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School of Business | Department of Accounting | Accounting | 2013
Thesis number: 13484
A multiple case study examining the adaptive processes of beyond budgeting
Author: Nick, Atte
Title: A multiple case study examining the adaptive processes of beyond budgeting
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Accounting
Academic subject: Accounting
Index terms: budjetointi; budgeting; rahoitus; financing; laskentatoimi; accounting; johdon laskentatoimi; managerial accounting; ohjausjärjestelmät; control systems
Pages: 82
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13484.pdf pdf  size:3 MB (2774466)
Key terms: beyond budgeting; management control systems
The objective of this study is to examine what moving beyond budgeting means, and to estimate the feasibility and radicalism of its ideas. More specifically, this study aims to derive a framework illustrating the ideal features of the entirety of management control systems in the setting of beyond budgeting, and then use it to compare the proposals to the arrangements independently made by the case organizations outside the orbit of beyond budgeting advocates. The objective is thus to understand how organizations use other management control systems to complement budgeting, and simultaneously to discuss the idealizations of beyond budgeting.

The framework used in this study is built on the basis of Malmi and Brown's (2008) conceptual typology of management control systems working as a package. The reviewed literature combines different streams of literature outside and within the field of management accounting, and examines the case descriptions related to the practices of a recent explicit beyond budgeting adopter. The empirical part is qualitative multiple case study in nature, where the practices of two Finnish publicly listed case companies are being examined. The used data was collected through semi-structured interviews during the fall 2013.

The developed framework contains the normative prescriptions of the beyond budgeting literature for the control package design, arranged around three sets of control. When it is being used to analyze the practices of the reviewed organizations, the results are twofold: Firstly, the case companies are observed to have arranged their control systems to mitigate the budget-related problems largely in a similar way as suggested in the beyond budgeting literature. Secondly, it is found that not even the practices of the explicit beyond budgeting adopter meet all the proposed ideal features of beyond budgeting.

The findings of this study suggest that despite the principles are already being largely in use in each of the reviewed organizations, beyond budgeting is unable to answer to the organizations' call of adaptive cybernetics. It is also concluded that the question should be more about moving beyond the problems of budgeting, instead of moving beyond the budgets altogether.
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