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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2012

Bob Lillis and Marek Szwejczewski

The purpose of this paper is to close the gap between theoretical approaches to strategic operations auditing and empirical analysis of practice in service organisations…

2065

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to close the gap between theoretical approaches to strategic operations auditing and empirical analysis of practice in service organisations. Through analysis of the two different views of strategy formulation – environment‐market and resource‐based – the paper aims to provide insights on how strategic operations audit methods are being used and under what circumstances.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study methodology was employed which involved a three‐stage data collection and analytical process. Its purpose was to identify how strategic operations audit methods were being used, why they were used and the particular circumstances of their use. Trails of operational improvement within each of six case studies show links between service operational activities, the benefits achieved by the improvements and the formulation and/or execution of each service company's business strategy. These trails of improvement provided a means by which to reveal some of the strategic operations audit methods being used. In addition, interviews and analysis of supporting documentation ensured the complete set of methods being utilised was identified.

Findings

The results indicate three main findings. First it is recognised that the service companies all look to adopt a top down approach to strategic operations auditing and seek to maintain, and where possible, gain greater strategic impact from their service operations. Second, the competitive state of the business impacts the choice of strategic operations audit method used. All companies studied employed an environment‐market method to assess operations – market fit. Only when a company is confident of its competitive position will managers then look to also devise a resource‐based method in order to assess its current ability to nurture new capabilities to exploit. Third, companies use a variety of integration techniques to verify on‐going cohesion across infrastructural decision‐making categories of the content of service operations strategy. The assessment of cohesion within service operations strategy takes place within subsets of the content of the strategy. The authors did not find integration techniques that hone structural decision categories or service operations strategy as a whole. The results also show that methods used by managers are pale imitations of the rigorous procedures originally devised by researchers.

Practical implications

Service operations managers possess inadequate understanding of how the application of a strategic operations audit method should be made and limited ability to undertake the audit in a structured and meaningful way. A strategic operations audit methods selection process is put forward to remedy this. The process acknowledges that the choice of a particular method is contingent on the stage of development of the company's service operations strategy. It guides managers through the decision‐making process of what strategic operations audit method to use and when managers should be using it. The message for academics is that new resource‐based methods need to be created that are accessible to managers and relevant when service operations strategy has successfully evolved to the point where greater influence is being sought from it in the formulation of business strategy.

Originality/value

An empirical study within service operations management of the practice of strategic operations auditing is rare. The paper's findings begin to address the gap between theory and practice. The paper presents revisions and additions to the operations manager's tool kit of strategic operations audit methods and culminates in a selection process to guide managers on which tool to use and when.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 32 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Daniel A. Verreault and MaryAnne Hyland

To communicate the development and results of strategic human resource management (HRM) research to the audit research community in order to stimulate audit research…

5561

Abstract

Purpose

To communicate the development and results of strategic human resource management (HRM) research to the audit research community in order to stimulate audit research specific to HRM audits.

Design/methodology/approach

Prior research that served as impetus for this paper is discussed. The findings of other studies are presented to make a case for the business impact of strategic human resource management practices.

Findings

Studies on the competitive environment of firms, theoretical development in HRM, empirical work on the link between HRM practice and firm performance, and emerging models based on intellectual capital, suggest that there are compelling reasons for internal audit to devote substantial resources to the evaluation of strategic risk in HRM audits.

Research limitations/implications

The literature is still developing. The literature presented here is not an exhaustive list and does not include all findings, but rather what we perceive to be the most important findings.

Practical implications

Both “high performance work systems” and “strategic fit” should guide internal audit in planning, designing audit programs, and executing strategic audits of human resources consistent with the risk management paradigm.

Originality/value

This paper bridges a gap between the human resource management literature and the internal auditing literature.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

MaryAnne M. Hyland and Daniel A. Verreault

Presents a model for analyzing the potential for value creation of the internal audit (IA) function, the human resource management (HRM) function, and the IA‐HRM pairing…

5412

Abstract

Presents a model for analyzing the potential for value creation of the internal audit (IA) function, the human resource management (HRM) function, and the IA‐HRM pairing. A survey of 161 chief audit executives indicated that virtually all IA functions are risk managing in their audit approaches, while a great majority of HRM clients are also moderately or strongly strategic in their outlook. Findings included that a productive working relationship was strongest when a risk m anaging IA function is paired with a strategic HRM function. Also, the IA planning process was found to be more strategic in the presence of the same pairing. Analysis of written examples of strategic findings related to HRM supplied by the respondents suggested that there may be a significant gap between auditors’ knowledge of strategic HRM practices as developed in the literature and their self‐reported examples. Future research should use both HRM and IA responses to reduce bias. Additonally, there is a need for case studies of the IA‐HRM partnership.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 18 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Steven Dellaportas, P.W. Senarath Yapa and Sivakaran Sivanantham

