strategic controlling organization

Anchoring the tasks of strategic controlling in the company. This is still controversial in the literature and in practice, and with it the question of who should take on the task of strategic controlling. It is discussed whether to assign strategic controlling to strategic planning or controlling. Alternatively, there are considerations of creating a new position in the company for this area of responsibility, eg the strategic generalist, or assigning these tasks to the respective line managers.

The fundamental argument for submitting strategic planning to the controller is the advantage that the coordination effort is reduced throughout the planning. However, efficient planning coordination may come at the price of a so-called "financial bias", which can lead to strategic planning being degraded to a mere (long-term) planning calculation.
The objection to this is that it is precisely the combination of the different ways of thinking of the strategic planner (long-term balancing, looking for opportunities, effectiveness of the structural adaptation of the company to the environment) and controller (period-related optimization, cost avoidance, efficiency of resource allocation) that contributes to the annual budgeting more to align with the strategic planning and thus to reduce the merely "extrapolating budgeting". At the same time, the number-oriented (quantitative) thinking and knowledge of the controller, which is strongly influenced by accounting, contributes to a more realistic reference in the strategic plans.

One of the disadvantages of subordinating strategic controlling to the controller is the risk that the other company members will fear the controller. Even the classic controller is accused of being a "superman" because of his position and of making the entrepreneur superfluous. This accusation applies all the more to the strategic increase in tasks, competencies and responsibilities of the controller discussed here.

Proponents try to refute this argument by stating that the strategic specialist planning remains largely with the line managers. The controller is "only" the coordinator (catalyst, integrator) and the initiator of the strategic specialist planning. The objection to this is that the coordination tasks in particular can also be performed well by colleges (committees, committees, conferences) in which the controller can participate. Since the controller has in-depth knowledge of the company's internal weaknesses and strengths, he should have the right to be heard and advised in the relevant colleges.

This type of involvement of the controller in strategic planning, especially in strategic analysis, does not seem appropriate to the representatives of so-called strategic controlling. You are therefore calling for a new type of controller. The accounting-oriented controller (registrar) is not suitable as a task of strategic controlling. A central planning department or office must therefore be set up for a transitional period until the new type of controller (Innovator or Navigator) has "matured", which then has to take over the administration of the entire planning and control.
From a social point of view, it can be assumed that conflict management and consensus building will become easier if all planning is centralized at the controller. However, the conflicts between operational and strategic objectives are shifted to the controller. The former interpersonal conflict between different people becomes an intrapersonal conflict of the controller or the controller department. It can also be assumed that particularly difficult problems will be pushed off the line to the controller. The aspects for and against centralization are summarized in the figure.

The objections regarding the too high qualification requirements (knowledge, way of thinking, abilities, skills) for the operative and strategic controller in one person are tried to be refuted by pointing out that the line management has to think and plan operationally and strategically. The controller is only an initiator. However, this argument must be countered by the fact that the initiation of planning activities (and above all metaplaning) requires the controller to have appropriate knowledge and skills. Here, reference should be made to Gresham's law (of planning), according to which day-to-day business and operational activities push back planning activities and, above all, strategic planning.

The risk of the controller in the company becoming too independent and exercising too much power and the risk that the company's development becomes too dependent on the performance of a single organizational unit can be put into perspective with the introduction of strategic levels. Analogous to the strategy levels, different controlling levels then emerge, which is shown in the figure.

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