Performance Measurement and Management Control: The Relevance of Performance Measurement and Management Control Research: Volume 33

Cover of Performance Measurement and Management Control: The Relevance of Performance Measurement and Management Control Research

Table of contents

(11 chapters)



While balanced scorecards, strategy maps, and causal linkage models have been applied extensively by profit organizations over the last two decades, a similar approach to analysis, called logic models, has been increasingly applied by non-profit and other social-purpose organizations. This chapter provides a discussion of the basics of logic models and shows their application in three different settings, which include personal improvement, the social impact of business schools, and corporate governance. The chapter also provides an extensive discussion on field research and a case study of a leading international business school, wherein logic models were applied followed by social impact measurement. Finally, the chapter includes suggestions for future research that is needed to improve the applications of logic models and social impact measurement and the success of social-purpose organizations including business schools.



This study examines the relationship between the motives for balanced scorecard (BSC) adoption and the development and use of the BSC. We expect that a stronger focus on economic adoption motives is associated with full development of the BSC and its integration into the performance measurement and control systems of the firm. In contrast, we expect that a higher focus on legitimacy as a motive for adoption leads to loose coupling of the BSC with the control systems of the firm. We expect legitimacy as a catalyst to BSC adoption leads to a lower level of BSC development and use, which enables the organization to keep the environment satisfied, but does not influence processes within the organization.

The data are obtained from a web-based survey with 88 useful responses of firms indicating that they use the BSC. The study investigates the relationship between the motives for BSC adoption (economic and legitimacy) and the development and use of the BSC. The results provide evidence for the hypothesis that economic motives for adoption positively affect the development of the BSC. In addition, the results partially support the hypothesis that legitimacy motives negatively affect the use of the BSC. When legitimacy comes via the mechanism of mimetic isomorphism, it has a negative effect on use of the BSC. Surprisingly, however, legitimacy has a positive effect on use when it comes via the mechanism of normative isomorphism.


Internal control mechanisms are fundamental to organizational governance; particularly, to the agency relationship associated with decentralization of decision rights. Management accounting and organizational literatures provide conflicting predictions on the association between decentralization and internal controls, with some research arguing that internal controls be tightened to mitigate the risks associated with greater decentralization of decision rights while other work avers that tighter internal controls defeat the purposes of decentralization. In this chapter, we argue that managers choose these two organizational design variables jointly. Capitalizing on a unique database of control practices in the purchasing and payment process within the procurement function, this chapter examines the relationship between control tightness – a critical characteristic of internal controls – and decentralization. Using a simultaneous equation model, the study finds that decentralization and internal control design are endogenously determined. Tight control is negatively associated with the level of decentralization, while decentralization has a positive effect on the tightness of control. These results reconcile the apparently contradictory results relating these two variables. The chapter also finds that decentralization and tight control mechanisms operate both independently and synergistically to improve performance.


Our study investigates the relationships between risk management systems (RMS), strategy and organizational performance. The existing research has extensively studied the effect of strategy on organizational performance. There is also a growing body of literature suggesting that RMS positively influence the achievement of organizational objectives. However, there are only a few conceptual papers (and no empirical evidence) on the relationship between strategy and RMS. We investigate whether different strategy types (defender, analyzer, prospector, and reactor) induce different levels of RMS development and, hence, affect performance indirectly, as well as directly. We use regression analysis and survey data to test the proposed relationships. Our results confirm the direct effects of strategy type and RMS development on performance. We confirm that prospectors perform better than defenders, analyzers, and reactors across five measures of performance (profitability, sales growth, market share, new product development, and customer satisfaction). We also find that companies with more developed RMS perform better in terms of non-financial performance (measured by new product development). Contrary to the prevailing evidence, we do not find significant results for financial performance. Moreover, our findings show that there is no mediating effect of RMS development in the relationship between strategy type and performance. This implies that RMS and strategy act as independent variables, each individually affecting organizational performance.


