The Controller's Managerial Work
This article analyses a controller’s action in a product development setting. An alliance context provides for a hybrid form of governance and for complexity. The analysis builds on the participants’ own comments to a video-recorded clip from one of their earlier meetings with a heated exchange on proper information sharing. The analysis leads up to an application of virtue ethics to the conversation showing that the situation is emotionally loaded since participants mobilise virtues as arguments for appropriateness. The situation allows non-rational arguments and the controller can do “managerial work” to reconfirm and clarify responsibility structures. The situation invites reflection on the nature of the agency-structure interface, and a more articulated managerial role for the controller in hybrid forms of control.
Gothenburg Research Institute
Agency, hybrid forms, Controlling, field research, direct observation