Controllo interno e di gestione nella prospettiva del valore

Internal control and management control in the value creation perspective.

Each economic entity is aimed at generating value and durability. Various control tools are prepared. The management control continuously verifies the results achieved in comparison with the budget objectives. The internal control system and the enterprise risk management oversee the conditions for the achievement of the corporate objectives. The above control systems are often considered as separate entities. It is a paradox; both preside over the orientation towards value, objectives and efficiency. A strong commitment to the homogenization of control instruments is therefore necessary. Starting from this consideration, the VII Workshop of the magazine proposed, in Cagliari on 24 and 25 May 2018, the theme “Management control and internal control: value creation and stakeholders’ protection”. The presented papers dealt with the suggested themes, but they ranged on the various topics of interest to the magazine. The present issue presents seven selected articles that deal with internal control and managerial control, the definition of scenarios in strategic planning, the management rationale in non-profit foundations and the use of social media in Italian museums.

Keywords: internal control and management control, CoSo Report.


Enterprise Risk Management e Management Accounting Systems in una Banca di Credito Cooperativo

Enterprise Risk Management and Management Accounting Systems in a Mutual Credit Cooperative Bank

In the last years, it is acknowledged a growing perception of risk. A direct consequence is the increasing of a generalized legislation with peaks in the financial industry. Laws, practices and perceptions shape the concepts of risk and risk management up to the recent integrated and holistic risk management framework (i.e. ERM). Moving from the literature that investigates how ERM integrates the management accounting systems (MAS), the paper investigates the relationships between ERM and MAS and how these relationships affect the decision-making processes in an Italian Cooperative Bank, Banca of Alba. The results point out some factors that make effective the integration between ERM and MAS at Banca of Alba. First, the presence of process owners who guide the integration and who receive a full commitment from the top managers. Second, an IT system that supports the needs of users, and third, a corporate culture in which all the members are aware of the intrinsic meaning of information for decisions and the related risks. These factors favor the integration of ERM and MAS stimulating a high interest of users. Managers adopt the integrated information for the daily decision-making.

Keywords: Enterprise Risk Management, Management Accounting Systems, Bank


Traditional management accounting tools in SMEs’ network. Do they foster partner dialogue and business innovation?

This paper aims to understand whether traditional management accounting tools (e.g. financial statement, reclassification and contribution margin analysis) contribute to foster dialogue and innovation in business networks composed of SMEs. Through the analysis of a case study, the paper focuses on a contractual network operating in the paper&print sector in Italy. Framing the analysis in the Simons’ construct (1990 and 1995), who distinguishes between diagnostic and interactive controls, the paper provides insights on the use of management control in inter-organizational settings, arguing that the traditional accounting tools can play an innovative role in network success. The contribution of the paper is on the ongoing debate on which functions, accounting information and MCSs may play in networks. In particular, findings shed light on the need to adapt the distinction between “diagnostic” and “interactive” in the network setting, given the horizontal and non-hierarchical relationships between the units involved.

Keywords: business innovation, horizontal networks, diagnostic control, interfirm relationships, accounting tools


Sistema di Controllo Interno e prevenzione delle infiltrazioni della criminalità organizzata

The Internal Control System and prevention of organized crime infiltrations

The widespread diffusion of organised crime clans into the legal economies makes harder for private organisations working in the public sectors to conduct an appropriate financial and reputational assessment of third parties (such as partners, suppliers and customers). To prevent the attempts of infiltration of organised crime groups in the business, ignoring the adoption of appropriated tools may lead to company disqualification from the practice of commercial activities in the public sector. As a consequence, company image and stakeholders value creation processes can be irreparably damaged. Based on such remarks, the paper aims to verify if the internal control system can act as an effective barrier to prevent the attempts of infiltration of organised crime groups in legitimate businesses. To test such a hypothesis, an action research was conducted in a company operating in North-Italy. Research findings show that the design of an internal control system able to promptly assess the risk profiles associated with company strategies can support decision makers to identify which relationships might pose the greatest threat to their organisation sustainable business development.

 Keywords: Internal control system, infiltrations of organized crime, integrated risk management system, business development.


