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SUMMARY

This paper builds on a series of earlier reviews of the management control literature (Giglioni and Bedeian, 1974; Hofstede, 1968; Merchant and Simons, 1986; Parker, 1986) and considers the development of the management control literature in the context of organizational theories. Early themes which have provided the roots for the development of the subject area are explored as is more recent work which has evolved both as a continuation and a reaction against them, with Scott's (1981) framework being used to organize this literature. It is argued that one of the unintended consequences of the influential work of Robert Anthony (1965) has been a restriction of the subject to an accounting-based framework and that this focus needs to be broadened. The review points to the potential of the subject as a integrating theme for the practice and research of management and some themes for future research are suggested.