Relatively little research has addressed questions on how companies integrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) and management control, and this study attempts to respond to recent calls for further investigation. Taking the perspective, advanced in the extant literature, that CSR can be regarded as a form of management control, the study has the objective to show how a socially responsible initiative, such as the implementation of an employee welfare plan undertaken by a SME, can address control issues. In particular, the company has designed the employee welfare plan as an incentive system. The study adopts an interventionist research (IVR) approach to accomplish with the research objective, and the results of the interventionist case study are interpreted based on the Merchant and Van der Stede object-of-control framework. In particular, results indicate that the implementation of the welfare plan has enabled the application of different types of control and provided incentive-related benefits, suggesting the potential impact of CSR as a management control device.
Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, management control systems, employee welfare, interventionist research.