How change begets change

Organizations are frequently confronted with environmental shifts and change. In our recent publication (Toldbod and Van der Kolk, forthcoming in the European Accounting Review), we examine how environmental shifts can trigger cascades of management control changes, how this creates incoherence, and how managers can use the incoherence to stimulate organizational dialogue.

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Note on motivating civil servants

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The journal Public Money & Management (PMM) has both an academic and a practitioner readership, and called for contributions to a special issue about developing civil servants. A brief note on motivating civil servants that I submitted was published online this week.

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Writing for Follow The Money

berend van der kolk

In an effort to not become an “ivory tower academic“, I accepted the invitation from Follow The Money (a Dutch platform for investigative journalism) to start writing some brief articles. In these articles, I focus on issues related to management, accounting, behavior and ethics, and try to communicate research findings from the fields of management, accounting and business ethics to a wider audience.

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Employee motivation as a driver of performance

(This article was also published via IE Insights)

berend van der kolk

All organizations want motivated employees, but how can management practices contribute to employee motivation? A recent study points to the importance of organizational values and training opportunities to facilitate intrinsic motivation of employees, and the role of performance measurement to enhance extrinsic motivation. Furthermore, the findings suggest that if organizations focus on motivating their employees, performance will follow.

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Study on motivation and management published

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Together with Paula van Veen-Dirks and Henk ter Bogt, I published this week a paper in the European Accounting Review. In the paper we study the relation between management control, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and performance. We use survey data from 105 departments from Dutch municipalities to test our hypotheses.

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Why business education needs to integrate ethics and technics

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[An edited and shortened version of this article was published in The Guardian.]

Although topics in business education such as accounting and finance may seem merely technical, they often bear major ethical implications. Business education should therefore aim to make students aware of the moral side of business decisions.

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New publication in Accounting Education

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Last week, I published a paper in Accounting Education about the presence (and absence) of ethical considerations in management accounting textbooks..

Drawing on the work of Alisdair MacIntyre, I argue that management accounting (MA) instruments such as performance measurement are not morally neutral, but instead bear moral implications. Therefore, I contend that MA students should be trained to take these moral implications into consideration alongside MA’s technical aspects. A content analysis is carried out to examine the integration of ethical considerations in top-ranked MA textbooks.

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