Chapter 7: The Emergence of Clan Control in a Science-based Firm: The Case of Carl Zeiss
Markus C. Becker* INTRODUCTION 1 One of the essential challenges for an organization is to ensure that its members act in ways that meet the organization’s objectives. This is the challenge of organizational control (Ouchi 1980; see also Otley, 2003). To attain it, organizations employ processes and mechanisms by which managers direct attention, motivate, and encourage organizational members to act to meet the firm’s objectives (Ouchi, 1977, 1979; Cardinal, 2001; Kirsch et al., 2010). The study of organizational control has a long tradition (Cyert and March, 1963 ). Yet, scholars who have studied organizational control have concentrated almost exclusively on understanding the characteristics and effects of control in large, mature organizations (Cardinal et al., 2004: 411). They paid little or no attention to ‘how [these organizations] came to be that way’ (Aldrich, 1999: 1), and virtually ignored the origins and the evolution of organizational control (Cardinal et al., 2004: 411). Studies of the genesis of control configurations during founding are rare (ibid.). Within this research gap, my particular interest is on one form of organizational control: clan control (Ouchi, 1979, 1980). As Ouchi (1979, 1980) has argued, clan control is the appropriate form of control for a research and development (R&D) laboratory (explained below). Yet, providing the prerequisites for clan-based control and supporting its emergence is not trivial, because clan control is challenging (Ouchi, 1979). The question of how top management can support the emergence of clan control is therefore of interest, and not yet fully answered. In this...
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