Classical managerial control theories mostly focus on performance indicators, like the number of pieces produced. More recent theories focus on behavior control. All theories are specialized in controlling a specific unit of the firm, i.e., the employee, the team, or a subsystem.
Therefore, agency theory-based control and system-based control have their limits. In this chapter, we advocate for a more holistic approach that takes into account the culture of the firm but also of the geographic region studied. Indigenous research is presented as a possible way to improve managerial control and harmonize western and eastern countries’ views on managerial control (we take several examples from North America, Europe, and China).
We also propose a general guideline for conducting indigenous research on managerial control. Finally, we raise some concerns about the risk of using control to spread specific ideologies in firms that can be harmful in the long run.