The hospital sector in Norway has been continuously reorganized since 2002 and the reforms have created organizations that are functionally/vertically controlled, whereas the production lines are coordinated on a process or a lateral basis. The purpose of this paper is to focus on both the perceived functional vertical control and horizontal controls within and between the local hospitals and the regional administrative levels.
A national survey study, complemented with interviews of some key informants and document studies.
The study shows that the functional and vertical lines of management control are perceived to be operating according to the traditional views of management control. The study indicates that the horizontal tasks are not very well implemented, and we did not find interactive and lateral uses of management control systems for managerial purposes.
New control problems arise when services are to be coordinated between autonomous units.
The paper focuses on the control problems found within the horizontal, flat relationship between production units in hospitals; new organizational structures have emerged where lateral relations are important, but traditional control practices follow functional, vertical lines.