Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the budget, when split into a network of projects, can act as a management tool to balance control with creativity.
– A case study is used to discuss the budget in a large Norwegian festival. Simons’ (1995) concept of interactive use of budgets is applied for the analysis of empirical findings. Especially, the authors focus on the design and use of the budget and how it is aligned with the specific characteristics of festivals as economic organizations.
– The findings support earlier research which focusses on the need to balance between control and dynamic changes to successfully manage festivals. This study gives a detailed knowledge on how managers use budgets to combine management control with creativity and dynamic adaptions.
– This study contributes to a detailed understanding of how managers can use budgets as tools to stabilize between uncertainty, creativity and control.