Purpose: The paper investigates whether employees’ strategic awareness influences the shape of
management control systems (MCSs) in Polish micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (mSMEs).
Methodology: The study is based on data obtained from 223 companies between November 2010
and January 2012. The quantitative analysis used a set of variables which depicted MCSs: ‘goalsetting
process’, ‘control framework’ and ‘organisation of control’. Strategic awareness was considered
an independent variable.
Findings: The results showed positive correlations between strategic awareness and considered
variables. Regression models developed by the authors proved statistically valid. The study evidences,
that increasing employees’ strategic awareness stimulates their participation in goal-setting,
contributes to the development of more comprehensive MCSs, or may even imply formalisation of
Research limitations: The study does not include an analysis of the extent to which employees
find MCSs useful in their work. This will be considered in future research. Another possible extension
of the project is to identify factors which enable the capturing of the dynamic character of
MCSs and their changes over time.
Practical implications: The knowledge of MCSs does not explain whether or not the strategic orientation
of a company stimulates a need for MCS. Such knowledge may be important to managers
who have to face Polish employees’ general aversion to control.
Originality: The study contributes to the limited body of knowledge in a scope of relations between
employees’ strategic awareness and control mechanisms in Polish mSMEs.