Controllo di gestione nelle PMI e consulenti esterni

Management control in SMEs and external consultants

The issue of management control in small and medium-sized enterprises has long been the subject of scientific debate, as well as a key point of professionals’ interest. Starting from the recognition of the role played by the latter, this paper aims to investigate the type and level of dissemination of management control tools in SMEs by adopting the perspective of external professionals, namely, Public Chartered Accountants and Accounting Experts who are called to support the  entrepreneurs  in implementing these tools. The analysis of prior literature allowed us to acknowledge the gaps in the diffusion of management control systems  among SMEs and the weaknesses  that affect the consulting services provided by small accounting practitioners. Therefore, to further deepen this area, still under investigated, we performed an exploratory survey on a territorially circumscribed sample (Central-Southern Italy) of  professional accountants registered in the National Order. Findings point out a professional approach mainly focused on the provision of traditional services (i.e. accounting and tax services), despite the awareness of the need to promote a broader consulting action that includes the adoption of appropriate management control tools, thus contributing to enhance the managerial culture of SMEs.

 Keywords: management control system, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public chartered accountants and accounting experts, small accounting practitioners.


Scenarizzazione e pianificazione strategica nei contesti complessi

Scenarization and strategic Planning in complex contexts

The paper aims to discuss the supporting role of the scenario planning methodology in strategic planning activities. The topic has been at the centre of the scientific debate on the strategic management field for over 40 years, and is addressed through a wide variety of approaches, which led to the stratification of a robust but extremely varied theoretical body. At the same time, the empirical research comes to contradictory and not very versatile conclusions.

In the light of the aforementioned considerations, the objective of this work is twofold. On the one hand, the analysis of papers on scenario planning published since 1996 in the ANVUR journals within the “13/B1” scientific sector. The research and analysis of the papers made it possible to identify four recurring central themes: the role of scenario planning, the interconnection of time frames, the process of scenario planning and the types of scenarios. On the other hand, the design of a conceptual framework that aims to provide the fundamental coordinates for the setting of empirical research that investigate if and how scenario methodology is able to support the strategic planning process in complex contexts. In particular, the framework explicates different roles according to the different conditions of firm and environmental complexity.

 Keywords: Scenario planning, complexity, management control tools, strategic control, strategic planning.




La Filantropia nelle Fondazioni: Determinismo Manageriale Vs Solidarismo Civico

Philanthropy in the Foundations. Managerial determinism Vs Civic solidarism

Researches on foundations’ strategic approach can be broadly classified into two areas. A first body of literature focuses on the deterministic impact that foundations can cause if and when managerially governed. A second body of researchers investigate the solidarist and cooperative role of foundations’ action in supporting the prosperity of other nonprofit organizations. This study relies on a survey administered to the decision makers of the main Italian foundations and investigates the extent of adoption of the two reference models identified in the literature (more deterministic and more solidaristic) and their relationship with performance, governance mechanisms, and strategic profile. Findings show that determinism is associated with higher performances. However, solidarism emerges as a widely adopted model, not unable to bring positive social results. This paper contributes to the current debate on strategic philanthropy conceiving it as the result of the progressive contamination between the deterministic and managerial approach of neoliberalists, that has dominated the beginning of the century, and a more nuanced solidarist and progressivist approach, that characterized nonprofit organizations’ global action since their initial growth.

 Keywords: Strategic philanthropy,Government activities, Control systems




Governo delle aziende e creazione di valore: da una prospettiva finanziaria ad una prospettiva economico-sociale

Corporate Governance and Value Creation. From a financial perspective to an economic-social perspective

“Value creation” is an expression that assumes a strong symbolic meaning with reference to the whole process generating value, i.e. the process which starts with value management, and ends with the measurement and communication of value created. But the question is: which “value” has to be considered? Moreover, in which perspective such a “value” has to be managed, measured, and communicated?

The questions are relevant and, in our opinion, they are also interrelate: a different perspective in which value is considered determines a different concept of value and, consequently, determines a modification of the whole process of management, measurement and communication of value.Our strong conviction, that comes from the observation of the changes in the economic scenarios, is that value creation is moving from a financial perspective to an economic-social perspective. Therefore, we believe that the concept of value is also changing and that current theories are no longer adequate. On the other hand, we need to clarify what is the link between value creation, corporate governance (of all companies: profit and non-profit, public and private) and economic development.

