Simons Levers of Control - Explained
What are Levers of Control?
If you still have questions or prefer to get help directly from an agent, please submit a request.
We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
- Marketing, Advertising, Sales & PR
- Accounting, Taxation, and Reporting
- Professionalism & Career Development
Law, Transactions, & Risk Management
Government, Legal System, Administrative Law, & Constitutional Law Legal Disputes - Civil & Criminal Law Agency Law HR, Employment, Labor, & Discrimination Business Entities, Corporate Governance & Ownership Business Transactions, Antitrust, & Securities Law Real Estate, Personal, & Intellectual Property Commercial Law: Contract, Payments, Security Interests, & Bankruptcy Consumer Protection Insurance & Risk Management Immigration Law Environmental Protection Law Inheritance, Estates, and Trusts
- Business Management & Operations
- Economics, Finance, & Analytics
Table of ContentsWhat are the Levers of Control?What are Simons’ Levers of ControlWhat Questions are Related to the Levers of Simons?
What are the Levers of Control?
The Levers of Control, introduced by Robert Simons (1995), gives managers in large companies a framework to manage the tension between (value) creation and control (managing and measuring value).
Levers of Control are defined as any:
- Formal information-based routine or procedure
- that is used by management
- to maintain or alter patterns in organizational behavior.
What are Simons’ Levers of Control
- Belief Systems that an organization must put in place so that it can control commitment to the organization's vision, core values, mission statements, vision statements, credos and statements of purpose.
- Boundary Systems which an organization must have so that it can stake out the territory for each participant: codes of conduct, predefined strategic planning methods, asset acquisition regulations, operational guidelines.
- Diagnostic Control Systems. These must be put in place by a company so that it can optimize outcomes, and get the work done: output measurement, valuation standards, incentive systems and compensation systems.
- Interactive Control Systems. Smart organizations use these for tracking new ideas, for triggering new learning, and for properly positioning the organization for the future: incorporating process data into management interaction, face-to-face meetings with employees, challenging data, assumptions and action plans of subordinates.
What Questions are Related to the Levers of Simons?
To get a better handle on understanding an organization, Simon recommends the following questions.
- Have senior managers communicated the core values of the business in a way that people understand and embrace?
- Have managers in your organization clearly identified the specific actions and behaviors that are not allowed?
- Are diagnostic control systems adequate at monitoring critical performance variables?
- Are the control systems interactive? And have they been designed to stimulate learning?
- Are you paying enough for traditional internal controls?