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The individual Controller role: And how the role is affected by increased information and complex report relations
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Previous research of the controller role is extensive and has been studied in several sectors, whichprovides a wide range of definitions of the controller role. These definitions have contributed to an ambiguous controller role in regards to what work assignments are most important and to whom the controller should report. This thesis aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the controller role based on work assignments within a decentralised organisation working with complex financial products. This thesis also contributes to an understanding of how controllers perceive that their role is affected by their work with handling information and their report relations. This has generated three research questions: What role does the controller have in a Swedish universal bank based on work assignments? What are the eventual differences in the controller role depending on department in the organisation? How do the controllers perceive that their role is affected by their work with handling information and by their report relations? Delimitation was made to analyse controllers at various levels in Handelsbanken. In order to create an understanding of the controller role in this context, an abductive approach as been used in order to combine existing theories with empirical findings. Based on a qualitative approach, triangulation was chosen to combine assembled empirical data with semi- structured interviews. The result of this study implies that controllers mainly lean towards the role as a Business partner as they work as a support function to provide local or higher managers with relevant analysis for decision-making. Based on work processes with information, the controllers lean towards an Analyst and Coach as they generally handle all business related information. From this case study, controllers in decentralised organisations possess the role as a Specialist as they  are  situated in separate departments with a clear focus. Results also show that more automated work assignments due to technological development do not increase the controllers’ opportunity to dedicate more time on analysis. Instead, increased information flows require controllers to allocate resources towards assembling information. In terms of report relations, close adherence towards the local managers does not affect the controller’s objective reporting to higher management and the controller can arguably bemore independent within their report relations than what is described by literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 96 p.
Keyword [en]
Swedish universal banks, controller role, work assignments, role expectations capabilities, information handling, report relations
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130986ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--16/02259--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-130986DiVA: diva2:957515
Subject / course
Master Thesis in International Business and Economics Programme (Business Administration); Master Thesis in Business Administration (Magisteruppsats i Företagsekonomi)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-09-08 Created: 2016-09-02 Last updated: 2016-09-08Bibliographically approved

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