Starting from the historical framework, and considering its current evolution, some considerations and reflections are carried out with reference to: 1) the economic and legal context that has determined the widespread concept of value in the financial perspective; 2) the crisis of the financial market that has recently determined the transition from the financial perspective to the economic-social perspective; 3) the opportunity to refer to this different concept of value by interpreting the sustainable economic development.

Keywords: value creation, management for value, performance measurement, corporate governance, sustainability


Stakeholder engagement: verso un utilizzo dei Social Media nei musei italiani?

Stakeholder engagement. Towards a use of Social Media in Italian museums?

Social Media (SM) are an important tool whereby organizations may build and strengthen relations with a variety of stakeholders. By doing so, SM (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) enable organizations to realize a two-way communication, so favoring a dialogue with their audience.

Previous researches have examined the use of these instruments in private, public and non-profit organizations. However, literature has so far devoted limited attention to the use of SM in the cultural sector and especially in museums. To this purpose, the paper aims to analyze the approach of Italian State Museums towards SM and furthermore to understand if, through SM, they actively seek stakeholder engagement (SE). In addition, in case of interaction or SE between museum and its stakeholders, the research aims to establish the prevailing approach which underlies the use of SM in the museum.

The results of the analysis show that, although Italian museums are turning to SM more and more often, their approach continues to be exclusively communicational as they do not attempt to involve and engage actively with users. In addition, the interactions between the museum and its social supporters are very limited and, in the majority of cases, the attitude shown by the users is mostly collaborative rather than opposing.

Keywords: Italian State Museums, Social Media, Communication, Stakeholder engagement.



Il cambiamento dei sistemi di controllo manageriale e il processo di successione nelle imprese familiari. Quali possibili relazioni?

Exploring the relationship between management accounting change and succession process within family firms

During the last decades, within accounting research, several authors have analyzed management accounting change (MAC) adopting different theoretical frameworks and investigating multiple contexts. However, few contributions from both accounting and family business scholars have dealt with this theme adopting the perspective of family firms and considering their specific characteristics.

This article aims to shed light on the distinguishing features of MAC in family firms in relation to processes of succession. Adopting the Actor-Network Theory, this study combines insights offered by the debate on family businesses and MAC with the empirical findings of a longitudinal case study, in which the researchers were directly involved in constructing a new management accounting system.

By exploring the process of construction of the new MA system and the evolution of the succession process, this article shows interplays between the two processes. It also shows how heterogeneous actors (human and non-human) may influence the development of MAC. Given the family nature of the business and the focus on succession, particular attention is paid to the figure of successor, including his goals and motivations, in order to better understand his role in the MAC process.

Keywords: Management accounting change, management control systems, family firms, succession, actor-network theory, longitudinal case study.

2_MC19.1_Sentuti SIDREA


Il controllo strategico nelle imprese familiari del settore vitivinicolo. Elaborazione di una proposta

Strategic control in family businesses in the wine sector. A case study.

Family business is among the oldest and most widespread organizational model. In Italy, many companies are family-run and among these, there are the oldest ones in the world. Most of them operate in the wine sector. In recent decades this sector has been recording numerous changes (Rossi, 2013) due to the different “geographical areas of vine cultivation” and to the various regulations that directly affect production activities. The internationalization processes and the presence of new producer countries (in the so-called “new world”: Chile, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, China, South Africa, United States of America and Russian Federation) determine new changes (Castriota, 2015). With this research, we intend to provide an empirical contribution, to highlight the importance of using strategic control models in small family businesses that operate in the wine sector. Through the direct observation of the activities performed by a typical family business, we investigate the application of a strategic control model to manage the specific characteristics of family businesses, considering the related information needs.

Keywords: family business, wine sector, management control, strategic control, BSC (balanced scorecard), KPIs, KRIs.



Managing uncertainty in the start-up environment. Is a business plan an incentive or a limitation?