This study establishes a baseline evaluation of sustainability reporting (SR) and integrated reporting (IR) practices among groups of companies globally using a combined evaluation matrix. We evaluate a sample of high performance companies (HPC), global reporting initiative (GRI) companies, international integrated reporting committee (IIRC) companies, and a control group of companies that do not belong to any of these groups. We test for high performance and compliance with a 30-point evaluation matrix for financial reporting, corporate governance, integrated disclosure, SR, and assurance developed from the standards set by GRI and IIRC. This chapter provides evidence as to the current IR and SR states, and shows that considerable variation exists even among companies that have pledged to improve reporting in this arena. The analysis also shows that companies that belong to no special group do in fact score on a level that shows that SR and IR standards are being implemented by many companies in the world, not just those in special groups like the HPC, GRI, and IIRC. Finally, this study provides direction for global regulators and professional associations, and to the management of companies that aspire to HPC status while meeting the IR and SR standards.


In order to shed light on the implications of the business intelligence (BI) for management accounting (MA) and decision making, this study investigates as to how the use of the BI affects the production, transmission, and reception of performance measures (PM).

To investigate the issue at hand, a case study of an Italian company is carried out. The case study method is deemed suitable to explore the complex, penetrating, and unpredictable relationship between BI and PM.

The case analysis shows that the use of the BI can affect the production of PM by leading the organization to frame PM into an indicator setting. Moreover, the BI can affect the transmission by introducing a new, “visual” approach for presenting PM to decision makers, which is also relevant in the reception as a mobilizing factor.

This study contributes to improving the understanding of BI implications for MA and decision making, which is still limited in the accounting academia. Additionally, this research adds to extant knowledge about the relationship between measurement and management; more specifically, it contributes to understanding the “fate” of PM.

Furthermore, the findings illustrated in this chapter can be relevant from a practical point of view: by showing the role that BI solutions can play in producing and transmitting PM, the study shows the potential contribution of the use of the BI in managing and overcoming problems arising in these phases, favoring the use of these measures.


We develop and validate measurement instruments for the business partner, watchdog, and scorekeeper roles of controllers. This study addresses calls to enhance the quality of survey research in management accounting by devoting more attention to scale development and especially to construct validity. By focusing on the activity sets of the controllers’ roles, we provide a theoretically and empirically grounded picture of their current roles. The measurement instruments presented in this study enable systematic research progress on controller roles, their relationships, antecedents, and performance outcomes.



Notwithstanding the relevance of managerial control systems (MCS) in any organization, as well the distinctive role they can play in family business, due to its specific features, the literature rarely dealt with the role and characteristics of MCS in family business. Taking into account previous contributions from different disciplines (organization, management accounting, and family business), the current work aims to better understand the state of the art about research in the field of MCS in family business in order to identify main research gaps and propose future research directions.

Forty-five articles have been analyzed, which were issued in 29 sources. Research findings show that the literature on MCS in family business is limited and not very conclusive. Some authors focused on the type of controls, other authors outlined the role of MCS in managerialization and the relation with professionalization. A few studies focused on some specific mechanisms, especially strategic planning and compensation. Some contributes dealt with MCS’ determinants and impacts. Differences between family and non-family firms were proposed. However, a clear and organized picture of the features of MCS in family firms, their determinants, and impacts has not yet been developed. Particularly, the impact of the distinctive features of family business on MCS represents an underdeveloped research field along with how MCS can be differently developed and used in different kinds of family firms. In the light of findings of the literature review, we propose a reference research framework on MCS in family business.


This chapter explores the development and the role of accounting for research quality in Australia’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment exercise. It tracks the progress of performance measurement systems from quantitative to qualitative measurement within the Australian higher education sector since 1970, leading up to the implementation of a formal ERA in 2010, and its subsequent iterations in 2012, 2015, and 2018. Although only a part of the ERA submissions, now certain published research outputs provide the primary evidence for research quality to most ERA panels and are a significant driver of the final rating awarded. Before the authors assess the 2018 exercise, they will examine the ever-changing role of journal publications as a vehicle for academic research output.


This study investigates the stability of the “hospital effect” on performance over time by administrative health data as a source of evidence. Using 78,907 heart failure adult records from 117 hospitals in the Lombardy Region (Northern Italy) over three years (2010–2012), we analyzed hospital performance in terms of 30-day mortality and 30-day unplanned readmissions to gather evidence about the stability of the “hospital effect.” Best/worst performers were identified through multi-level models that combine both patient and hospital covariates. Our results confirm that managerial choices affect hospital performance, and that the “hospital effect” is not, contrary to expectations, stable over the short term. Performance improvement/worsening over the three years has been also analyzed.

Cover of Performance Measurement and Management Control: The Relevance of Performance Measurement and Management Control Research
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Studies in Managerial and Financial Accounting
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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