The CPA International Research Chair in Management Control was created in 2000 by Professor Hugues Boisvert with the goal of linking theoretical knowledge produced in this field and its implementation within organizations. Professor Boisvert thus contributed to research on the implementation of activity-based costing and benchmarking while building a wide network of partner organizations and training numerous students in research and management control methods. Under its new Chairholder, Samuel Sponem, the Chair has renewed its mission to gain better understanding of the impact of management control tools on organizations, whether positive or negative, through research addressing issues commonly encountered by accountants and managers.
Robert N. Anthony, a professor from Harvard who was the first to define the concept of management control as “the process by which managers ensure that resources are obtained and used effectively and efficiently in the accomplishment of the organization’s objectives” (Anthony, 1965, p. 17). This process, usually developed by controllers, greatly relies on accounting tools such as budgets, costing, balanced scorecards, etc. which differ from classic financial accounting in that they are more prospective and less standardized. Managers everywhere rely on these tools for decision-making. They also use them to influence behaviour within their organization. Management control is thus at the crossroads of the accounting and organizational fields. It impacts organizations, but also society as a whole.
While we aim to make the academic-standard works produced and published by the Chair relevant for professionals in practice, their dissemination may also serve the vaster business community to gain awareness of the pros and cons, and perhaps develop a more critical view of the various accounting and management control devices used in modern society.