Management control is an essential function of management to ensure that the organization’s objectives and strategies are carried out effectively. Once organizations reach a certain size, it becomes difficult for senior staff and other leading managers to give detailed instructions on how to perform certain tasks. Management control mechanisms are then important to guide the managers in the company, so that they contribute in the best possible way to the total value creation of the company.

In this course, we will first discuss why and how firms grow, in order to understand why management control systems are required. We will then study different mechanisms to achieve control, i.e., people controls, action controls and results controls. We discuss, for example, what responsibilities each unit in the organization should have, what goals to set for the units, how to measure the value creation of the units, how to incentivize members of an organization, in particular, what are the difficulties and different tools to achieve the overall organizational goals. Additionally, the course also deals with control-related issues, e.g., the dysfunctional effects of control system tightness or using management control systems to spread good ethics within an organization.

Any questions?

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Sabine Krüger

+49 69 798 33512


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Course Format

This course is offered in the part-time Master in Finance program and may be attended on a “no credit” basis by individuals not enrolled in the program. Course participants are visitors who are not responsible for assignments and do not take an exam or earn academic credits. As the number of seats in the course is limited, we recommend to register online early.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the rationale for deploying Management Control Systems.
  • Distinguish causes of management control problems.
  • Design and evaluate appropriate and comprehensive management control systems (e.g., choice of controls, system tightness, or control system costs).
  • Analyze financial performance and implement typical instruments in the context of financial control (e.g., compensation controls, budgeting,…).
  • Understand the controllability problem and the need to control for uncontrollable factors within the presentation of performance results.
Key Concepts

Application of the management control package: people controls, action controls and results controls

Performance evaluation and presentation of performance results


Dr. David Heller

David Heller, Senior Research Fellow at Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich, studied economics and management at universities in Hamburg, Valencia, and Frankfurt, before receiving his Ph.D. in economics at Goethe University for his essays “On the Economics of Innovation and Corporate Finance”. He was a visiting researcher at Hamburg Institute of International Economics (2014), Deutsche Bundesbank (2017), and New York University, Stern School of Business (2019). His research interests are in the fields of corporate finance and innovation economics, particularly entrepreneurial- and SME finance, IP-backed finance, innovation and science policy, and investment theory.

Key Facts

Course materials

Course materials will be provided in electronic form.




Campus Westend of Goethe University Frankfurt.

Certificate of participation

A GBS certificate of participation is awarded upon completion of the course.

Course Fee

€ 950 (fee is exempt from VAT). The fee for GBS students or alumni amounts to € 400.

Course Schedule
Date Session
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