Strategic controlling concepts

Definition of strategic controlling concepts

The wide range of different views on strategic controlling is reflected in the various strategic controlling concepts, which can be assigned to the underlying controlling concept according to their characteristics. The forms of controlling conceptions can be systematized by aligning them to the controlling goals pursued.

Profit target as a typical economic target

In connection with operational controlling, the profit target is often mentioned as a typical economic target. However, the economic goal is not exclusively a controlling goal. Rather, it should be viewed as a general corporate goal, the achievement of which is supported by controlling. Against this background, it makes sense to classify the economic goal as an indirect controlling goal. The technological, social and ecological goals are also indirect controlling goals. The indirect controlling goals are classified differently according to the measurement system from Gomez and Wunderlin, which, according to the company's stakeholder groups, is divided into a shareholder value level (result variable: shareholder value) and a stakeholder value level (result variable: customer benefit, employee benefit, supplier benefit and Capital provider benefits) differentiate (value-based controlling). In contrast, the direct controlling goals arise from the controlling functions.

Understanding of controlling: derive information goals

Regardless of the respective understanding of controlling, the information target can be derived from the management support function of controlling. A more differentiated view requires the coordination goal corresponding to the generally recognized coordination function of controlling. On the one hand, it can focus on planning and control (= planning and control-oriented coordination goal) and, on the other hand, it can be extended to all management or management sub-systems (management system-oriented coordination goal). Depending on the extent to which the target is achieved, there are various controlling concepts that are shown in the figure.

The systematisation in accordance with the controlling objectives is only to be understood as an indication of the focus of the content. Because of course there are also coordinating tasks in the information supply-oriented conception, for example.
Based on the outlined controlling concepts, three controlling concepts are presented below as examples.

1) The information supply-oriented controlling concept as the basis for the strategic controlling concept: strategic controlling = strategic control (e.g. Böcker).
According to Böcker, controlling only includes the past-oriented result control, the check of premises, the future-oriented plan-target comparison (corresponds to the plan progress control) and suggestions for adjustment measures. Controlling is ultimately a control that has been expanded to include future-oriented comparative aspects, as shown in the figure.

Böcker wants the term control to be understood only as a past-oriented result control (target / actual comparison). On the other hand, he speaks initially of a “concept of strategic control”. At the same time, he refuses to subsume control and planning under controlling. The task of strategic control is the constant monitoring of the planning basis.

This basic check comprises the two aspects:

  • the monitoring of internal success factors as well as external environmental factors
  • the ongoing review of the strategic planning assumptions.

Böcker sees strategic controlling as a means of planning. Strategic controlling is understood as "checking the planning bases and stimulating reactive corporate planning". The strategic monitoring of the success and environmental factors (early detection) as well as the strategic check of premises should trigger the planning with their control information. Strategic controlling is equated with strategic control.

2) The planning and control-oriented controlling concept as the basis for the strategic controlling concept: strategic controlling = strategic controllership (e.g. Horvâth, Hahn, Reichmann). Horvath sees the dovetailing between the strategic and operational level as a problem, but not as a task of strategic controlling.

Strategic controlling for him is “the form of implementation of the controlling function that corresponds to the strategic behavior of the management”. He assumes that with increasing pressure to adapt, companies are no longer adequately equipped to deal with their environment in an operational manner. In order to guarantee a strategic behavior of the company, the strategic controlling must complement the operational one. Strategic and operative controlling are juxtaposed in the illustration.

Horvath assigns the following tasks to strategic controlling:

  • Strategic analysis;
  • Design, implementation and further development of the strategic planning, control and information supply system;
  • Management and administration of strategic planning and control;
  • Advice to corporate management and line management with regard to strategic planning and control.

Strategic controlling is therefore the system-forming and system-coupling coordination on a strategic level, ie strategic controlling is the coordination of strategic planning, control and information supply. Strategic controlling is therefore the counterpart to operational controlling.

3) The management system-oriented controlling concept as the basis for the strategic controlling concept: strategic controlling = strategic management + operative controlling (e.g. Mann, Köpper, Weber).

Weber advocates a view that extends the coordination function of controlling to the entire management system and the company's target system. He specifies the concept of controlling as follows:

Controlling describes a certain function within the management system of such companies, whose execution system is primarily coordinated by plans.

The function performed by controlling is coordination. It encompasses the structural design of all management subsystems, the coordination that exists between them and the internal coordination within the management subsystem.

Instruments and coordination tasks in controlling

To solve the coordination task, controlling has the same instruments and mechanisms that can be used for the primary coordination of the execution by the management system.

The aim of controlling is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of management and to increase the ability to adapt to changes in the environment and the internal world of the company.

The structure of the management system of a company and its connection with the execution system is shown in the figure. The last-mentioned aspect in particular makes it clear that, with this view, the strategic controlling in the controlling concept works completely. A separation between the strategic and the operational level takes place in the management subsystems planning and control.

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