Percorsi di integrazione tra auditing e controllo di gestione

Integration patterns between auditing and management control

This article reviews the research streams published on this journal. We review the journal integrated research approach within the planning, management and information systems fields. Integrated analysis regards the internal-external dimensions, as well as the public-private dimension of the firm. The article links these themes to the papers included in this issue.

Keywords: auditing, management control, performance, private sector, public sector


Fattori influenti sull’efficacia del whistleblowing come strumento di controllo interno

Factors affecting whistleblowing effectiveness as internal control mechanism

In order to enhance internal control effectiveness in detecting frauds, Anglo-Saxon firms are developing internal whistleblowing channels and procedures. Some attempts also exist in the Italian context. With our study we discuss about factors affecting the effectiveness of these procedures in an unfavorable context, such the Italian one, characterized by cultural peculiarities.

We experimentally observe the intentions of subjects to report fraud using the internal channel and we explore the effect of evidence strength and internal monetary rewards. Across treatments, we find that evidence strengths are not able, alone, to stimulate subjects to report fraud using the internal channel while internal monetary rewards appear to better motivate whistleblowing. The stronger effect of monetary rewards compared to evidence strengths is a concern that must be carefully taken into account in designing effective internal fraud reporting procedures, in order to avoid opportunistic behaviors of informers without weakening whistleblowing effectiveness.

Keywords: whistleblowing effectiveness, internal control, evidence strength, rewards; fraud.




I rischi derivanti dall’implementazione del cloud computing: un’indagine empirica nelle PMI Italiane

Risks arising cloud computing adoption. Empirical evidences from Italian SMEs

This paper examines the issues relating to the implementation of cloud computing in Italian SMEs. The aim is to measure the perception of the risks usually associated to the introduction of cloud computing in Italian SMEs identified as first-time adopters. The analysis relies upon a questionnaire disseminated through 400 individuals belonging to the Accounting and/or Information and Communication Technology divisions of 200 Italian SMEs, during the implementation phase of cloud computing. The survey was conceived as to obtain information about the perceived risks in terms of likelihood and impact before cloud computing adoption and after six months of implementation. The data gathered were therefore helpful to put into light the perceived risks of cloud computing implementation. The results show that there is a strong risks perception before this tool implementation indipendentely from the personal experience of the respondent. Hence, this research contributes to the ongoing debate on cloud computing potential in firms, deepening the issues relating to its introduction.

 Keywords: cloud computing, ICT, rischi.


Performance Audit in the Public Sector. What is the contribution to the Performance Management?

This paper examines possible future improvements of performance audit/performance management relationship in the public sector. Performance measurement, management and audit are strictly linked and influence each other. Scientific literature highlighted the coexistence of two contrasting sides. On one hand the positive side regards, for example, accountability and performance improving. On the other hand, a wrong use of performance audit process might lead to several problems such as: unintended consequences, performance paradox etc. Based on these premises, the research investigates on whether the performance audit really makes the difference, that is, how much performance audit contributes to performance management. This paper does not give an answer to this question but rather highlights the drawbacks and weak points as they come out from the analysis of various studies.

Keywords: Performance Audit, Performance Management, Public Sector, Performance Paradox


The increasing relevance of managing costs of poor quality (CoPQ). The case of the mineral water industry

The paper studies the relation between the “Cost of Poor Quality” (CoPQ) and the sustainability approach of the companies.

For years, management believed that it was too expensive to provide high-quality products and service to customers, and used this motivation to keep companies output far from reaching its full potential. During the last years of the XX Century, management’s attitude began to change as they found that in international markets quality products provided a greater return on investment and increased the organization’s market share (Harrington, 1999). As a result, a great deal of attention was focused on improving the quality of output from all employees and from all the internal and external processes of the company.

The present contribution aims to analyze the relationship in business firm between non-quality cost and the sustainability approach, and in particular if the introduction of a management control system aimed at reducing CoPQ may increase the environmental sustainability of a company, so encouraging to reconcile the financial perspective with the not financial one. To do this, the study is accompanied by a description of case study concerning a middle company placed in Italy in the bottling, production and distribution of natural mineral water industry, that has recently pursued the way of the definition of CoPQ also for the purpose of a sustainable growth.

Keywords: Management Control System, Cost of Poor Quality, Non-Quality Costs, Sustainability, Environmental and Social Performance, Corporate Social Responsibility.




The efficacy of performance management system in healthcare. A literature review and research perspectives

The aim of this paper is to assess and systemize the antecedents of Performance Management Systems (PMSs) effectiveness, highlighting under which conditions, PMSs are able to produce the expected results in healthcare organizations. Through a literature review by keywords research of the papers on PMSs effec-tiveness in healthcare, the condition affecting PMSs effectiveness have been summarized.
Such conditions refers to PMSs’ architectural elements, organizational context, and implementation approach. Their impact on PMSs effectiveness is measured in terms of their ability in orienting behaviours, and in terms of organizational per-formance improvement.
The results of this literature review highlight how public policies can be implement-ed with the aim improve the effectiveness of PMS in healthcare through the pro-motion of both a culture of evaluation among caregivers, and the acceptance of PMS at individual organization level, as well as through the reduction of the know-ing-doing gap between management scientists and healthcare professionals.

Keywords: Performance management system, Effectiveness of performance system, Healthcare, Performance measurement, Hospital, Primary care, Literature review.


