Home Programs Faculty Research Curriculum Center Public Resources My Account
Member Sign In
Shopping Cart  
My Account
My E-Packets
Browse Bibliography:
By Keywords:

By Type:
New/Updated Items
Popular Items
Background Notes
Primers and Books

By Functional Area:
Finance/Financial Management
Financial Accounting
Financial Analysis and Management
General Management
Management Accounting
Management Control Systems
Operations Management
Organizational Behavior

By Setting:
Developing Country
For Profit
Health Policy
Healthcare Management
Nonprofit Organization Management
Public Sector Management

Curriculum Center Browse Bibliography Build EPacket Pricing Structure Distribution Process Management Control in Nonprofit Organizations
Commonwealth Business School
Young, David W.
Functional Area(s):
   Management Control Systems
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Pages: 11
Teaching Note: Available. 
Copyright Clearance Fee:  $9.00  Sign in to find out if you are eligible for an Academic Price of $5.00 
Add Item to a new E-Packet

Add To Cart

Order an Free Inspection Copy

Back to Bibliography
First Page and the Assignment Questions:
IT [Information Technology] is great, and we have a decided comparative advantage. We should have an MBA Program in IT or MIS or whatever, just as we have one in PM [Public Management] and HCM [Health Care Management]. That would be a great move, and would add to our cadre of specialized programs which, in turn, would help to distinguish us as the MBA Program that allows you, the student, to select from several foci where we have expertise and distinction. That could quite easily put us on the map and do so soon.
To make all this work, however, the deans office needs to focus resources on niche programs and concentrations rather than on the general MBA program. Moreover, students in the General Program must be asked to choose a focus (niche program or concentration). Until this shift in both resources and policy takes place, such that the niche programs can grow and prosper, we’ll continue to struggle strategically.

Dexter Yardley, Professor of Management Control

I’m pleased with our progress on concentrations. We have moved aggressively to implement a new MSIM [Master of Science in Investment Management], a new marketing concentration, and perhaps very soon, a new finance concentration. We’ve hired a new Entrepreneurship person who is going great guns and we’re looking for more people in that area. And we’re trying to find and hire a top flight PM person. Judy [Lowell, Director of the Career Center] and the Career Center have been focusing very hard on how to leverage opportunities for concentrators. In terms of resources, the budgets for our specialty programs have risen faster than in any area—and a significant number of our faculty hires were made to support the development of strong concentrations.
I can understand how you might get a different impression from looking only at the small budget that Arnie [Cotler, director of the Health Care Management Program] controls—but these are the realities from the perspective of the overall school budget. I look forward to the day when every one of our MBA students can claim a concentration and receive an equally high level of support. I agree with you that we are not all that we want to be, but we have gone farther faster to develop our concentrated sources of strength in a shorter period of time than I can remember.
I do understand that the workload and management structure issues that you have identified haven’t moved as fast as the resources have shifted, and that we need to move there as well. I see the workload issues as being especially critical at this time. The ideas you presented some time ago to the FPC [Faculty Policy Committee] are very relevant to the kinds of changes Joan [Hammond, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs] now talks about. Eventually, we may mature to the point where we can develop the kind of decentralized management structure you also hope for. I think it will be some time before we (and the University) can go there however.

James Malone, Professor of Management, Associate Dean for Operations


  1. Be sure you understand how the MCS outlined in Exhibit 1 works. What, in your view, are its strengths and weaknesses? How would you evaluate it against the criteria for a good management control system?
  2. What is you response to the two issues expressed by Dean Malone at the end of the case?
  3. Assuming that Dean Malone decides to shift the focus of the management control system to programs, how would you change the system designed by Professor Yardley to respond to the concerns expressed by Professor Sanders? What other changes do you think are needed?
  4. Assuming that Dean Malone decides to shift the focus of the management control system to programs, how should he go about implementing the changes?