Management control systems
: a case study on a portuguese law firm

  • Maria Manuel de Mendonça Amaral Lima Delgado (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The present study was carried out as part of the curricular internship in the management control department in a law firm in Portugal, between September 2021 and February 2022. This study aims to analyse which management control tools are most used in the legal practice in Portugal. The legal industry in Portugal is very institutionalised and has undergone little external change, limiting the space for innovation. However, this panorama has experienced some changes (S. S. Samuelson, 1989). Through a qualitative case study of the legal industry in Portugal, this paper shows how management control systems have been adapted, through digital tools and artificial intelligence, putting the dominant logic under threat. Through a questionnaire conducted by the ROOX company that characterises the legal industry in Portugal, it is possible to conclude that law firms do not use the potential of Business Process Management and Business Intelligence in their management performance, although there is an awareness for their use. This work contrasts the conservative vision of law firms with innovative practices that the firm under study has been adapting. Consequently, this work contributes to our understanding of digital innovation and digital transformation within highly institutional industries, as well as the interaction between the enterprise resource planning system and the management control system leading to an improvement in firm performance.
Date of Award15 Jul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJosé Miguel Pereira dos Santos de Oliveira (Supervisor)


  • Management control systems
  • Service industries
  • ERP
  • Portuguese law firms
  • Business process management
  • Business intelligence


  • Mestrado em Economia Empresarial

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