The purpose of this paper, which participates in the lively debate between the Learning School and the Planning School, is to investigate whether a business plan can still support planning a start-up in uncertainty conditions. By analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the business plan process, we propose an evolution of such a process, through the use of simulation models, to manage uncertainty. Using simulation models, especially what-if simulations, the start-up founder is able to improve the cognitive process in order to assess the project’s feasibility. Furthermore, with simulation, business plan overcomes some of its traditional weaknesses and improves its strengths and opportunities. It can also become a training tool in the entrepreneurship programs promoted by public institutions. By integrating forecasting, planning and simulation models, the business plan can be more comprehensive and provides more information about the environment in which the start-up has to play the game. Thus, the business plan becomes “not just an evaluation of a project’s profitability, but also the future story of an idea, in which people are the central point of the success”.

Keywords: business plan, uncertainty, simulation models, decision making, start-ups


L’adozione dell’Activity-Based Costing nelle PMI: analisi di un caso

The adoption of Activity-Based Costing in SMEs. A case study

The work aims to identify the internal and external contingent variables that may influence the use of innovative management accounting tools in small manufacturing companies, to support decision-making processes in times of crisis, through the analysis of a case study, which illustrates in detail the process of designing and implementing the Activity-Based Costing (ABC). The research method used is the participant observation; in fact, the research group is directly involved in the design and implementation of the ABC and in the evolution of the Management Accounting System (MAS) for a relatively long period of time. The following contingent variables emerge as relevant and fundamental in promoting the innovation of the costing system: the global economic crisis that has severely hit the made in Italy sectors and in particular the furniture district; the competitive strategy strongly oriented to cost efficiency; the horizontal and flexible organizational structure, typified by direct and informal communication that facilitates innovative processes and should reduce resistance to change; the family governance, characterized by the entry of the 3rd generation of entrepreneurs, strongly oriented towards innovation but respecting the company tradition, and typified by new values that promote the culture of change, oriented towards a rational approach to decisions, proactive, no longer exclusively intuitive; the evolution of information technology at low costs; finally, stakeholders can play an important role in fostering innovation in SMEs, in particular, competitors and trade associations have contributed to create awareness of need for professional management. The university is a privileged stakeholder with which the company has established a relationship of mutual and lasting collaboration in support of the change process, thanks to its physical proximity.

 Keywords: costing, activity based costing, management accounting systems, innovation, SMEs

MC2019.5_Palazzi et al SIDREA


Full costing nelle aziende di igiene ambientale: un caso di studio

Full costing in waste management companies: a case study

This paper deals with companies operating in collection, treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste, that increasingly need to have a structured management control system. The aim is to provide an exemplification of the full cost determination of the provided services, supporting internal decision-making processes, as well relationships with external actors. A case-study has been realized focusing on an Italian waste management company having adequate features to represent a large part of the companies operating in the waste sector in Italy. In order to determine the services’ full cost we carried out the identification of cost objects and we continued with the distinction and attribution of direct and indirect costs to the various services. During the implementation of the cost accounting tools some critical issues emerged, for example connected with the fact that the provided services are not always connected with the organizational areas in which the company is structured. Moreover, considering the recent introduction of the cost analysis system, the company has not yet been able to exploit the informational benefits deriving from it. The system still needs to be perfected and to be integrated with strategic planning and management through subsequent organizational and accounting actions, in order to face the scenario’s changes introduced by recent legislation.

Keywords: waste management, full costing, management control

MC2019.1_6_ Cavallini_Tabelle


Legitimating efforts in Performance Plans. Evidences on the thoroughness of disclosure in the Italian Higher Education setting

he aim of this paper is to understand what factors affect the thoroughness of the information provided by Italian Universities in their Performance Plans. The recent reforms that characterized the Italian Higher Education led a full revision of the administrative apparatus. It not only encompassed a switch from cash accounting to accrual accounting, but suddenly gained wider strategic relevance, as attention is also devoted to the coherence between planning activities and reporting outcomes in order to ensure transparency and broader accountability. Hence, drawing on the legitimacy theory, we conducted a panel analysis with fixed effects on data gathered through a meaning-oriented content analysis of 132 Plans. The findings show that, early transition to accrual accounting, the adoption of management accounting tools and geographical position influence the thoroughness of disclosure towards specific accountability and legitimacy wishes. The findings offer noteworthy contributions not limited to the academic debate, but valuable for policy makers and practitioners.

