Towards to Agile Management Control Systems at the University: Preliminary Research

Zbyslaw Dobrowolski, Jozef Ledzianowski, Monika Dobrowolska
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Issue 1, 1220-1229, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2019


Purpose: Little is known about the agile management control systems at public universities, their effects, and limitations in different contexts. This preliminary study addresses this research gap through an empirical study of the management control systems required at Polish universities. Approach/Methodology/Design: This paper's insights have emerged iteratively by considering both theory and the empirical case based on Agile Manifesto and management control systems' requirements at the universities. Findings: A study revealed a need to use Agile concept framing to develop and implement management control systems at public universities. Lack of managerial and employees' self-assessment focused on Agile issues leads to the potentially radical suggestion that decision-makers should change their current approach to management control systems if they want to avoid poor outcomes in different levels and areas of university activity. The findings make two main contributions. First, they contribute to grounding the Agile approach within public management by showing how Agile may use across contexts; Second, this study can form a source for an inquiry process at any university, thus contributing to a better contextual diagnosis of the stage where the university is building the quality of its research, managerial and financial process. Practical Implications: The article brings several valuable pieces of information and provides practical tips. Originality/Value: There are several studies on Agile, management control systems, and university issues; however, the research question – whether the legal framework of the university's management control systems favors agile was without an answer. It is the first such research.

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