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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Nicolas Berland, Emer Curtis and Samuel Sponem

The Beyond Budgeting movement has argued that traditional budgets failed to contribute to the management of tensions associated with the increasing complexity of business…

Abstract

Purpose

The Beyond Budgeting movement has argued that traditional budgets failed to contribute to the management of tensions associated with the increasing complexity of business models. The literature has reported a range of budgeting practices developed to address these problems, which the authors refer to collectively as “non-traditional (NT) budgets.” The purpose of this paper is to consider how the design and use of a NT budgeting system facilitates the management of multiple organizational tensions.

Design/methodology/approach

The study reports the findings of an in-depth case study on three business units (BUs) of the French chemical giant SSB, a company that implemented a NT budget inspired by the Beyond Budgeting Round Table model.

Findings

The authors provide detailed empirical insights into the design and use of a NT budgeting system and analyze the manner in which the new system exposes organizational tensions across multiple axes.

Research limitations/implications

It is a limitation of the study that only three of SSB 21 BU’s which implemented the NT budget project were examined in depth. This limitation is mitigated to some extent by the review of audit reports in respect of the implementation of the NT budget in a total of 15 BU’s.

Practical implications

The study contributes a means of analyzing NT budgets in terms of the different types of organizational tensions generated, which should be of use to both researchers and practitioners in researching, designing, and evaluating NT budgets.

Originality/value

This study provides detailed empirical insights into the design and use of a NT budgeting system and evidence of the success of this system in exposing organizational tensions across multiple axes. The study illustrates how productive tensions can be generated through the analysis of discrepancies between alternative views of organizational performance.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2018

Moez Essid and Nicolas Berland

This paper aims to analyze the organizational capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools in eight large French firms. The analysis also…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the organizational capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools in eight large French firms. The analysis also examines the antecedents that contributed to the emergence of those capabilities and the consequences of their involvement in terms of environmental management.

Design/methodology/approach

To analyze the organizational capabilities deployed when environmental management tools are adopted, this paper takes an exploratory approach based on a qualitative study of eight large French firms.

Findings

The findings show how organizational capabilities, dynamic and ordinary, are operationalized in the adoption of environmental management tools. This operationalization is made possible by internal and external antecedents and simple and complex routines. The findings also identify two possible configurations of organizational capabilities, each one leading to a specific form of environmental management. The first configuration leads to stand-alone environmental management systems, while the second succeeds in engendering integrated management systems. This study shows that this difference is explained by heterogeneous endowments in terms of antecedents across firms.

Practical implications

The study provides useful information for managers about the conditions that favor and facilitate adoption of environmental management tools and the ways these conditions operate.

Social implications

The study illustrates the impact of society on large firms’ adoption of certain environmental management practices. It shows that external visibility – which has created strong societal pressure – is one of the external antecedents that led eight large French firms to develop specific organizational capabilities.

Originality/value

In analyzing the antecedents, routines and capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools, the study adds some original, innovative contributions to current knowledge on the conditions for adoption of such tools.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2008

Vassili Joannidès and Nicolas Berland

The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on “Remaining consistent with method? An analysis of grounded theory research in accounting”, a paper by Gurd.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on “Remaining consistent with method? An analysis of grounded theory research in accounting”, a paper by Gurd.

Design/methodology/approach

Like Gurd, the authors conducted a bibliographic study on prior pieces of research claiming the use of grounded theory.

Findings

The authors found a large diversity of ways of doing grounded theory. There are as many ways as articles. Consistent with the spirit of grounded theory, the field suggested the research questions, methods and verifiability criteria. From the same sample as Gurd, the authors arrived at different conclusions.

Research limitations/implications

In our research, the authors did not verify the consistency of claims with grounded theory. The authors took for granted that the article authors had understood and made operational the suggestions of the founders of the method.

Practical implications

The four canons of grounded theory can be considered as reference marks rather than as the rules of the method. Accordingly, the researcher is free to develop his or her own techniques and procedures.