 Keywords: Italian Universities, Performance Plans, disclosure, legitimacy, thoroughness

MC2019.1 Spanò SIDREA


La programmazione dei Ministeri nella nuova stagione della performance. Dalla burocrazia del-la performance alla performance utile

The scheduling of ministries in the new season of performance. From the performance bureaucracy to the useful performance

The Madia’s Reform about performance evaluation started a new season for the Italian Ministries in this topic, boosted by the Guidelines prepared by the “Commissione Tecnica per la Performance” and issued by the “Dipartimento della Funzione Pubblica”. The research has two main goals: 1) the former is to measure the quality of the performance plans for the years 2018-2020 in 6 experimental Ministries, enabling a comparison with the ones adopted in the years 2017-2019; the latter 2) is to investigate the enabling conditions for their useful adoption in the decision-making processes from the public management perspective. Briefly, the paper investigates whether a change from a performance bureaucratic approach to a useful performance management approach happened in the 6 Experimental Ministries regarding 2017-2019 and 2018-2020 performance plans. The work aims to answer the two questions by adopting an “action research” approach in a multiple case study research.

Keywords: Performance Measurement, Public Sector, Performance Plans, Performance Management

Figura – 3_Deidda

Tabella 2_3_4_Deidda

Tabella 5_6_7_8_9_Deidda



Management Control 3/2018


Management Control: il “gattopardo” per il governo aziendale

Maria Pia Maraghini

pag.    5
Management Control. A logical framework approach

Alessandro Musso, Souheil Jebabli, Abbas Ghorbani

»   13
La Business Intelligence e la Business Analytics nell’era dei Big Data: una analisi della letteratura

Ariana Petrosino, Daniela Mancini, Stefano Garzella, Rita Lamboglia

»   31
L’impatto dei Big Data sulle attività di pianificazione & controllo aziendali: un caso di studio di una PMI agricola Italiana

Sebastiano Cupertino, Gianluca Vitale, Angelo Riccaboni

»   59
High Performance Through Innovation Process Management in SMEs. Evidence from the Italian wine sector

Simona Alfiero, Laura Broccardo, Massimo Cane, Alfredo Esposito

»   87
Sistemi di controllo a supporto dello sviluppo sostenibile delle PMI del settore vitivinicolo: il caso D’Ambra vini s.r.l.

Maria Pia Maraghini, Gianluca Vitale

» 111

Preventing crises and managing turnaround processes in SMEs. The role of economic measurement tools

Anna Maria Arcari



Impatto della crisi economica su redditività e rischio finanziario delle imprese romagnole. Una cluster analysis

Stefania Vignini, Tiziana De Cristofaro

» 157
Mission della rivista e norme redazionali » 183

Management Control: il “gattopardo” per il governo aziendale

Management Control. The “gattopardo” for corporate governance

Management control – to maintain its role of guiding the organizations to perform their objectives (strategic and operational) – has to continue change in order to deal with the unending challenges it faces. To that end, precious is the availability of updated – and critically examined – knowledges and experiences, from which to draw inspiration (A) for management control systems’ adoption and development (that could be more useful), as well as (B) for their continuous analysis. This issue focuses on specific management control systems’ evolutions (using different research approaches):

  1. aimed at benefit from the current availability of big data and new information systems;
  2. related to the wine sector;
  3. that occur along the business life cycle (in particular, to prevent and face economic crisis).

Keywords: management control change, big data & new information systems, wine sector, business life cycle, crisis & turnaround.


Management Control. A logical framework approach

Present study originates with properly modifications and needed simplifications from internal documentation of a company, in order to share a common approach, a same terminology and to frame some issues which involve different business functions, therefore meet different sensitivity and different culture in the context of a multinational.
This paper is therefore consequence to the launch of two financial projects:
1) standardization of reporting procedures for all subsidiaries to comply with kpi ISO-TS/IATF rules
2) introduction of industrial costing for the largest branch within the group.
It has been conventionally defined as follows: Cost Accounting aimed at determin-ing the cost of product from industrial point of view of bill of material and routing, Managerial Accounting aimed at detecting cost by cost center, Management Ac-counting for realization of interim reporting.

