The Role of Control Systems in the Process of Change: Application to a Family Business Succession

Abstract : This article examines the controllable nature of organizational change. Its purpose is to provide a new reading of the process of change via the instrumentation of control that an organization can put in place. How do control systems intervene in the process of organizational transformation? How can they be used to shake up long-standing practices and justify the changes required? These research questions are answered by combining the results from the control system and organizational fields of research. This allows the authors to analyze the link between control systems and the different aspects of change: radicality, intentionality and temporality. The conceptual framework is then tested via a case study of a family business succession. This article makes several major contributions. Firstly, it shows that there is a dynamic interaction between control and change: its radicality (evolutionary-revolutionary), its intentionality (built-prescribed) and its temporality (unfreezing, moving, refreezing). Furthermore, it demonstrates that control systems are able to structure a family business succession by inducing suitable behaviours. In addition, it provides an understanding of how individual and organizational learning, which are necessary in situations of change, can be initiated and tallied with control systems.
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Christophe Herriau, Lionel Touchais. The Role of Control Systems in the Process of Change: Application to a Family Business Succession. Journal of Change Management, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2015, 5 (1). ⟨hal-01737342⟩

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