Performance Measurement and Management Control: Global Issues: Volume 25

Cover of Performance Measurement and Management Control: Global Issues

Table of contents

(23 chapters)

This book collects representative papers from the sixth conference on Performance Measurement and Management Control held in Nice, in September 2011. The conference has been running every two years since 2001 with increasing participation each edition. The number of participants as well as the quality of the papers highlight the relevance of this topic in the evolving world of organizational management.

Purpose – As corporations and capital markets become more global, it is increasingly important to understand the differences in corporate governance practices.

Approach – This chapter provides a framework for the implementation of corporate governance that can be used globally for study and adaptation. It also describes three corporate governance systems (Anglo-American, Communitarian, and Emerging Markets) and provides an analysis and comparison of how the framework for corporate governance is applied differently, and how success should be evaluated differently, in these three systems. Lastly, it considers the possibility of convergence toward a global system of corporate governance.

Practical implications – There is significant heterogeneity in corporate governance worldwide but there are universal aspects, such as roles, responsibilities, inputs, and processes, which result in effective corporate governance. Understanding the similarities and differences enables researchers and managers to work with multiple systems in different countries where corporations and stakeholders have varying objectives, structures, and internal and external determinants.

Value of chapter – This chapter presents a comparison of the three systems that is critical for further study of global practices. Additionally, the internal and external determinants that impact the varying corporate governance systems are analyzed to more carefully consider the performance measures that account for differences in objectives, motivations, and performance.

Purpose – This chapter reviews the challenges faced by top management teams as they strive to create corporate cultures that combine a high performance with a strong sense of integrity.

Methodology/approach – The chapter integrates diverse theories from organizational research and cognitive psychology, as well as published accounts of ethical breakdowns, to shed new light on the barriers to corporate integrity.

Findings – The chapter distinguishes between two major types of ethical breakdowns.

Conscious transgressions, where the individuals know what they should or should not do, but choose nonetheless to follow the unethical path, a decision that they then need to rationalize and which often places them on a slippery slope.

Unconscious transgressions, where the individuals do not even realize that they are making an inappropriate decision, as they fall prey to ethical fading or to other cognitive biases.

Practical implications – The chapter proposes that top management plays a key role in establishing a climate where employees can speak up, emphasizing the importance of all stakeholders, and investing in training to increase awareness of the cognitive biases that support transgressions.

Social implications – The chapter recommends that management educators must alert students more forcefully to the personal and organizational repercussions of “minor” ethical transgressions; increase student awareness of key cognitive concepts, including ethical fading and other mental biases; and highlight the possible dysfunctions of intuitive remedies, like incentives or rules and regulations.

Originality/value of chapter – The chapter provides a clearer analysis of the causes of ethical breakdowns, allowing for more effective prevention.

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to present a state of the art of performance measurement and management control systems based on the papers presented in the 6th Conference on Performance Measurement and Management Control in Nice, France, 2011. The chapter is structured around two main topics: performance measurement and control systems.

Methodology/approach – The chapter is based on a thorough review of all the papers presented at the conference. Each paper was classified according to the topic it dealt with and the methodology used in the paper.

Findings – We structure the papers around the following topics: cost measurement and management, mapping the landscape, financial measures, nonfinancial performance frameworks, performance measurement design, sector-specific measures, and marketing measures within performance measurement. The topics identified in management control systems are compensation, management control systems' design, motivational aspects, strategy, risk management and enterprise software, governance, nonprofit organizations, and innovation.

Research limitations/implications – The chapter provides a comprehensive review of these topics. The review is limited to the selection bias implicit in the papers submitted to the conference. However, with almost 200 papers, the conference includes a large set of papers and topics. The analysis indicates that the field is dynamic with close connections to practice and promising research lines.

Practical implications (if applicable) – This state-of-the-art review reveals relevant research findings for companies and organizations. It also indicates that the research community is tackling important issues to society and the evolution of research promises to offer interesting alternatives to tackle these problems.

Social implications – Performance measurement and management control systems are important topics for management. Recent work is extending the implications of these fields beyond companies to include nonprofit organizations and public sector departments. Advances will definitely shape the way societies are designed.

Originality/value of chapter – The chapter provides a review of the field based on the contributions at the conference. As such it portrays the state of the field and gives researchers as well as practitioners a quick way to update their knowledge of the topics that are dominating the field.

