A1 Journal article – refereed
Interrelation of controls for autonomous motivation: A field study of productivity gains through pressure-induced process innovation

List of Authors: Jan A. Pfister, Kari Lukka
Publisher: American Accounting Association
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Accounting Review
Volume number: 94
Issue number: 3
Number of pages: 27
ISSN: 0001-4826


This field study investigates an empirical setting where the
introduction of new formal results controls—stretch targets for
productivity that are seemingly unachievable with current process
efficiencies—is associated with high productivity gains over extended
periods of time. Contrary to findings from the prior management
accounting research, employees meet the targets by being creative and
risk-taking in continuously innovating processes, despite the pressure
induced by high target-level difficulty. Mobilizing self-determination
theory, we argue that a specific interrelation of personnel and cultural
control with results control supports internalization of the latter by
employees. In this situation, employees perceive the high performance
required by the results control assimilated into their own values, which
facilitates the autonomous motivation necessary for their creativity.
Our findings contribute to the literature by identifying the conditions,
and discovering the mechanisms, that enhance the efficacy of stretch

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 21:55