Span of control and temporal disaggregation of performance reports are two important control system elements that jointly determine the benchmarks that managers have available when evaluating employees’ performance. Using an experiment, we investigate whether widening managers’ span of control and temporally disaggregating performance reports affect managers’ evaluation decisions. We predict and find that managers with a wider span of control evaluate their best performing employees more favorably and their worst performing employees less favorably. We also find that disaggregating performance reports, i.e., providing quarterly performance figures in addition to annual performance figures, has a negative effect on managers’ evaluations of their best performing employees, but only when their span of control is wide. We discuss the implications of our findings for management accounting research and practice.

Data Availability: The data and research instrument are available from the authors upon request.

JEL Classifications: M10; M40; M50; D91.

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