This chapter proposes a contingency model that examines the most relevant contingent variables for understanding the factors that explain innovative costing techniques in a sample of firms investing in advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT firms). Furthermore, the aim of this study was also to ascertain whether AMT firms use significantly innovative managerial practices (IMPs).

The chapter uses material from a survey investigation and interviews with financial directors and the survey was conducted using a sample of AMT firms selected from an Italian industry. The method differs from previous studies in that it considers the relationship between a relevant contingency variable of AMT firms (i.e. the levels of integration, but also environmental uncertainty and size) and various innovative costing, a relationship that has not been previously explored. The research was developed from the relevant literature.

The results indicate that there is no association between innovative costing and AMT firms in general, however the findings show that activity-based costing (ABC) is positively associated with fully integrated AMT firms. Large AMT firms have the highest percentage of innovative costing usage, such as ABC and strategic costing (SC). The relationship between AMT firms that perceive a high degree of environmental uncertainty and innovative costing was supported by the data in case of strategic dimension (target costing (TC) and life cycle costing (LCC)). Expectations of a relationship between AMT firms and IMPs, such as just-in-time (JIT), total quality management (TQM) and activity-based management (ABM), were not supported by the data.

We recognise that specific research limitations might reduce their generalisation, especially the number of statistical observations.

Purpose – The notion of output (Bouckaert, 2005; OECD, 2007) is more and more widespread in the performance measurement systems in the public sector. More generally, several reforms are promoting the implementation of key indicators such as management by objectives and quality management.

Our study introduces a first reflection about a performance measurement model of output based on the Theory of Constraints (TOC) in one public administration. The particularity of our model is the combination of theoretical design and practical implementation. Thus, an adjustment stage has been achieved in order to reach a realistic and sturdy model. It is also an opportunity to test the TOC indicators system, which is becoming prevalent in research activities (Davies & Mabin, 2009).

Methodology/approach – First of all, we present a literature review, which associates the concept of output, the TOC, and the notion of performance in a public administration. After that, we explain the design stage to define the key performance indicators.

During a two-month test phase, this measurement system was implemented in one public administration in Luxembourg; data were collected to draw up a dashboard. Subsequently, the model was adjusted in order to fit with the practice and observed cases.

Findings – We consider the limits of this measurement system, especially on certain aspects like the compliance with law. Furthermore, we show the major contribution of our model based on the TOC, which is to move from one local optimum to a global optimum.

Originality/value of paper – Thus, this publication highlights a model of performance measurement in a public administration, and the results of its implementation. It emphasizes the practical value of these indicators, the decision-making efficiency, and the appropriate level of use. The measurement model based on the TOC had a high interest for operational as well as for the managerial staff.

Purpose – The accounting literature has demonstrated increased concern over issues of sustainability. One of the most critical issues that corporations face at the moment is climate change. This especially concerns companies that are substantial consumers of materials and energy. Corporations have increasingly acknowledged that to address this issue the existing ways of managing business must be changed.

This study examines the challenges posed by measurement of energy efficiency performance in an energy-intensive industry. It covers the challenges encountered with respect to the energy efficiency indicator and its use as a management tool.

Methodology – The case study method was used to conduct the research, which took place in a single firm in an energy-intensive process industry.

Findings – The results indicate that the current energy efficiency indicator, specific energy consumption (SEC), does not meet the criteria for good performance measurement. In particular, the controllability of energy efficiency seems problematic. Another major challenge is target setting. Measurable targets are needed to identify and prioritise areas where consumption and emission can be reduced.

Practical implications – The study provides practical knowledge on what is happening in organisations that pursue sustainable development and in particular, environmental efficiency.

Originality/value – Although the conceptual challenges in energy efficiency measurement are well known in the technical literature, discussions dealing with its management have been few in number. This study is a cross-disciplinary work and combines technical energy efficiency literature and management accounting research on performance management.

Purpose – To describe the social process of building of an inter-organizational network and analyse the control practices implemented by its members.

Methodology/approach – The paper offers a holistic approach considering the institutional dynamics and management control practices in the network as a whole. This makes it possible to trace the development of practice variation, which is one of the most recent but up to now poorly studied problems in the field of institutional theory (Lounsbury, 2008). The paper draws on a case study of a newly established network of supply companies related to a petroleum project in North-West Russia.

Findings – Organizational arrangements in the network as well as corresponding controls are constructed as a result of interplay between several institutional logics such as Western network experience, international rules related to petroleum projects, the Soviet industrial background of the members, and their local community values. The controls demarcate organizationally members’ behaviour, and thereby define the conditions for practice variations. On the other hand, use of such controls over time leads to unintended consequences and control dilemmas. Facing these dilemmas, the network members address them differently, and therefore more practice variations are being created continually.

