MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS IN POST INCUBATION: A COMPARISON OF EXISTING AND CLOSED DOWN HIGH-TECHNOLOGY START-UPS

Jochen Kerschenbauer, Bernhard Blümel, Julia Soos

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Abstract

High-technology start-ups are using Management Control Systems (MCS) to successfully overcome initial difficulties. There is a considerable amount of literature on the incubation of a start-up, but few researchers have focused on post-incubation although a literature review reveals the great need for research in this area. This paper fills this research gap and focuses on the use of MCS in post-incubation of closed down and existing high-technology start-ups. It addresses two main questions. First, what are the main differences between existing and closed down high-technology start-ups concerning the use of MCS in post-incubation? Second, what are the reasons for the failure of high-technology start-ups in post-incubation? For this purpose, 29 semi-structured interviews were conducted. The implemented study follows the research approaches as proposed by Eisenhardt (1989). For the present study we use Simons’ definition of MCS (1995), because it suits best for high-technology start-ups. According to Simons, MCS are methods applied to maintain or change the structures in organizational activities. One type of these methods is the ‘Levers of Control’ (LOC) framework proposed by Simons (1995). The results show the biggest differences between existing and closed down start-ups concerning the use of the ‘4 Levers of Control’ framework. Furthermore, the most common reasons for the closure are demonstrated. These were a malfunctioning business model and a lack of product acceptance by the customer, which confirms literature data. The study identified two hitherto neglected aspects that seem to be decisive for the success of a start-up: (1) a vision that is both target-oriented and based on believing in the company’s right to exist, and (2) an appropriate management of arising challenges and difficulties.
Original languageGerman
Title of host publication19th EBES Conference Proceedings
Pages440-450
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2016

Cite this

Kerschenbauer, J., Blümel, B., & Soos, J. (2016). MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS IN POST INCUBATION: A COMPARISON OF EXISTING AND CLOSED DOWN HIGH-TECHNOLOGY START-UPS. In 19th EBES Conference Proceedings (pp. 440-450)