In times of economic and financial crises, the content of this book rings true. Drawing from interviews with executives, senior managers and/or auditors from renowned companies (eBay, Google, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft, Novartis and many others) and theory from fields of sociology and social psychology, this research study provides an understanding of how "tone at the top" imprints on an organization and why that imprint works. More specifically, it discusses how managers' principles and practices can actively shape an open-minded culture that enhances effective internal control.
Part I: Groundwork; Basics; Literature review; Part II: Field study; Drivers for
control effectiveness; Part III: Theoretical explanations; Capturing culture;
The organizational level; The individual level; Part IV: Synthesis; A framework
for control and culture; Conclusion; Appendix I: List of interviewees; Appendix
II: Company information; Appendix III: Data analysis; Appendix IV: Interview
"Dr. Pfister sheds new light on the critically important, but often-overlooked, "softer" forms of control, such as corporate culture. And he does it in a rigorous and engaging way. A very worthwhile read! " Kenneth A. Merchant, Deloitte and Touche LLP Chair of Accountancy, University of Southern California "In our increasingly complex and multicultural world it is high time that someone tackles the implications of different assumptions among the team members in finance and accounting groups." Edgar H. Schein, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management "Dr. Pfister provides a well-written, accessible and comprehensive overview of the control environment and identification of the key practical drivers highly useful to managers in implementing controls and creating culture; and which auditors and boards can use to assess the quality of the control environment: the organizational culture." James Wall, retired CFO Core-Mark International, Board Trustee, Financial Executives Research Foundation "This book is a "must read" and provides a valuable resource for board members, senior management, operations management, systems designers, auditors, consultants, or other internal control practitioners." H.C. "Pete" Warner, CPA, CIA, CICP, President Internal Control Institute "It is now accepted that organizational culture has an important impact on management practices. But Dr Pfister's book makes substantial progress in detailing precisely how differences in culture impact on the design and use of management control systems. It will be of significant use to both business controllers and to academics try to advance our understanding of this important area." David Otley, Distinguished Professor of Accounting & Management (Emeritus), Lancaster University Management School, UK "Many professionals see the only relationship between Culture and Control in the fact that both start with a "C". They could not be more wrong. This highly recommendable book provides key insights on the close link between the two. ... This book also demonstrates why Finance and HR must start talking to each other instead of practicing disconnected performance management from inside their isolated silos." Bjarte Bogsnes, Vice President of Performance Management Development, Statoil, Chairman, Beyond Budgeting Round Table Europe "this study provides a much-needed next step in academic research aimed at understanding the relationships between such complex phenomena as "internal control" and "organizational culture." The Accounting Review "the field study should therefore be of interest to academics, practitioners and policy members working in control generally, and more specifically internal control, as well as those interested in culture." The British Accounting Review
Dr. Jan Pfister is Assistant Professor at the Department of Accounting and Finance at Lancaster University Management School, UK. His research focuses on performance measurement, management control and organizational culture in medium and large multinational companies.