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Levers of Control

Summary of Simon's Levers. Abstract

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Robert Simons


In his book "Levers of Control: How Managers Use Innovative Control Systems to Drive Strategic Renewal" (1995) Robert Simons introduced a framework, giving managers in large companies a tool to manage the tension between (value) creation and control (managing and measuring value).


The four levers are:

  1. Core Values (controlled by Belief Systems, such as mission statements, vision statements, credos and statements of purpose)

  2. Risks to be Avoided (controlled by Boundary Systems, such as codes of conduct, predefined strategic planning methods, asset acquisition regulations, operational guidelines)

  3. Strategic Uncertainties (controlled by Interactive Control Systems, such as incorporating process data into management interaction, face-to-face meetings with employees, challenging data, assumptions and action plans of subordinates)

  4. Critical Performance Variables (controlled by Diagnostic Control Systems, such as output measurement, valuation standards, incentive systems and compensation systems)

👀TIP: On this website you can find much more about management control and Levers of Control!


Compare with the Levers of Control: Parenting Styles  |  Parenting Advantage  |  Prahalad  |  Levers of Control  |  Greiner  |  Kay  |  Mintzberg  |  3C's  |  M&A

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