Antecedents of the Management Control System in Credit Cooperatives in Southern Brazil

Anderson Betti Frare, Vagner Horz, Alexandre Costa Quintana, Ana Paula Capuano da Cruz


Objective: Considering the turbulent economic environment as well as the peculiarities of the operations conducted by cooperative entities, this study sought to analyze the connections between strategic risks and uncertainties and the use of the Management Control System (MCS) by credit cooperatives in Brazil’s South region.

Method: This is a quantitative study, conducted as a survey with a sample of 57 credit cooperatives. The data was analyzed through Structural equation modeling, with partial least square estimation on SmartPLS 3.0 software. The strategic risk and strategic uncertainty constructs were analyzed in relation to their connection with Simons’ Levers of Control (1995), which contemplates the beliefs and boundary controls and interactive and diagnostic control systems. Furthermore, the connections between the four Levers of Control are also analyzed.

Originality/Relevance: The study covers the antecedents (strategic risks and uncertainties) of MCS use, contemplating different compositions of type and class in credit cooperatives, taking previous studies into consideration, as well as covering a singular and pertinent region in the context of Brazilian credit cooperatives.

Results: Strategic risk is not associated with the use of the Management Control System. Strategic uncertainty was proven to be the element that receives the most importance from managers in the process of using the four Levers of Control. Regarding the beliefs system construct, its importance is positively linked to the interactive control system, as also occurs with the connection between the interactive control system and the diagnostic control system.

Theoretical/Methodological contributions: The study demonstrates the pertinence of the Levers of Control for credit cooperatives, inserted in the context of strategic risks and uncertainties.

Social/management contributions: The findings bring about relevant contributions by proving that the balanced use of the four Levers of Control is relevant for promoting the strategic renovation of credit cooperatives, especially regarding strategic uncertainty.


Management Control System; Credit Cooperatives; Strategic Uncertainty; Strategic Risk; Simons’ Levers of Control.


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