Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
The aim of this study is to explore based on internationally recognised frameworks:
1. how internal control structures are applied in Sweden among different sectors;
2. how organizational size and environment affect internal control structures; and
3. the impact of internal control structures on organizational performance.
A quantitative method was used in the data collection and analysis. The sample consisted of 1117 organizations operating in Sweden. A mean analysis was conducted to measure the level of internal control structures among different industries, organizational sizes, and different choices of listing in the stock exchange market. Person’s correlation analysis was then used to explore possible correlations between external environmental factors and internal control structures, and internal control structures and organizational performance. Lastly, a structural model was built to measure the impact of internal control structures on organizational performance. The measurements of internal control structures and organizational performance are based on COSO framework’s principles and objectives.
This study gives an insight on how internal control structures are applied across industrial sectors in Sweden, with financial institutions and manufacturing organizations having notably higher levels of internal control structures. Additionally, it provides evidence of the impact external environmental factors have on internal control structures. Furthermore, it shows that organizations that are listed in the Swedish stock exchange market have an equivalent level of internal control structures to those registered in the American stock exchange market. In contrast, organisations that are not listed in the stock exchange market have a notably lower level of internal control structures. Lastly, it illustrates the positive impact the presence of internal control structures has on organizational performance. 3 | P a g e
The results highlight a crucial role the supervisory authority Finansinspektionen (FI) has in regulating the Swedish financial market. They also show that the stability of the Swedish business environment has had a positive impact on the level of internal control structures.