The purpose of this paper is to examine and evaluate the internationalisation of Australian auditing standards by analysing the submissions to the Auditing and Assurance…

3014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine and evaluate the internationalisation of Australian auditing standards by analysing the submissions to the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board's (AUASB) strategic directions paper (SDP) and comparing the proposed and approved strategic directions frameworks of the AUASB.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of the submissions to the SDP is conducted to identify the extent of support, and arguments for and against the proposed strategic directions. This study attempts to find a link, if any, between the proposed strategic directions, the views expressed by the stakeholders, and the final set of strategic directions issued by Australia's Financial Reporting Council.

Findings

Overall, the final set of strategic directions released in April 2005 are consistent with the views expressed in the submissions, which support minimal divergence from International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and using the ISAs as the base for developing Australian auditing standards. Major changes from the SDP include a requirement for the AUASB to undertake research and monitor auditing standards issued by national standard setters. However, the AUASB is no longer obliged to contribute to the international standard arena and need only have regard to any program initiated by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study provide an insight into the future of Australia's role in the international arena and increase awareness of stakeholders' views on the international harmonisation of auditing standards.

Originality/value

While there have been several studies examining the international harmonisation of accounting standards, there is comparatively little research on the international harmonisation of auditing standards. This paper attempts to address this void, in part, and contribute to the literature on the convergence of auditing standards with ISAs.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1992

Peter J. Mellalieu

If strategic planning is to have a valuable impact on anorganization′s performance, dispassionate analysis of the plan isobligatory. In a limited context, auditing the…

2302

Abstract

If strategic planning is to have a valuable impact on an organization′s performance, dispassionate analysis of the plan is obligatory. In a limited context, auditing the strategic plan involves examining the extent to which the plan is being implemented as originally conceived. In a broader context, strategic auditing should also help to identify improvements to the strategic management process itself so the internal auditor might audit: the process used, the plan immediately after it is produced and its implementation three to six months later, and the control and regulatory systems in place to ensure the process is effective.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1986

Michael P. Mokwa

Marketing is innovative thinking and inventive doing for many organizations. Most noncommercial organizations and small businesses are exploring formal marketing concepts…

1036

Abstract

Marketing is innovative thinking and inventive doing for many organizations. Most noncommercial organizations and small businesses are exploring formal marketing concepts and methods for the first time. Industrial and high technology companies are becoming more sensitive to their customers and competitors and, therefore, to marketing efforts. Environmental uncertainty and pressures have challenged conventional practices in traditionally marketing‐oriented industries such as retailing and packaged goods.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Article
Publication date: 17 November 2021

Asogan Moodley, Barry Ackers and Elza Odendaal

The formal adoption of internal auditing within the South African public sector was made compulsory by the Public Finance Management Act, No. 1 of 1999. Despite internal…

Abstract

Purpose

The formal adoption of internal auditing within the South African public sector was made compulsory by the Public Finance Management Act, No. 1 of 1999. Despite internal auditing’s primary role of adding value and assisting organisations to accomplish pre-defined strategic objectives, the increasing frequency of service delivery protests in South Africa, suggests that mandatory internal auditing may not have contributed to improving public sector performance and enhancing service delivery, as envisaged. This paper aims to identify the factors preventing internal audits from effectively contributing to improved public sector performance and service delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a sequential mixed-methods research approach. Firstly, a survey instrument was used to collect empirical data from survey respondents at South African national government departments. Secondly, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were held with a purposively selected sample of participants to explore the observations from the first phase. The observations from the first two phases were validated through an analysis of pertinent documents and records.

Findings

Despite all departments adopting internal auditing, management’s expectations of internal auditing and the services provided by the internal audit function diverged. The results suggest that the emergence of a compliance approach to organisational governance together with poor performance management skills has impaired internal auditing’s ability to effectively contribute to strategic and performance management.