Keywords: Cost Accounting, Bill of Material, Routing, Managerial Accounting, Cost Center, Management Accounting, Financial Reporting


La Business Intelligence e la Business Analytics nell’era dei Big Data: una analisi della letteratura

Business Intelligence and Business Analytics in the Big Data Era. A Literature Review

This research project is a preliminary study based on a literature review aiming at understanding the relevance of Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Analytics (BA) in the context of Big Data (BD). We focus our attention on BI and BA as instruments to support the decision-making processes. The aims of this preliminary analysis is twofold. To draw a picture of the progress of studies regarding BI and BA in the era of BD, identifying the research centres that dealt with this topic, the major journals for the research purpose and the main research lines. To understand the relationship between these three key concept analysing publication and conference proceedings in different disciplinary fields.

We consider the Web of Science database, and we select 25 documents. According to this analysis, we identify three main streams of research concerning decision process challenges, the fields of employment of BI and BA technologies, and implementation methodologies. We also highlight the importance to develop research on the differences and the interconnections between BI and BA, the field of adoption of predictive and prescriptive models.

Keywords: Literature Analysis, Literature Review, Business Intelligence, Business Analytics, Big Data, Business Data Analytics.

Tabella 5_ Collocazione-Prodotti-Ricerca

Tabella 7_Confronto-Concetti



L’impatto dei Big Data sulle attività di pianificazione & controllo aziendali: un caso di studio di una PMI agricola Italiana

Big Data impacts on company planning and control activities. A case study of an Italian agricultural SME

This contribution represents one of the first studies that analyze the role of the current process of digitization and automation in facilitating the introduction of new planning and control practices and/or modifying some already existing ones for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In particular, the analysis of the case study shows how the adoption of a Decision Support System (DSS) by a SME has led to the formalization of some control activities traditionally processed in a consuetudinary way in the agricultural sector. The analysis also revealed that the company manager has played a decisive role in the introduction of the DSS and that the implementation of such an innovation has improved the awareness of managerial and production actions with a view also to sustainability issues.

Keywords: Big data, DSS; Programming & Control, Agricultural SME, Integrated Governan

Figura 3_Prospetto-Informatico


High Performance Through Innovation Process Management in SMEs. Evidence from the Italian wine sector

This paper analyses the impact on performance of the open innovation of SMEs in the Italian wine sector. Currently, innovation is one of the main factors affecting the increasing competition and performance in a traditional manufacturing business such as the wine sector. Following a quantitative research approach, the study analyses the impact of innovation process management (evaluated in terms of investment in R&D and management of key-factors, activities and instruments) on performance, identified by profitability efficiency based on a sample of 109 winegrowing SMEs.

The research contributes to filling the gap in the literature where there is a lack of innovation studies in mature sectors and provides information to help wine managers and owners improve their business by identifying the best business investment area.

Keywords: innovation, process management, wine sector, SMEs, performance, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA).

Table 2_CRR-BCC-Models

Table 5_DEA-Efficency


Sistemi di controllo a supporto dello sviluppo sostenibile delle PMI del settore vitivinicolo: il caso D’Ambra vini s.r.l.

Management Control Systems supporting SMEs sustainable development in the wine sector. The case of D’Ambra vini s.r.l.

The wine sector is a globally recognized Italian excellence and represents a crucial sector for the national economy. In order to continually support the development of Italian wine firms, a decisive role can be played by the management control systems, able to provide some rational information more and more necessary in guiding appropriate decision-making processes and competing in the global markets. Despite this, the Italian wine sector is characterized by a large presence of small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which generally show greater difficulties in approaching to management control systems, mainly linked to the lack of human and economic resources. In the light of these premises, the contribution analyzes the evolution of management control system along the life cycle phases of an Italian winemaking SME, investigating its role in ensuring company survival and development. The case study confirms the fundamental role played by an accurate process of management control and performance measurement in supporting business growth and development, also highlighting its specific implementation methods. In particular, it emerges that accurate control and performance measurement activities can provide rational information on which to base company decision-making process and build the business success.

