Management Controls that Anchor other Organizational Practices

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19 Citations (Scopus)


How do management control practices structure other organizational practices? This paper proposes a theory of practice hierarchies. The key idea is that organizations possess constitutive rules that define their character. They are enacted by the practices at the top of the hierarchy. These “anchor practices” contain objectives and established ways of doing things that control, or structure, subsidiary practices. They do so by defining key social relationships in the organization, often ones that are antagonistic. The paper uses illustrations from a longitudinal field study of a retail bank and draws on insights from cultural sociology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-86
Number of pages29
JournalContemporary Accounting Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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