Controllers’ role ambiguity and work-related outcomes: exploring the influence of using performance measurement systems

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Purpose – Scholars have recognised that an inherent ambiguity underlines the roles of controllers, as they navigate multiple expectations of various organisational counterparts, including the control-type needs of corporate top managers and the decision-making needs of business managers. Role ambiguity (RA) is a form of psychological distress leading to dysfunctional work-related outcomes (WROs); therefore, this study analysed whether the use of performance measurement systems (PMSs) by controllers influences their RA and, in turn, their job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Methodology – This study used data collected from a survey of 158 controllers to investigate whether controllers’ diagnostic and interactive uses of PMSs affect their RA and, indirectly, organisational commitment and job satisfaction. Findings – The results show that an interactive use of PMSs by controllers decreases their RA, with positive effects on their commitment and satisfaction. On the contrary, PMS diagnostic use has no significant influence on either RA or WROs. Originality – This study contributes to the body of literature on the psychological effects of PMSs related to RA, providing further empirical evidence to suggest that the adoption of PMSs may decrease individuals’ RA and, in turn, increase their WROs. In particular, the study enriches the existing literature with two elements of novelty: (i) focus on controllers’ role instead of that of popular managers; (ii) focus on the behavioural effects of the diagnostic and interactive uses of PMSs.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)164-183
Numero di pagine20
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2023


  • controller
  • interactive/diagnostic use
  • job satisfaction
  • organisational commitment
  • performance measurement system
  • role ambiguity


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