On March 30-31, we had the pleasure of welcoming Evelien Reusen from Rotterdam School of Management to our WHU campus Vallendar. Evelien presented and discussed her research paper on the spillover effects between formal and informal management control systems with the WHU research community.
It was great to think about the importance of language use in informal guidance, how it may influence cooperation between managers, and what role the prior use of strict formal controls plays. Evelien and her co-author Yee Shih Phua (UNSW) conducted an experiment to answer these questions. They find that when directors have used strict formal controls, managers are less likely to cooperate with other managers on joint projects, even though cooperation will likely generate higher returns. Furthermore, they find that these effects are even higher when directors use forceful language in their communication, leading to decreased trust in the directors.
Furthermore, before and after the seminar, Evelien engaged in discussions with IMC faculty and gave valuable feedback to IMC doctoral students.
Evelien Reusen is an associate professor of management accounting at the Rotterdam School of Management. She obtained her Ph.D. from KU Leuven (Belgium). Her main areas of expertise are management control systems and intra-organizational trust and cooperation.