Behavioral control theory attempts to explain how controllers can ensure controlees work towards controller goals. Prior studies underinvestigate organizational self-control, and produces mixed results. This paper theorizes and elaborates on the construct of organizational self-control, and how controllers can encourage controlees’ organizational self-control. Organizational self-control differs from “personal” self-control in that organizational self-control focuses on getting another individual (e.g., employee) to exert self-control to perform a controller’s task. Consonant with the personal self-control literature, we argue organizational self-control comprises (self) goals, (self) monitoring, and willpower. We further argue organizational self-control is a mediator between external controls (formal and clan control) and controlee performance. While the literature considers external controls’ influence on one’s goal and self-monitoring, it does not consider external controls’ impact on willpower. We demonstrate through a case study in product development that how control is enacted can impact willpower positively, leading to positive control outcomes.
Liu, Gloria H.W. and Chua, Cecil E.H., "Investigating Organizational Self-control: A Willpower Perspective" (2016). International Research Workshop on IT Project Management 2016. 16.