Originality/value

This paper stimulates debate on grounded theory‐based research. On the other hand, it conveys the richness and the variety of interpretive research. Two similar studies, using similar samples and methods, arrive at different (divergent) conclusions.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2008

Nicolas Berland and Marie‐Claire Loison

The purpose of this study is to focus on the policy of corporate social responsibility (CSR) launched in the chemical industry in the 1980s and known as “Responsible Care”…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to focus on the policy of corporate social responsibility (CSR) launched in the chemical industry in the 1980s and known as “Responsible Care” (RC). The debate surrounding this issue prompts us to question the ever‐changing nature of this policy and the way to measure the performance achieved.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings are drawn from analysis of a double set of data including a longitudinal survey and a current case study. Blending these two data sets allows a better understanding of the ongoing building process of “RC” and, more broadly, of CSR.

Findings

This paper asserts that, contrary to the common wisdom developed in research, companies do not simply react to stakeholder pressure. Companies autonomously develop ways to protect their environment and so contribute to changing society's expectations. Thus, performance cannot be read without a dynamic perspective in mind.

Research limitations/implications

The authors' findings lead them to reconsider the assessment of companies' sustainable performances by taking into account the fabricating process of sustainable activities. The main limitation of this research stems from the single unit of analysis considered. Broader studies will be necessary to enrich our understanding of corporate policies.

Originality/value

The paper stands apart from the traditional view of organizations as cynical actors and attempts to provide a more complex picture of the behaviours observed.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Vassili Joannidès and Nicolas Berland

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the sociology‐of‐science type of accounting literature, addressing how accounting knowledge is established, advanced and extended.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the sociology‐of‐science type of accounting literature, addressing how accounting knowledge is established, advanced and extended.

Design/methodology/approach

The research question is answered through the example of research into linkages between accounting and religion. Adopting an actor‐network theory (ANT) approach, the paper follows the actors involved in the construction of accounting as an academic discipline through the controversies in which they engage to develop knowledge.

Findings

The paper reveals that accounting knowledge is established, advanced and developed through the ongoing mobilisation of nonhumans (journals) who can enrol other humans and nonhumans. It shows that knowledge advancement, establishment and development is more contingent on network breadth than on research paradigms, which appear as side‐effects of positioning vis‐à‐vis a community.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is twofold. First, ANT is applied to accounting knowledge, whereas the accounting literature applies it to the spread of management accounting ideas, methods and practices. Second, an original methodology for data collection is developed by inviting authors from the network to give a reflexive account of their writings at the time they joined the network. Well diffused in sociology and philosophy, such an approach is, albeit, original in accounting research.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 27 March 2009

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 6 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Daniel A. Wren

The purpose of this paper is to trace the European and British activities of Wallace Clark and his consulting firm with public sector agencies and private firms implement…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to trace the European and British activities of Wallace Clark and his consulting firm with public sector agencies and private firms implement Henry L. Gantt’s chart concept.

Design/methodology/approach

Archival records and secondary sources in English and French.

Findings

Developed to meet the shipbuilding and use needs for the Great War (World War I), the Gantt chart was disseminated through the work of Wallace Clark during the 1930s in numerous public sector and private organizations in 12 nations. The Gantt concept was applied in a variety of industries and firms using batch, continuous processing and/or sub-assembly lines in mass production. Traditional scientific management techniques were expanded for general management, such as financial requirement through budgetary control. Clark and his consulting firm were responsible for implementing a managerial tool, the Gantt chart, in an international setting.

Research limitations/implications

Some firms with which Clark consulted could not be identified because the original records of the Wallace Clark Company were disposed of by New York University archival authorities. Industries were identified from the writings of Pearl Clark and Wallace Clark, and some private or public organizations were discerned from archival work and the research of French and British scholars.

Originality/value

This is the first study of the diffusion of a managerial tool, developed in America by Henry L. Gantt, into Europe and Britain through the contributions of Wallace Clark.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 February 2008

Yvon Pesqueux

Abstract

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 September 2018

Delphine Gibassier, Jonathan Maurice and Charles Cho

Abstract

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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