Do management control systems stifle innovation in small firms? A mediation approach


  • Whitney O Peake Western Kentucky University
  • Dennis Barber III East Carolina University
  • Amy McMilan East Carolina University
  • Dawn L Bolton Western Kentucky University
  • Leanne Coder Western Kentucky University


How entrepreneurial orientation (EO) as a strategy manifests into entrepreneurial behaviors like innovation, is an important research topic but not well understood. There is a gap in the examination of EO and entrepreneurial behavioral outcomes. Since mediators exist (see Rauch, Wiklund, Lumpkin, & Frese, 2009; Wales, 2016; Wales, Patel, Parida, & Kreiser, 2013) additional research is needed to uncover these potential relationships. Research suggests that management controls systems (MCS) may serve as a mediator between strategy and innovation outcomes. There is, however, conflicting evidence regarding the impact and use of management control systems (MCS) in the small firm context. As such, we examine the relationship between an individual-level measure of EO (IEO) and innovation level and explore the mediating role of financial and nonfinancial MCS on that relationship. Results suggest that nonfinancial MCS partially mediate the relationship between IEO and innovation, while financial MCS do not.


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How to Cite

Peake, W. O., Barber III, D., McMilan, A., Bolton, D. L., & Coder, L. (2019). Do management control systems stifle innovation in small firms? A mediation approach. Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 29(2), 1–21. Retrieved from