This theoretical paper uses a complete review of organizational control configuration (OCC) literature to illustrate the innovation, complexity and dynamics of control in knowledge‐intensive organizations (KIOs). On the basis of interdisciplinary analysis of the extant literature on OCC, the paper offers a comprehensive look at the “control pathway” taken by the various KIOs. By means of this integrative review of existing theory and research, the paper argues for greater attention to KIOs' control rationales in OCC theory and research. In doing so, it offers a comprehensive conceptual framework for the study of control in KIOs and suggests a number of propositions for future research.