Originality/value of paper – The paper gives insight into an emerging business network, a setting normally neglected in the inter-organizational control literature, and establishes a dyadic view of management control, arguing that it both defines and creates conditions for practice variation.

Practical implications – Local supply chains play an important role in global petroleum projects. Decision-makers involved in petroleum projects will benefit from better understanding the cooperation processes prevalent in local industries.

Purpose – Resource-based literature argues that firms’ export performances are influenced by a proper combination of their own resources and capabilities, allowing for sustainable competitive advantages. Because export activities are usually based on relationships between firms and foreign intermediaries, the adequate management of inter-organisational activities should also be analysed as a key determinant of export performance.

Originality – Our research adds to the existing literature by examining the role that management control systems (MCS) play in exploiting firms’ exporting capabilities and resources to optimise export performance.

Methodology – Utilising empirical data from Spanish exporters, an initial analysis of export efficiency was performed based on DEA and segmentation techniques. From efficiency scores, we tested causal relationships between MCS design and use and the optimisation of resources and capabilities when performing export activities.

Findings and practical implications – The main conclusions are that any type of control system was found to have a positive influence in export performance, but only social control establishes a difference in terms of efficiency. The results show that strong social controls increase firms’ efficiencies when managing export channels, allowing firms to achieve outputs superior to competitors with similar resources and capabilities. In addition, an efficiency ‘lifecycle’ was identified for relationships between exporters and intermediaries. A pro-cyclical effect was found among MCS design, use, and export efficiency; intense MCS were established in the first stages of a relationship but were relaxed after a certain level of efficiency was achieved, leading to a reduction of efficiency in the long term that compromised the continuity of relationships.

Purpose – Interorganizational cost management among companies can lead to significant cost reductions. However, the determinants of the implementation and long-term use of open book accounting as a tool in interorganizational cost management still remain unclear. We contribute to the academic literature by examining the influence of different determinants on the propensity to use open book accounting.

Design/methodology/approach – We conduct an experiment and use a covariance-based structural equation model to analyze the influence of the amount of the initially offered cost information, the offer of a relation-specific asset, and the relative power structure. The model introduced in this paper also integrates aspects of user acceptance that are derived from the Technology Acceptance Model.

Findings – The results demonstrate that both groups of variables have a significant effect on the willingness to use open book accounting. We also show that users of a management device are influenced in their choice by the perceived ease of use of the instrument; yet the extent to which open book accounting can help them achieve their goals (perceived usefulness) has an even stronger influence.

Research limitations/implications – Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the determinants that lead to the successful implementation of open book accounting as an interorganizational cost management tool, and help companies to avoid pitfalls during the implementation process.

Originality/value – This is the first study to analyze the simultaneous influence of different situational and attitudinal determinants on the propensity to engage in interorganizational cost information exchange.

Purpose – Since risk management is crucial for achieving strategic objectives in a complex and uncertain environment and its effectiveness relies deeply on efforts to create a risk-conscious culture, this study aims at understanding whether risk management can be promoted and reinforced by the use of performance-based monetary incentives given to Board members and top managers.

Methodology/approach – This study is explorative in nature and investigates four case studies based on document analysis and semi-structured interviews with risk managers.

Findings – Results show that some companies have already adopted risk measures in incentive schemes. At the same time all interviewees agree with the usefulness of linking traditional performance-based monetary incentives to risk management objectives in order to improve the effectiveness of the latter and to create a risk-aware culture. However, the difficulty in identifying proper measures has been underlined.

Practical implications – The study confirms the feasibility of linking risk dimensions to reward systems and suggests that firms should move in this direction. The study also outlines and proposes some possible measures to reward managers.

Limitations – This study views risk as measurable and managerially actionable and focuses only on incentives while acknowledging the use of other mechanisms that can contribute to the creation of an informed risk culture. Furthermore, the integration of risk management with other management control systems and accounting instruments has not been analyzed.

Value of the paper – This study addresses firms and their stakeholders’ need to make top managers more accountable for risk in their decision-making.

Purpose – This research aimed to study the relationship between Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and performance improvement.

Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was used as an instrument of data collection that was passed to managers of nonfinancial companies listed among the 500 largest and best firms in Brazil. The data from this study were analyzed with descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis of correlation and association.

