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Control vs Perceived control: A Study of Statoil’s Control of Station Managers and Its Behavioural Effects
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Responsible organisation
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

An organization that acts as a unity, striving towards a common goal, is a force to be reckoned with. In most organisations, however, the efficiency of the united organization is counteracted by organizational members’ selfish goals. Agency theory prescribes how monitoring or incentives can be used as a control mechanism, to moderate the influence of selfish interest. Agency theory provides conditions under which either mechanism will be employed to most effectively curb opportunism. A significant limitation of the theory is its focus on one side of the dyadic relationship between the controller and the controlled. In this paper agency theory is tested and added another dimension, through the inclusion of behavioural science. Behavioural theory indicates that workers’ perception of external control has significance to their performance. Hence, this study tests the applicability of agency theory in its current form, and attempts to establish a relationship between control mechanism and their affect on perceived external control. Empirical data was collected through a case study performed in cooperation with Statoil Sweden. The study was conducted in division for Retail Operation, investigating headquarters relationship to the managers of Statoil’s gas stations.

The results showed that there was a correlation between what agency theory predicts and the situation at Statoil. Although, the study did not support that controls are employed as substitutes, which the theory suggests, but rather as complements. Moreover, it was found that increased total control lead to increased perceived control, but also that objective and subjective perceptions can vary independently. This provides a basis for future research to further investigate whether it is possible for organizations to control, without being perceived as controlling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetsbiblioteket , 2008. , 49 p.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-89069OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-89069DiVA: diva2:159376
Available from: 2009-03-06 Created: 2004-01-01 Last updated: 2009-03-06Bibliographically approved

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