Management control systems dilemma: Reconciling sustainability with information overload

Bruce R Neumann, Eric Cauvin, Michael L Roberts
Advances in Management Accounting, Volume 20, pp. 1-28.

In the growing debate about designing new management control systems (MCS) to include stakeholder values, there has been little discussion about information overload. Stakeholder advocates call for including more environmental and related social disclosures but do not consider how information overload might impair the use and interpretation of corporate performance measures. As we know, shareholders and boards of directors are most concerned with market data such as earnings per share, dividend rates and market value growth. In this chapter we assert that management control system designers must consider information overload before expanding MCS to include social and nonfinancial disclosures.