The effect of enabling controls on learning-by-doing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Firms use behavioral controls to direct employees’ attention to task-relevant information to improve learning-by-doing and task performance. We investigate whether combinations of enabling control features (repair and internal transparency, flexibility and internal transparency) improve learning. Because controls are imperfect, prior studies argue that employees should have the opportunity to override (flexibility) or adapt (repair) the controls. However, the added cognitive burden of overriding and adapting the systems will hamper immediate performance and learning if the purpose of the controls is not clearly explained to the employees (internal transparency). In an online experiment, we find that the combination of repair and internal transparency improves performance but not the combination of flexibility and internal transparency. We attribute the latter effect to the need to continuously pay attention to the controls with flexibility, while controls can be changed permanently with repair.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 Management Accounting Section Midyear Meeting
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Conference, IMA Doctoral Colloquium, and CGMA Teaching Symposium
PublisherAmerican Accounting Association
Number of pages47
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Event2021 Management Accounting Section Midyear Meeting - Virtual
Duration: 5 Jan 20219 Jan 2021


Conference2021 Management Accounting Section Midyear Meeting


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