Findings – The results showed that the main drivers of risk management were regulation, stakeholder demands, and business competitiveness. Among the practices that have been used, managers spotlight the utility of basic methods, more subjective, while technical methods, more quantitative, were of secondary importance. It was evidenced that the risks were weighted in the main activities of the organization. As a result, it was demonstrated that improved performance is associated with the maturity level of risk management and the level of stakeholders’ involvement in risk management.

Research limitations/implications – Other researches could examine how this process was developed in other countries and expand the number of organizations studied.

Practical implications – This study provides empirical evidence about theorist assumptions about the relationship between ERM and performance improvement.

Social implications – This study demonstrates the importance of human aspects for the processes of risk management and how external factors can influence this process.

Originality/value – It gives a broader and deeper comprehension of the process of risk management at nonfinancial firms in Brazil.

Purpose – Accounting research has long shown the effect of subjectivity in performance evaluation. This study investigates one form of subjectivity in performance evaluation: flexibility in weighting performance measures examining decisions made by supervisors about weighting. Empirical studies show that the performance-measure weights are only partially consistent with the predictions of the agency theory and they are a still outstanding issue.

Methodology/approach – We develop an experiment to analyse supervisor decision-making, manipulating two factors: internal organisational interdependence and the level of managerial performance. We derive hypotheses along with both economic and behavioural approaches. The economic approach is based on agency theory predictions and the controllability principle while the behavioural approach is drawn on the organisational justice theory. We argue that in low interdependence contexts the supervisor's decision confirms the agency theory predictions, while in high interdependence conditions weighting decisions could be driven by behavioural considerations of fairness perceptions of the evaluation process and the level of managerial performance.

Findings – We find that in low interdependence contexts the supervisor's decision confirms the agency theory predictions, while in high interdependence contexts it does not. The results indicate that the supervisor's decision stems from the integration of economic and behavioural perspectives.

Research and social implications – The theoretical framework can be useful for interpreting the supervisor decision-making and the weighting process.

Originality – The economic and behavioural approaches allow us to understand flexibility in weighting performance measures suggesting that, in addition to economic considerations, a behavioural perspective may also be relevant in explaining subjective weighting.

Purpose – The controllability principle has attracted considerable attention in performance management research. Whereas this discussion hinges centrally on a conception of human motivation, findings from psychological motivation research on intrinsic motivation have not received attention yet. Addressing this research gap, this chapter analyzes the effect of perceived controllability on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and thereby on work effort.

Methodology/approach – We conducted a vignette study with undergraduate students of an accounting course in a German University in early 2009. Each participant was confronted with a written description of a hypothetical business situation (a vignette) on which the participants should base their further answers. These vignettes also contained a description of a remuneration system. Among other things, the degree of this remuneration system's controllability was varied from vignette to vignette. After reading the vignette each participant was instructed to answer some questions regarding his/her willingness to exert additional effort in the described situational context and the motivational reasons behind this willingness.

Findings – The study exhibits that a lack of perceived controllability has a negative impact on extrinsic, but also on intrinsic, motivation and thereby on work effort.

Originality – The findings put the current discussion into a broader perspective, as they suggests that adherence to the principle of controllability is not only warranted given the impact on extrinsic motivation as discussed in large parts of the literature but also for intrinsic motivation.

Purpose – The adoption of performance measurement and evaluation systems comprising nonfinancial measures has rendered the investigation of behavioral consequences of such measures an increasingly important research issue. The purpose of this study is to investigate the process by which the use of nonfinancial measures affects employees’ perceptions of procedural fairness. It proposes that the effects of nonfinancial measures on procedural fairness are indirect through the mediating variables of (1) job relevant information and (2) role clarity.

Methodology – Data collected from a survey of 276 managers in different functional areas are used to test the models. The data are analyzed using structural equation modeling (Partial Least Square).

Findings – Results from structural models indicate that the use of nonfinancial measures has a positive impact on job relevant information, role clarity, and procedural fairness. In addition, the findings suggest that the use of nonfinancial measures is indirectly related to procedural fairness through job relevant information and role clarity. Specifically, the results indicate that the use of nonfinancial measures affects job relevant information. Job relevant information then influences role clarity. Role clarity, in turn, is positively related to procedural fairness.

