EMAN 1 Workshop on Sustainability Management Control Practices

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As part of the Global Cleaner Production & Sustainable Consumption Conference:
“Accelerating the Transition to Equitable Post Fossil-Carbon Societies”, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain, 1-4 November 2015, an EMAN workshop will be organized by Ass. Prof. Nathalie Crutzen and Ass. Prof. Karen Maas (EMAN steering committee members).

The role of management control for supporting strategies orientated towards sustainability has increasingly been discussed in the literature (e.g. Epstein and Roy, 2001; Gond et al., 2012 ; Maas et al., 2014). The growing body of literature management control underlines that management control is expected to play a key role in shaping processes of sustainability strategy formulation and implementation, often attributed with a high capability to support decision-making. However, even though a growing body of literature argues that management control is essential for corporate sustainability (Norris and O’Dwyer, 2004; Durden, 2008), most of the publications are conceptual (and often prescriptive) papers (e.g. Figge et al., 2002; Schaltegger, 2011). Indeed, only a very few empirical studies have investigated corporate management control practices in the context of sustainability (Epstein and Wisner, 2005; Gond et al. 2012; Crutzen and Herzig, 2013). This partly explains the scepticism that has been raised about the existence of such management controls in the context of sustainability and especially about their roles in supporting sustainability activities within the organizations (Norris and O’Dwyer, 2004; Durden, 2008).

In this context, the EMAN workshop participants will discuss a series of research projects dealing with the topic of sustainability management control practices.

The contributors will be challenged to seek to answer the following and other relevant questions:

  • Why do organizations develop sustainability management control systems?
  • How do organizations design, formulate, and implement their control systems to support their sustainability strategies?
  • How do management control designs differ according to the sustainability strategies pursued by organizations?
  • How are informal controls combined with formal controls to support particular strategies?
  • Are some informal/formal controls more suitable than others to support specific sustainability strategies?


A selection of papers will be discussed during the three-hour workshop. We invite authors to prepare abstracts of 500 words in response this “Call-for-abstracts,’ which are to be prepared in English. The deadline for abstract is May 29th, 2015.

Please submit your abstracts and/or proposals via the conference website: www.cleanerproductionconference.com/submit-abstract.asp


Crutzen, N., and Herzig, C. (2013). A Review of the Empirical Research in Management Control, Strategy and Sustainability, Studies in Managerial and Financial Accounting, Vol. 26, pp. 165-195.

Durden, C. (2008), ‘Towards a socially responsible management control system’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol. 21, pp. 671–694

Figge, F., Hahn, T., Schaltegger, S. and Wagner, M. (2002), ‘The Sustainability Balanced Scorecard – Linking sustainability management to business strategy’, Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 11, pp. 269–284.

Epstein, M. and Roy, M.-J. (2001), ‘Sustainability in Action: Identifying and Measuring the Key Performance Drivers’, Long Range Planning, Vol. 34, pp. 585–604.

Epstein, M. and Wisner, P. (2005), ‘Managing and controlling for environmental performance: Evidence from Mexico’, Advances in Accounting, Vol. 14, pp. 115–136.

Gond, J.-P., Grubnic, S., Herzig, C. and Moon, J., (2012), ‘Configuring management control system: Theorizing the integration of strategy and sustainability’, Management Accounting Research, Vol. 23, pp. 205–223.

Maas, K.E.H., Schaltegger, S. & Crutzen, N. (2014). Call for papers Special Volume: Integrating corporate sustainability performance measurement, management control and reporting. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 7-8.

Norris, G. and O’Dwyer, B. (2004), ‘Motivating socially responsive decision making: the operation of management controls in a socially responsive organisation’, The British Accounting Review, Vol. 36, pp. 173–96.

Schaltegger, S. (2011), Sustainability as a driver for corporate economic success – consequences for the development of sustainability management control, Society and Economy 33,1, 15–28.

1 EMAN stands for the Environmental and Sustainability Management Accounting Network. For details, see www.eman-eu.net

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