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Strategic Management Control Systems

  • Enseignant(s):   A.Davila   G.Derchi  
  • Titre en français: Stratégie et systèmes de contrôle
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS: 6 crédits
  • Horaire: Semestre d'automne 2022-2023, 4.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours site web du cours
  • Formations concernées:
    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation marketing

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation business analytics

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation stratégie, organisation et leadership

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation comportement, économie et évolution
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Maintaining a competitive advantage in today’s evolving economy requires more than strategic insight. Business leaders must have an in-depth understanding of how to balance financial and nonfinancial measures, drive strategy down to operations, and manage and measure multiple control systems. In Strategic Management Control Systems, students will explore the critical link among strategy, organizational design, performance measurement and risk management

The objectives of this course are therefore manifold.

  • Be able to set up a strategic control framework in a company to execute its strategy efficiently;
  • Design business units and functions to respond effectively to customers;
  • Understand the design and functioning of risk management systems to address various strategic uncertainties;
  • Understand the contributions and the respective limits of the various management systems used by companies for strategic control;
  • Motivate students to share in class their own opinions and constructively discuss the design and implementation of strategic management control systems;
  • After completing this course, students are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of how to design and implement performance measurement and control systems for strategy implementation in any organizational context.


This course will be valuable for students who plan to manage (or advise) a business that operates in highly competitive markets. The course focuses on answering one question: How can I design an organization that executes strategy better than competitors? This course will not teach students how to formulate strategy. Instead, taking strategy as given, students will learn the tools and techniques—and tough choices—that are essential for winning in any market.

The course consists of fourteen sessions including case study discussions, the analysis of relevant examples from real companies’ implementation, as well as exercises.

The course examines powerful control systems that integrate decision analytics, performance evaluation, risk management, and strategy implementation. Specifically, students will be learning how managers can:

  • Design business units and functions to respond effectively to customers;
  • Translate their company's mission and business strategy into a comprehensive set of performance targets and measures;
  • Motivate innovation while balancing rapid (entrepreneurial) growth with controls;
  • Drive strategy down to operations and align employees to their company's strategic objectives;
  • Identify and manage preventable, strategic and external risks, particularly during challenging economic times;
  • Develop and implement an integrated framework for their organization's performance management and control systems;
  • Use management control systems to manage social and environmental performance effectively.

The course language is English.

For each topic, background articles and book chapters will be provided. During class, case studies will be analyzed to test ideas, deepen participants’ understanding, and develop action-based principles.

Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to practice what they are learning through exercises such as preparing financial plans, completing performance evaluations, and building balance scorecards. Students are therefore expected to review and prepare all case studies that will be discussed during classes and must participate actively in class discussion. Each student will be also required to individually prepare and present one case assignment on a specific case study that will be assigned by the instructors. Finally, on one occasion students will be asked to prepare and present a group case assignment (group size will be defined depending on the number of participants) applying course concepts to a targeted company assigned by the instructors.

By the end of the course, students will know how to design an organization capable of bringing out the best in people and winning in any competitive market. Implementing these concepts will be essential to making an impact on organizations throughout their successful careers.


Mandatory reading:

  • Set of articles, book chapters and case studies (this reading list may be adapted during the course):
    • some articles are available for free of charge from the course moodle
    • a booklet containing the text of the case studies and other specific readings are available for purchase from the Executive Secretary Office of the Department of Accounting and Control, Anthropole, office 3035, UNIL-Chamberonne
    • the selected articles from Harvard Business Review and California Management Review are downloadable from the University library (download has to be done directly from the students to respect copyright rules)

Additional reading:

  • Simons Robert, Performance Measurement and Control Systems for Implementing Strategy: Text and Cases, Pearson New International Edition, 1st Edition, 2013, ISBN-13 978-1-292-02093-8
  • Davila Antonio and Oyon Daniel. Malea Fashion District, How Successful Managers Use Financial Information to Grow organizations. 3rd edition, 2018, Vease Barcelona.
  • List of academic articles and practice-based reports avaible for free from the course moodle


Good English, an attitude of respect, strong curiosity and true love for learning, as well as willingness to share their own ideas and opinions with classmates.


1ère tentative

Sans examen (cf. modalités)  
  • Individual project presentation (30%)
  • Group project presentations (50%)
  • Class participation (20%)


Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

Students who fail the course will be assigned with a individual retake assignment.

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