Value of paper – This study provides systematic empirical evidence on how the use of nonfinancial measures for performance measurement and evaluation can affect employee perceptions of procedural fairness. It helps organizations to understand how this process occurs and provides them with some assurance that the adoption of nonfinancial measures may be beneficial particularly through the higher information content of such measures and the consequential enhancement of employee role clarity and perception of fairness. By studying the effects of nonfinancial measures, in isolation, this study also helps to demonstrate to organizations that some of the beneficial effects on employee outcomes found by prior management accounting studies involving a combination of financial and nonfinancial measures may be achievable from the use of nonfinancial measures alone without the need of financial measures. This may assist organizations in designing simpler performance measurement systems.

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to examine the hypothesized effects of board characteristics and performance on directors’ compensation in the Spanish corporations, whose corporate governance is a special example of a unitary board system.

Methodology/approach – In order to test the influence of a set of factors on directors’ compensation levels, we have developed several models based on linear panel data regression. The sample included 76 listed companies on the Spanish computerized trading system or Continuous Market for the period 2004–2009.

Findings – The control mechanisms, like board characteristics and performance and their effect on the level of directors’ compensation, depend on the types of director (executive, independent and proprietary).

Research limitations/implications (if applicable) – This study has certain limitations mainly related to problems associated with obtaining information. The methodology should be complemented by other types of analyses, such as the influence of the characteristics of the board on the remuneration structure in a greater level of disaggregation.

Practical implications (if applicable) – The results of this research chapter give reasons to regulators and investors to be aware of the importance of the board's characteristics as corporate control mechanisms over the directors’ remuneration and the necessity of connection between directors’ compensation and the firm's performance.

Originality/value of paper – Firstly, descriptive empirical evidence on the level of directors’ compensation is provided within a unitary board system for different types of directors. Secondly, an ample panel data set enables the examination of a set of determinants using panel data methods which control for unobserved firm heterogeneity. Finally, the perspective is extended from executive director compensation to other types of directors, such as proprietary or independent, which are very important features of the Spanish board structure.

Purpose – In the last decades, Italian healthcare organisations have been subject to important normative changes, aimed at increasing their efficiency. As a response, performance measurement and evaluation (PME) systems have been introduced. The present study attempts to examine PME system changes as institutional processes. In studying such processes the healthcare literature acknowledges the presence of two logics: managerial and professional, as peculiar to healthcare settings, whose convergence or divergence can explain the success of any institutional process.

Design/methodology/approach – We adopt Busco et al.'s (2007) framework as an approach for unbundling PME system change into four relevant coordinates, namely: (1) the object (PME system), (2) the subjects (institutional forces), (3) the place and time of change (the managerial and professional logics) and (4) the how and why change happens (change as an institutional process). We conducted a longitudinal case study at a large teaching hospital in Southern Italy, directed to interpret PME system changes during the period from 1998 until 2009.

Findings – Our observation distinguishes episodes of successful institutional processes, where the introduced innovations are transformed into objectivated practices, from episodes of missed institutionalisation, where new procedures were rapidly abandoned.

Research and social implications – This theoretical framework can be useful for interpreting the PME system changes in different institutional contexts.

Originality – The Busco et al.'s framework allows us to understand PME system changes by integrating the perspectives from Neo-Institutional Sociology, representing healthcare organisational responses to external institutional pressures, and Old-Institutional Economics, conceptualising PME system changes as an institutionalisation process.

Purpose – Accountability and performance measurement have become an important and urgent subject for nonprofit organizations (NPOs) as they encounter increasing competition from others agencies, all competing for governmental funding. This case study investigates how multiple stakeholder interests are incorporated into information systems to provide stakeholders with useful information, which contribute and make easier the assessment of the organization performance.

Methodology/approach – The paper draws on a combination of in-depth interviews with NPO managers, extensive documentary analysis, and participant observation in order to understand and explain how managers use accounting information. The study was conducted as a qualitative single case study of a large Portuguese NPO. Managers were inquired about their information uses and needs to evaluate the NPO performance and make decisions. The result of these interviews was complemented with the analysis of several documents of the NPO.

Findings – The subject of performance measurement for nonprofit organizations is extensive but generally inconclusive, because NPO lack the simple elegance of a financial measure, such as profitability, used by for-profit organizations to assess their performance. In such a context, this research provides empirical insights, and allows us to propose a framework that complements financial indicators with nonfinancial indicators.

Research limitations/implications – Because of the chosen research approach, our results may not be generalized and therefore researchers are encouraged to test the proposed framework.

Cover of Performance Measurement and Management Control: Global Issues
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Studies in Managerial and Financial Accounting
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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