Research limitations/implications

Despite its South African orientation, as internal auditing is a global association and given that service delivery protests continue to occur in several countries around the world, increases the study’s international relevance. Moreover, the mandate of internal auditing requires it to add value to an organisation irrespective of its geographical location.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the existing body of knowledge on internal auditing, particularly its adoption and implementation in the South African public sector. In addition to identifying the factors inhibiting effective internal auditing, the study advances a suggested framework for the future of internal auditing.

Details

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 19 May 2010

Keith L. Jones

Ethics play an important role in society; however, many economics models assume that individual players act “economically” rational and ignore situations where an…

Abstract

Ethics play an important role in society; however, many economics models assume that individual players act “economically” rational and ignore situations where an individual may forgo economic benefit for the public good. This chapter models the strategic interaction between auditors and management and allows for management to choose the economically irrational outcome of behaving ethically even when doing so defies their own financial self-interest. One of the model's assumption is that a certain percentage of managers do not engage in a “strategy” to misreport their financial statements because doing so is “unethical”. If recent accounting scandals are indicative of an ethical crisis in this country, this model offers hope because an increase in the percentage of unethical mangers leads to a decrease in fraudulent reporting. The model also illustrates the effects of an increase in the rewards for committing fraud (e.g., greater numbers of stock options, restricted stock, and accounting-based performance incentives) and an increase in the penalty for detected fraud (e.g., stiffer penalties for fraud from Sarbanes–Oxley).

Details

Ethics, Equity, and Regulation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-729-5

Article
Publication date: 1 September 1997

Colin W. Fuller

Two case studies in health and safety management identified key performance indicators that reflected a company’s overall performance obtained from a full benchmarking…

10247

Abstract

Two case studies in health and safety management identified key performance indicators that reflected a company’s overall performance obtained from a full benchmarking audit. An intra‐company benchmarking audit, comparing operational health and safety management performance was completed within 12 semi‐autonomous subsidiaries of a large national food manufacturer. A significant (r = 0.985) positive relationship was obtained between ten operational performance indicators and overall performance. The key factors were found to have a common theme relating to employer‐employee openness in communication on health and safety issues. An inter‐company benchmarking audit comparing strategic health and safety management performance was completed within eight companies in the small, multi‐site retail sector. A significant (r = 0.988) positive relationship was obtained between ten strategic performance indicators and overall performance. The key factors did not have a common theme but there was evidence that integration of health and safety management into long‐term business decision making was a strong factor.

Details

Benchmarking for Quality Management & Technology, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1351-3036

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Nathalie Brender, Bledi Yzeiraj and Emmanuel Fragniere

This paper aims to investigate management auditing, a thorough examination of an organization and the management in place, through an empirical research to gather data…

1835

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate management auditing, a thorough examination of an organization and the management in place, through an empirical research to gather data about how management audits are perceived and implemented among Geneva’s (Switzerland) business community. The board of directors is in charge of a corporation’s overall supervision. The internal auditing function works under the aegis of the board to ensure that the directors will properly execute their responsibilities as defined by corporate governance rules. Management auditing could thus be used to improve corporation performance. However, management audits are not commonly used or referred to as a tool to address corporate governance. Findings enable the authors to both explain why management audits are not commonly used or referred to as a tool to address corporate governance and generate related research hypotheses.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors rely on an ethnographic study aimed at exploring perceptions of management audits in service companies from the Geneva region. This study is based on transcripts from 85 semi-directed interviews, conducted over a three-year period, of professionals with managerial and auditing backgrounds. The economic context during these three years was consistently characterized by the Swiss and international financial crises, ensuring that the findings remain comparable over this time period.

Findings

This paper identified three main factors that influence the integration of management audits into corporate practices: the degree of acceptance of the tools and requirements of management audits, the national culture and values embodied in the practice and the degree of corporate governance maturity. This paper presents the findings in the form of hypotheses that can be tested on any adoption of good corporate governance practices – not on management audits alone.

Research limitations/implications

Notwithstanding the limitations due to its nature and extent, this study’s main limitation is its lack of validation of the hypotheses. In further research, the authors intend to use a quantitative survey to validate the research hypotheses and make statistical inferences.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature because it is, to the authors’ knowledge, the first study to empirically examine the significant link between management audits and corporate governance. The findings could be interesting for an international audience because they indicate possible action points that boards of directors can leverage to carry out management audits. The findings also bridge a gap between the literature on management audits and the expanding role of the internal audit function. This study also examines the way companies – in the Swiss context – understand, perceive and may be ready to apply management audits as a good corporate governance practice.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 30 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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