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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2007:1:
THE LONG RANGE DYNAMICS OF FINANCIAL CONTROL. The Royal Dramatic Theatre and its costs over a century

Lars Östman ()

Abstract: In September 2006, the book Lysande ögonblick och finansiella kriser (Splendid Moments and Financial Crises) was published. In large part, it is a narrative about the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm during the 20th century: about actors, productions, attendance, relations to the audience, critics´ views and physical resources, dealing especially with financial processes and their importance. It is a systematic description of a long chain of events and situations, manager by manager. In the paper below, there is a summary of the theatre´s story from an economic point of view. Of course, this story is unique in several respects but many classical control issues and general tendencies are also present. Thus, the description of this specific case is the vehicle for discussing financial control mechanisms of overall importance. In particular, the issue of time as a vital variable is addressed. The analysis pinpoints specific events, but also the contexts over time to which they belong. It emphasizes that the resource issue for an organisation involves a dynamic problem; that is the underlying character even if it appears in the form of financial crises on certain occasions. It also demonstrates a long-range interaction between outer and inner processes and, moreover, conflicts of interests.

Keywords: financial control; management control; long-term control; long-range cost structure; corporate governance; vertical control; horizontal control; short-term effects; strategic re-orientation; financial crisis; theatre; the Royal Dramatic Theatre; cultural economics; (follow links to similar papers)

31 pages, January 11, 2007

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