Keywords: Wine Industry, Performance Management evolution, Company’s Life Cycle, Decision Making, Strategy support.

Figura 1_Andamenti-Storici

Tabella 1_indicatori

Tabella 2_Risultati-Gestionali


Preventing crises and managing turnaround processes in SMEs – The role of economic measurement tools

This paper investigates the causes and effects of turnaround processes in SMEs and the role played by economic information. Starting from the assumption that the very lack of economic measurement systems may well be an underlying factor of the SMEs crisis, this paper presents three case studies that are particularly relevant to this purpose. These cases describe turnaround processes that were implemented as a result of crises of different kinds, which were not always diagnosed promptly. What they share is the owner’s determination to avoid the worst consequences of an uncontrolled degenerative process, also and mainly by introducing interesting innovations in the measurement systems. Studying these business scenarios led to confirm a high vulnerability of those SMEs that rely on outdated administrative structures and professional skills, unsuitable for fulfilling alerting functions and supporting decision-making activities, which are key in the ordinary operation of a company and, even more so, during a company’s recovery and relaunch.

A brief description of the case studies, provides the empirical material used for testing the proposition and the research questions posed in this exploratory work. The conclusions reached in this paper are meant to provide a real, albeit partial, representation of the management problems that typically affect distressed companies, with a special emphasis on the peculiarities of the management control systems implemented in these enterprises. Our summary, despite its limitations, is symbolically handed over to the scientific community in the hope that later studies will refine the outcome of this exploratory investigation. The aim is to formulate increasingly more detailed suggestions on the design criteria of effective control systems for the benefit of those economic operators that wish to adopt them in order to improve their company’s performance.

Keywords: crisis, recovery, turnaround, SME, economic measurement systems.


Impatto della crisi economica su redditività e rischio finanziario delle imprese romagnole. Una cluster analysis

Impact of the economic crisis on Romagna companies’ profitability and financial risk. A cluster analysis

As a result of the 2008 global crisis, in 2012 Italy entered an economic recession. Against this backdrop, this work investigates the main profitability and financial risk exposure features of companies in Romagna in 2012-2014. Romagna is an area located in a wealthy region of Italy, Emilia-Romagna, and it is well known for a local system of informal aggregations based on shared socioeconomic links. Thus, using AIDA’s database, we analyse the top 100 companies by revenue (excluding financial and holding companies) in the three provinces of Romagna: Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini. More in detail, after finding that the trend of the means of six financial ratios has improved in the defined period, with the exception of ROE, the six ratios are used as variables to perform a cluster analysis. In the first analytical step (based on the single-linkage method) companies are shown to mostly gather into a main cluster, although with the presence of several isolated outlier companies. The second step (based on Ward’s method) proposes a more detailed analysis resulting in 4 clusters during the specified period. Over time, clusters change more in terms of their members than in their territorial and/or sectorial composition. Finally, the general recovery trend is confirmed, with two exceptions: (i) a cluster rich of outliers gathering the worst performances and slowly emptying over time; (ii) the most numerous cluster, showing a decreasing trend in the degree of coverage of financial charges. The limitations highlighted in the conclusion suggest the need for further research.

Keywords: performance, profitability, financial risk, cluster analysis, Romagna.



Management Control 2/2018


Quale metodologia di ricerca sulle tematiche di Management Control?

Luciano Marchi

pag.     5
L’eterno divario tra teoria e prassi del pricing nel Management Accounting

Graziano Coller

»   11
L’introduzione di un sistema di prezzi di trasferimento. Il caso dell’Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana

Luca Del Bene, Antonella De Vito, Carlo Milli, Fabio Guarracino

»   35
L’impatto del contratto di rete nei processi di internazionalizzazione: alcune evidenze empiriche sulle PMI italiane

Andrea Venturelli, Fabio Caputo, Simone Pizzi

»   61
Crisi delle PMI e strumenti di warning. Un test di verifica nel settore manifatturiero

Mauro Paoloni, Massimiliano Celli

»   85
La valutazione del Consiglio di Amministrazione in contesti ad elevata concentrazione proprietaria: mero conformismo o reale strumento di valutazione?

