The Social Capital-Control Nexus: Lessons From Implementation of Accounting Control Systems in Two Chinese Organizations

Gary Pan


One common theme of Accounting Control System project failure centers on inadequate or inappropriate enactment of effective controls during project implementation. As Accounting Control Systems projects are viewed by many as a social process involving managing relationships among multiple stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and capabilities, there is a growing number of IS researchers that have utilized the social capital theory to examine the enactment of clan control during system implementation. Despite the growing interests, relatively little is known about the relationships between social capital and the formal as well as informal controls. Also, the moderating impact of social capital attributes interaction on social capital-control relationship also remains unknown. Employing concepts from control and social capital theories, this paper contributes to Accounting Control Systems implementation research by uncovering two types of social capital-control relationship with supporting case evidence – supplementary and synergistic. We also identified moderating effects on the social capital attributes interaction on the relationship with behavioral as well as clan controls. We conclude with suggestions for future research.

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