Degree Name

Master of Commerce (Hons.)


Department of Accountancy


This study posits that in an organisational context, a contingent relationship exists between the variables of performance, environment, control and strategy. A random sample of general insurance companies was initially contacted by telephone. Utilising a contingency framework and the Miles & Snow (1978) strategic typology, three companies, identified as a "prospector", a "defender" and an "analyser", participated in this study. Data for the three case studies was collected from executive officers and other staff using an indepth survey, questionnaires and interviews. Analysis disclosed that the firm representing the "prospector" type out-performed the other firms. This was surprising given the findings reported in the literature. Secondly, the strategic type influenced management perception. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, corporate culture was maintained in accordance with the adopted strategy and control system. Finally, cost analysis and control characteristics presented inconsistencies which warrant future research.



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