Advances in Management Accounting: Volume 18

Table of contents

(16 chapters)
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List of contributors

Pages vii-viii
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AIMA intends to provide authors with timely reviews clearly indicating the acceptance status of their manuscripts. The results of initial reviews normally will be reported to authors within eight weeks from the date the manuscript is received. Once a manuscript is tentatively accepted, the prospects for publication are excellent. The author(s) will be accepted to work with the corresponding editor, who will act as a liaison between the author(s) and the reviewers to resolve areas of concern. To ensure publication, it is the author's responsibility to make necessary revisions in a timely and satisfactory manner.

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Introduction

Pages xv-xviii

This volume of Advances in Management Accounting (AIMA) begins with a paper by Bento and White. This exploratory study aims at identifying the main characteristics of strategic performance measurement systems that influence the system outcomes and firm performance. Using data from nearly 2,000 companies in a wide range of industries, they employed path analysis and stepwise regression to test the model, and found empirical support for the model. The strategic performance measurement systems have a significant effect on human resource practices and business results. The degree of balanced scorecard adoption, the impact of the systems on human resources, and the use of nonfinancial performance measures were found to have the most effect.

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This exploratory study aims at identifying the main characteristics of strategic performance measurement systems (SPMS) that influence SPMS outcomes, which, in turn, impact firm performance. Using data from 1,990 companies in a wide range of industries, we employed path analysis and stepwise regression to test the model. We found empirical support for the model, in that SPMS have a significant effect on human resource practices and business results. The degree of BSC adoption, the impact of SPMS on human resources, the purposes for which the SPMS were designed, and the use of nonfinancial performance measures were found to have the most effect on the impact of the SPMS on business results.

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This study on the airline industry covers the period from 1990 to 2006 and finds that “complaints” is a leading indicator of future financial performance as measured by return on sales (ROS) one-quarter ahead. Results also indicate that this effect persists into longer-term future performance (i.e., the average of one-quarter and two-quarter-ahead) as measured by return on assets (ROA) and ROS. Findings also indicate that service recovery effort in reducing mishandled baggage, is associated with higher future financial performance as measured by one-quarter-ahead ROA. Similarly, service recovery efforts, in reducing mishandled baggage and complaints, are found to be associated with both short-term and longer-term future financial performance as measured by ROA or ROS. Nevertheless, this relationship diminishes when flights have a higher “load factor” (or higher enplanements). Literature on service operations states that although service failure (such as flight cancellations, delays, misconnections, mishandled baggage, or over boarding) can negatively affect customer repurchase intentions, employees' ability to diagnose and respond to problems at the critical moment can overcome negative effects of a service failure. This suggests that management should consider having trained frontline employees and flight attendants provide comfort, assurance, empathy, support, and assistance to customers following service failures. This should help to enhance repurchase behavior and brand loyalty thereby improving future financial performance.

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We examine the earnings management implications of using nonfinancial performance measures (NFPM) in executive compensation contracts. We argue and test that when a manager's compensation is based on financial and NFPM, he/she has less incentive to manipulate earnings to maximize compensation. Using panel data covering the period 1992–2005, we compare earnings management behavior for a sample of firms that used both financial and nonfinancial measures to a matched sample of firms that based their performance measurement solely on financial measures. The results are mainly consistent with a reduction in earnings management behavior for those firms that rely on NFPM in their compensation contracts.

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This study examines the impact of three cost accounting system (CAS) designs – traditional costing, activity-based costing, and time-based accounting – on manufacturing performance as measured in terms of demand fulfillment rate, cycle time, and net operating income – within a flexible, pull-production environment. A simulation approach allows for the direct comparison of these CAS designs under various scenarios. The introduction of supply and demand stochasticity, along with differing levels of product mix complexity modeled in environments with differing levels of manufacturing overhead burden, adds practical significance to the results. The fact that no single CAS outperformed along all performance measures has considerable implications for management accounting practice vis-à-vis manufacturing strategy, in particular for competitors in time-based industries. Also, this is the first known study to operationalize and test the theoretical time-based accounting methodology, further validating the efficacy of simulation methodologies in cost management contingency research.

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Capital budgeting decisions frequently go awry. We investigate whether the party gathering the data utilizes persuasive communications when presenting the information to a superior. Specifically, we analyze whether the information is framed differently depending on his or her opinion. Since prior research has shown that differential framing of the same information affects decisions this may be one contributor to capital budgeting failures. We found that participants did frame the information differently depending on whether they chose to accept or reject the project. Our control group, no decision required, was materially different from the reject group but not materially different from the accept group.

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The balanced scorecard (BSC) allows firms to place importance on both financial and nonfinancial performance measures in four perspectives for developing and implementing corporate strategy and performance evaluation. The BSC literature however provides minimal insight on how to set targets, how to weigh measures when evaluating managers and the firm, and how to resolve conflicts that arise in the BSC process. Researchers have attempted to fill these gaps using two contending approaches. In particular, Datar et al. (2001) uses an agency model to select the optimal set of weights and more recently Herath et al. (2009) develop a mathematical programming–based collaborative decision model to find the optimal (or approximately optimal) set of target and weights considering inputs from two parties. In this article, we apply the Herath et al. (2009) model to a detailed BSC example. We demonstrate how the collaborative BSC model can be implemented in Microsoft Excel by practitioners to minimize BSC conflicts. Finally, we discuss how the model facilitates alignment and a culture of open reporting (information sharing) around the BSC that is necessary for its effective implementation.

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Building on prior research linking stakeholder relationship quality with financial performance, we explore interorganizational engagement from a bilateral perspective, more fully representing the dynamics within an alliance. Interorganizational relationship quality and stakeholder management theory in healthcare and in accounting research provide the foundation for these insights.

While the study's findings demonstrate consistent views regarding the importance of relationship management and patient care, the two stakeholder groups hold divergent perspectives on how to accomplish these goals. Insurance executives take a population perspective, whereas physician practices focus their decision making at the patient level. The relative power and size between stakeholders was instrumental in how insurers chose to develop relationships with individual physician practices. These findings provide the nucleus for understanding reported frictions.

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While the idea of control packages goes back to the early 1980s, empirical management accounting researchers have been reluctant to examine this broader view of management control. Past research has addressed the use of management control for the organization as a whole, as well as for specific objects of control. While those objects of control typically involve information available for internal uses, we do not know much about the role of management control when the object of control is comprised of information intended to be disclosed outside the organization. This study aims to examine the role of a control package to manage web-based corporate reporting. More specifically, this study aims to examine the antecedents and consequences of a management control package related to web site content. The results suggest that perceived environmental uncertainty and stakeholder orientation are key factors that influence the extent of use of the management control package. Moreover, the extent of use of a management control package is associated with the quality of web site content but not the quantity of information disclosed.

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DOI
10.1108/S1474-7871(2010)18
Publication date
Book series
Advances in Management Accounting
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-84950-755-4
Book series ISSN
1474-7871