Meeting up for management control: Bracketing interaction in innovation development

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    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine meetings as a form of meta-practice and investigate their role related to management control of innovation development. Design/methodology/approach: This research draws on case studies of two biotechnology firms operating in pharmaceuticals and medicine, which represent different contexts regarding the uncertainty and complexity of innovation development. Findings: The study suggests two distinct roles of meetings in the context of innovation development: meetings as regulating and ordering; and meetings as a resource. In the first role, meetings serve as a regulative mechanism that brings together multiple elements of control into a system. Meetings as a meta-practice regulate and order by bracketing elements of innovation in time and space, rendering the innovation process more manageable and allowing actors to handle the complexity of knowledge. In the second role, meetings are used as a resource, sporadically intervening in the ongoing activities of innovation projects. The study explains how these two roles relate to the uncertainty and complexity of innovation development and have different implications for management control. Originality/value: The study challenges the instrumental view of meetings by taking a closer look at their structuring potential in the organization. Understanding the roles of meetings provides another perspective on the functioning of management control and opens new avenues for studying the practices of control and decision-making.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalQualitative Research in Accounting & Management
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)144-178
    Number of pages35
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


    • Incremental innovation
    • Management control
    • Meetings
    • New product development
    • Radical innovation


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