Romilda Mazzotta, Giovanni Bronzetti, Graziella Sicoli, Paolo Tenuta




Big Data e revisione contabile: uno studio esplorativo nel contesto italiano

Federica De Santis

» 129
Strategic Performance Management Systems in Italian banks. A research note

Francesca Francioli

» 155
Mission della rivista e norme redazionali » 179



Quale metodologia di ricerca sulle tematiche di Management Control?

Which research methodology on the Management Control issues?

The aim of the article is to discuss how to strenghthen the process of internationalization of research, but preserving the basic values of Italian accounting thought, also in the methodological side, i.e. maintaining the integrated inductive-deductive method of research.Specific reflections are carried out on the more and more relevant role played by the analytical demonstrations of the research hypotheses, with an experimental approach typical of the “hard” sciences. In particular, the research hypotheses are often based on cause-effect relationships in a true-false logic, with reference to the available data bases or to data collected on a sample basis, often neglecting the accuracy of such a data. Even the language used is more and more the mathematical one, not suitable for the scientific communication in our community, because it neglects the qualitative variables, the interpretation of the data and the understanding of the multiple non-linear cause-effect relationships.With regard to the contents, the relevant issues seem to be no more those related to the understanding of the business complexity, but those that may lent best to the correlation analysis; in fact, the focus is on the quantitative methods, considered a priori better, and this increasingly determines the detachment from the business reality.

Keywords: research methodology, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, data accuracy.


L’eterno divario tra teoria e prassi del pricing nel Management Accounting

The everlasting gap between pricing theory and practice in management accounting.

The reality gap between management accounting conventional wisdom and empirical evidence has attracted a lot of interest in management accounting research. The conventional wisdom, based on the neoclassical economics framework, postulates that product pricing should follow marginal analysis. Empirical evidence shows that full-cost pricing is the dominant form of pricing behaviour. A first strand in the literature tried to address the gap reconciling full-cost pricing and marginal cost pricing retaining the neoclassical framework. A second strand rejected the neoclassical framework and adopted an institutional economics framework. Neither strand provided conclusive evidence to bridge the gap. In this paper we discuss the nature of the reality gap in the light of the rationality assumptions underlying neoclassical and institutional economics. We conclude that further research is needed and that the reality gap can only be bridged by showing how observed practice (full-cost pricing) may produce an optimal outcome, without imposing profit-maximizing goals on the firms.

Keywords: Reality-gap, Full-cost pricing, Management Accounting, marginal analysis.


L’introduzione di un sistema di prezzi di trasferimento. Il caso dell’Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana

The introduction of a transfer pricing system. The case of the Pisana Hospital-University Company

Hospitals are complex organizations in which the provision of the service involves several organizational units, and this causes intense internal exchanges of goods and services. Aim of the paper is the design of a transfer pricing system that can be very important, both for determining the cost of the service, and for promoting organizational behaviors consistent with the production of the service and with the appropriate use of resources. The adopted approach allows to recover the function of cost accounting system as a real support to decision-making processes through the enhancement of the link between cost information and management operations. The system improves the effectiveness in monitoring the processes of allocation and use of resources by which it’s possible to pursue simultaneously the clinical and economic needs. Finally, transfer prices are instruments that favor the integration and coordination between operators that perform technically and logically related activities, with a view to overall performance.

Keywords: Hospitals, transfer princing, cost accounting system, public sector, decision-support processes


L’impatto del contratto di rete nei processi di in-ternazionalizzazione: alcune evidenze empiriche sulle PMI italiane

The impact of network contract in internationalization’s competitive processes. Some evidence on Italian SMEs

In last years, the EU institutions have implemented policies aimed at supporting the internationalization of SMEs. In 2012, Italy has transposed this Community impulses through the introduction into national law of the network contract (NC). The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of NC in competitive processes of business internationalization. The analysis was conducted on a sample of 126 companies belonging to a NC. The empirical results show that such an instrument could represent for Italian SMEs an effective means of support within the work conducted on international markets. The results show the effectiveness of the instrument in fostering the transfer of know how between the companies belonging to the network.

 Keywords: strategic alliances, internationalization, inter firm network, value creation