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Victor Maas

The effects of controller involvement in management on performance measurement system gaming

The literature suggests that business unit controllers get more and more involved in strategic and operational decision-making. It has been argued that controller involvement in management can only be realized at the cost of reduced organizational control, because involved controllers are more likely to conspire with decentralized managers in the gaming of performance measurement systems. In my dissertation I examine this conjecture both theoretically and empirically. In a first study, I develop a path model that links controllers’ involvement in management to their engagement in performance measurement system gaming through the mediating variables business unit commitment and role stress. This model is tested using data from a cross-sectional survey of Dutch business unit controllers. In a second study, using an experimental research method, I examine how controller involvement in management interacts with personality characteristics (i.e. Machiavellianism) and social pressure in affecting engagement in gaming.