The Introduction of Management Control in the Legislative Assembly of the Emilia-Romagna Region

  •  Pietra Paola Amata    
  •  Leonardo Draghetti    
  •  Sabrina Galiotto    
  •  Rebecca L. Orelli    
  •  Marco Tieghi    


The paper sheds light on management control strategies in public administrations, particularly in the case of Legislative Assembly of the Emilia-Romagna Region (AL-RER), to understand reasons, process and effects in the introduction of a management control system. The research makes use of documentary analysis and participatory observation during the years 2015-2019 to reconstruct the motivations, process and results of the introduction of a new management control system. The analysis shows that the introduction of a management control system required different strategies of change and a reorganisation of activities and processes of AL-RER. It also offered an occasion of legitimisation of the AL-RER governance based on the management control results. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the process of introducing a management control system faced obstacles that acted as inhibitors to its introduction. It was possible to overcome the obstacles thanks to an intermediate step, which required a revision of the AL-RER strategies, and a cultural, political, and organisational change. The paper contributes to the advancement of knowledge on the subject of strategies and processes followed by public sector organisations, in particular by regions, in the introduction of management control systems, offering a first contribution concerning obstacles and benefits deriving from the introduction of such systems. The research is also of interest for public sector management, politicians and technicians, as well as for management control specialists, that have to make decisions about the introduction of management control systems.

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