Management control systems (MCS) can be defined as a set of procedures and processes that influence the behavior of managers to help ensure that they act in the best interest of the organization and its goals. In the extant literature the choice of MCS has primarily been studied from a contingency perspective. According to this perspective, a firm’s MCS choice is determined by the context in which the firm operates. Context is traditionally measured by contingent variables like the firm’s external environment, strategy, technology, size and industry. With this PhD dissertation I respond to Chenhall’s (2003) plea to study MCS choice not only from a contingency perspective, but to complement this perspective with alternative approaches to organizational functioning. To this end I extend the traditional contingency framework with an additional contingent variable: historical performance (chapter 3), and I combine the traditional contingency framework with ideas from upper echelons theory (chapter 4) and agency theory (chapter 5). I use survey-based evidence from small and medium-sized enterprises to test a number of hypotheses, which are grounded in contingency, upper echelons and agency theory. The empirical findings reveal that the alternative approaches considered in this dissertation play a significant role in explaining MCS choice in addition to the traditional contingent variables.