or market opportunity that the project manager perceives to be new (Kanter, 1983 and Zaltman et al., 1973). In comparison, innovation in addition to novelty also comprises commercialization and implementation of accomplishments (e.g., Dewar and Dutton, 1986). Adopting the approach introduced by Gupta and Govindarajan (1984), project performance was measured by comparing actual project performance and a priori expectations rather than measuring it on an absolute scale. By assessing project performance relative to targets and other projects, the effects of strategic choice on project performance are indirectly controlled for. The current research develops a conceptual model and tests it through PLS analysis on a sample of 119 projects, divided into two sub-samples: exploitative and exploratory settings. Previous studies (e.g., Bisbe and Otley, 2004 and Jansen et al., 2006) suggest an indirect positive effect of an organic form of control on performance through innovativeness in exploratory and a similar effect brought about by a mechanistic form of control in exploitative projects. Moreover, prior research (e.g., Chenhall and Morris, 1995, Henri, 2006 and Lewis et al., 2002) indicates that performance within different innovation projects can be enhanced by the effects of combined use of organic and mechanistic project control. Although prior research on opposing control forces in exploratory innovation settings does exist (e.g., Lewis et al., 2002 and Sheremata, 2000), empirical research reporting on the indirect and interaction effects of opposing forms of project control in both exploratory and exploitative innovative project settings was not found. Thus, this study contributes to literature by extending prior research in MCSs (Chenhall and Morris, 1995, Bisbe and Otley, 2004, Henri, 2006, Jørgensen and Messner, 2009 and Mundy, 2010) to another level of analysis—the project level. In particular, and contrary to the findings of Bisbe and Otley (2004) at the organizational level, this study reports indirect effects of organic project controls on performance via innovativeness in exploratory settings. This study also offers empirical evidence of existing tension, resulting from the joint use of mechanistic and organic forms of control that influence performance in exploratory and exploitative innovation project settings, and thus clarifies how mechanistic and organic forms of control interact at the project level. Furthermore, examining project controls separately in exploratory and exploitative innovation projects makes it possible to study possible differences and thus enhances our understanding of the role of MCS in two different innovation settings. The remainder of this paper is structured as follows: Section 2 provides a brief overview of extant literature, resulting in the formulation of the hypotheses. Section 3 presents the design of the empirical survey study conducted to collect data. Section 4 reports the tests of the hypothesis. Sections 5 and 6 conclude the paper with a discussion of the findings and their implications as well as limitations and directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The aim of this study was to investigate the indirect effects of mechanistic and organic forms of control on project performance through innovativeness as well as the interaction effect of those controls on project performance in exploratory and exploitative innovation projects. Overall, the results support the importance of OC, showing it acting through innovativeness on project performance in exploratory innovations and enhancing project performance in exploitative innovations. The results also suggest that the interaction effect of OC and MC enhances performance in both exploratory and exploitative innovation projects, and support a complementary effect. This study contributes to literature in three ways. Firstly, this study draws on prior research in management accounting and control (Chenhall and Morris, 1995, Henri, 2006, Jørgensen and Messner, 2009 and Mundy, 2010) to extend those to another level of analysis, the project level rather than the organizational level. While accounting research has studied control mechanisms in other organizational contexts, the project level has largely been forgotten (Chenhall, 2008), although scholars argue it to be more appropriate for studying control systems in innovation settings (Davila et al., 2009b). Secondly, this study offers empirical evidence of the impact of indirect effects of project controls on project performance. By distinguishing between exploratory and exploitative innovative project settings, this study finds indirect effects of organic project controls on performance via innovativeness in exploratory settings. These findings are seen as extending the findings of Bisbe and Otley (2004) at the organizational level. This study also finds empirical evidence of tension on project performance resulting from a combined use of mechanistic and organic forms of control in both exploratory and exploitative innovation project settings. As the results indicate, the tension caused by a combination of project control mechanisms appears to be complementary, but not dependent on the degree of innovation newness. Although prior research on opposing control forces in exploratory innovation settings exists, empirical research comparing the effects of combined use of two opposing forms of project control in both exploratory and exploitative innovative project settings is non-existent. This study also has important managerial implications. First, it emphasizes the important role of organic communication processes in enhancing project performance through innovativeness in exploratory innovation settings. It also shows that project managers can identify how the different forms of control they already use or intend to use can most benefit innovation by combining those controls with their respective complementary opposite coordination mechanisms. The variety of possible combinations of different forms of MCS or style of use of MCS provides the project manager with a pool of options. A project manager who is informed about the desirable and undesirable effects and who pays them due attention, can enhance performance and innovativeness. However, combining opposing control strategies may not be easy in practice within the same social system, and evidence from prior studies also indicates that practitioners often do not combine opposing action strategies (e.g. Sheremata, 2002). Some limitations of this study need to be noted. As survey research, the study is vulnerable to the typical weaknesses relating to validity and reliability of items and tests, although best practice was followed in the development and pre-testing of the instrument (Van der Stede et al., 2005). One of the obvious limitations of this study is the small sample size and the fact that its sample was not strictly randomly selected; meaning any inferences from the results must be drawn cautiously. The relatively high number of exploratory projects compared to exploitative projects in this study differs from a normal innovation setting, and may suggest a bias. The combined use of organic (OC) and mechanistic (MC) forms of project control was also examined using a product term, and a complete and reliable test for complementarity between the two forms of control and project performance would include incorporating appropriate bi-directional links into the model, which was not possible in this study. In addition, the limited measurement of mechanistic and organic forms of control and the use of a categorical (and not continuous) measure of innovation type would suggest the results should be interpreted with caution. Furthermore, it would be wise to be cautious when interpreting the statistical associations as causal relationships, owing to the cross-sectional nature of the study. Although project managers are considered the best judges of their own actions (Brownell, 1995), a further limitation is the use of self-assessed use ratings. Previous research has, however, found a significant positive correlation between superiors’ subjective rating and objective measures of subordinate performance (Bommer et al., 1995 and Furnham and Stringfield, 1994). It is also important to note that the effects obtained in the different runs of the model show high robustness and the results of the preliminary and final analyses are consistent. It is suggested that more accounting studies on control and coordination mechanisms in project environments would be worthwhile. Studies examining MCS from different innovation perspectives—such as other types or stages of innovation—may find different outcomes or allow replications that make these results generalizable. The tension arising from the simultaneous use of various forms of control or various styles of use of control mechanisms may change over time, and enhance project performance differently in the early stages of project development than they do during late development and commercialization. Thus, studies using longitudinal data might reveal whether project managers adjust their actions to contextual changes, and if so, how (Lewis et al., 2002 and Pennings, 1992). In addition, qualitative methodologies may provide new insights into the ways in which project managers in different kinds of organizations and project settings reinforce and manage tension in practice. Moreover, the personality traits of the project manager are likely to be of considerable importance when implementing and using opposing forms of MCS simultaneously and well worth investigation in future research.