La rilevanza delle spese per organi di governo nei comuni italiani medio-grandi fra possibilità di efficienza e recupero di legittimazione politica

The size of political expenses in the medium-large Italian local authorities between efficiency and political legitimation

The phenomenon identified as “the cost of politics” is becoming increasingly widespread and in order to investigate it without falling into clichés, the present work has the purpose to detect and observe the size of this phenomenon to give a support to control activities and provide food for thought in terms of transparency and cutback policy. In a sample of 95 Italian local authorities a comparative method has been used on the annual report item related to political costs. The analysis shows the amount of these expenses in absolute values, that their variability leads to some reflection on the nature of the items accounted under the political costs and that their percentage is not particularly high (leading to some reflection on financial cutback decisions).

Keywords: Political costs and (de)legitimation, accounting transparency, Italian local authorities.


The role of Eco-control in the implementation of Sustainable Business Models

Growing awareness of the need for companies to embed sustainability principles within them in order to contribute to the transition to different paradigms of development, production and consumption led scholarly efforts to focus on the concept of Sustainable Business Model (SBM). In this regard, literature highlighted different factors on which the implementation of SBMs should depend. Among these factors, eco-control systems has been explored and portrayed as necessary for implementing environmental strategies. However, studies on eco-control systems limited their attention to their relationships between these systems and environmental performance, whereas overlooking their potential role in implementing other performance dimensions within a broader concept of SBM. Given this premise, the paper explores the role of eco-control in the implementation of SBMs, by analysing the case of Salcheto, a winery located in Montepulciano (Siena). Evidence found suggests that, in the case analysed, eco-control has played a key role in the implementation of a SBM, despite its effects were mainly concentrated on environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability.

 Keywords: Management Control Systems, Eco-control, Sustainable Business Models.



La trasformazione del modello di business nel sistema fieristico italiano

Recent developments in the business model of the exhibition industry in Italy

The article analyses the evolution of the fair industry in Italy since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008. In particular, the article examines the performance achieved by a sample of Italian exhibitions between 2008 and 2011 – at the apex of the financial crisis – and the strategies and the business model adopted/modified to respond to the crisis. In the years under consideration, the exhibitions analysed experienced a meaningful reduction in their economic performance. Larger exhibitions, however, suffered less than smaller exhibitions in terms of profitability. This may be due to the fact that larger exhibitions have successfully pursued an internationalization strategy that has, at least partially, balanced out the negative effects of the financial crisis. Smaller exhibitions may follow suit, or may decide to focus their activity on a small number of relevant events and exhibitions, in order not to disperse the few resources that the crisis has left them to count on.

Keywords: exhibition industry, Italy, financial crisis, profitability, internationalization, collaborative strategy.


Strumenti di gestione dei costi e misure di performance negli attuali contesti competitivi


I contributi raccolti in questo numero di Management Control sono stati originariamente presentati nel Workshop “Misure di performance e sistemi di informazione e controllo nei nuovi ambienti socio-economici” tenutosi a Catania il 22-23 ottobre 2015. L’organizzazione di tale evento ha avuto come motivazione principale la presentazione di alcuni risultati del progetto di ricerca nazionale (PRIN 2008) dal titolo “Gestione strategica dei costi e delle performance per le sfide della competitività e della sostenibilità”.

Questo progetto nazionale si è articolato in tre unità operative locali, ciascuna con un proprio segmento di ricerca, ben individuato e interconnesso con quello delle altre. In particolare:

  • l’unità di ricerca I della Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa (Responsabile nazionale e dell’unità Lino Cinquini) si è occupata della gestione strategica dei costi e delle performance per il vantaggio competitivo sostenibile;
  • l’unità di ricerca II dell’Università di Pisa (Responsabile Riccardo Giannetti) si è occupata della gestione strategica dei costi e delle performance nello sviluppo di nuovi prodotti-servizi;
  • l’unità di ricerca III dell’Università di Catania (Responsabile Rosa Alba Miraglia) si è occupata delle misure di performance in contesti di cooperazione interaziendale.

La ricerca si è rivolta pertanto verso l’analisi dell’evoluzione dei sistemi di costing e di misurazione delle performance utilizzati per il supporto alle decisioni strategiche e per il controllo di gestione a livello d’azienda/business unit.

I lavori pubblicati in questo volume costituiscono le relazioni presentate nel Workshop direttamente collegate al PRIN indicato, ed alcuni paper selezionati tra quelli presentati nello stesso Workshop, che ha rappresentato un momento di riflessione di elevato valore scientifico su questi temi.

Il problema di ricerca che lega tutti i contributi è l’impatto che la complessità ambientale ha sugli strumenti di gestione dei costi e sul sistema di misurazione delle performance (SMP). In particolare, essi mettono in evidenza la criticità del rapporto tra le dimensioni chiave per il vantaggio competitivo dell’azienda, gli strumenti di gestione dei costi e le misure di performance. In queste pagine si chiariscono innanzitutto quali nuove dimensioni si ritengono fondamentali per il vantaggio competitivo dell’azienda; si esamina quindi il rapporto tra tali dimensioni, gli strumenti di gestione dei costi e il SMP; si individuano infine le tendenze evolutive degli strumenti di gestione dei costi e del SMP che emergono dai contributi pubblicati in questo numero.