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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.

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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.

MC2016.3_7_FABIETTI_Table-1

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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.

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

[Editoriale]

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.

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La sostenibilità ambientale in azienda: quale relazione tra disclosure volontaria e gestione interna?

Environmental sustainability in the company: what relationship between voluntary disclosure and internal management?

The dimension of environmental sustainability within the business activities represents a theme of growing importance. This paper analyses the relationship between “voluntary disclosure environmental” and “internal environmental management” in order to understand if and how the two dimensions are related and consistent with each other. The internal environmental management is considered, in particular, as the company’s attention towards environmental sustainability as part of the systems internal decisions and implementation of sustainability practices. From the theoretical point of view, the study identifies four categories representative of possible associations, making use of a matrix representative of the high-low two dimensions indicated and defined in accordance with previous studies. The test sample is represented by forty-four companies operating in sectors considered at high environmental impact. The results show a prevalence of internal environmental management practices than the voluntary disclosure.

Keywords: environmental management, voluntary disclosure environment, environmental accounting, environmental sustainability.

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Il ruolo degli strumenti di cost management nello sviluppo di nuovi prodotti sostenibili

The role of cost management for sustainable new product development

The literature on performance measurement in Research and Development addresses several topics. This paper investigates the role played by cost management in new product development activities. Particularly the adoption of Activity-Based Costing/Management, Target Costing/Design to Cost, Life Cycle Costing, Total Cost of Ownership is investigated through a survey of 65 companies working in Italy. The findings are interesting because they highlight how firms in Italy reacted to the increased competition and price stagnation during the economy slowdown. Firms respond to the crisis by developing new green products and services mainly in order to satisfy needs of loyal customers, acquire new customer in the same market and increase profitability of sales. Furthermore it emerges a significant strategic orientation towards sustainability and a considerable implementation of cost management tools on development activities focusing on Activity-Based Costing/Management and Life Cycle costing, mainly on those firms more oriented toward sustainability strategies.

Keywords: new product development; cost management; Activity-Based Costing; Target Costing; Life Cycle Costing; Cost of Ownership; sustainability strategies.

JEL Classification: M10, M40, M41, Q56

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Modello di controllo e misure di performance nelle relazioni di fornitura tra imprese. Una ricerca empirica nel contesto italiano

Control model and performance measures in supply relationships between firms. Empirical research in the context of Italian

Over the last decades several management accounting contributions have focused on interfirm context in order to investigate the forms of controls applied to manage the supplier relationships. The present study aims to analyze the factors which could influence the effectiveness of the interorganizational performance measures, more specifically, it highlights how the interorganizational control model (control mechanisms) can explain the use of them. This contribution reviews the results stemmed from an empirical research conducted in the Italian context which investigated how the interorganizational control model can influence the use of interorganizational performance measures.

Keywords: Interfirm relationships, management control, performance measurement, Italian context.

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Controllo e complessità. Il ruolo delle forme di rappresentazione per il governo di problemi complessi

Control and complexity. The role of the visual representations in complex settings.

This study explores the use of strategy maps for decision-making in complex settings. Specifically, this study draws on complexity as a conceptual lens to qualify the contexts in which companies operate, suggesting that management control systems should act as support systems in these contexts. Using data collected from a in depth case study, this paper finds that strategy map, as a peculiar form of visual representation, helps top management to rationalize, share and generate new insights about the roles of management control systems in complex settings.

Keywords: complexity, uncertainty, management control, visual representations, strategy maps

COMUZZI_2016.2_Mappa-Strategica

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Strategie di sostenibilità: dalle motivazioni ai sistemi di misurazione della performance

Sustainability strategies: from motivation to performance measurement system

The paper aims to examine the main changes that performance measurement systems of firms have to face after the adoption of sustainability strategies. The relationship between sustainability strategies and performance measurement systems is analysed along three main dimensions: the reasons that lead to the implementation of sustainability strategies; the changes that these strategies produce within the performance measurement systems; the feedback effects that the revised performance measurement systems determine on the sustainability strategies.

We adopted a qualitative research methodology analysing a single case study: ASIA Napoli S.p.A. The case study and the results have been achieved through a theoretical framework built in the first step of the research. The case study allowed to examine the role of legitimacy and reputation when a company chooses to implement sustainability strategies, and confirmed, overall, that the decision to integrate sustainability into business strategy produces changes in performance measurement systems. Our findings showed that the implementation of sustainability strategies produce some changes in the performance measurement systems with regard to the processes and the tools for information and data collection. However, tools for information processing and analysing for decision-making support are less developed. The results also suggested that the measurement of social performance represents an incentive to revise sustainability strategies.

Keywords: sustainability strategies, performance measurement systems, Legitimacy theory, Resource Based View, reputation, case study.

MANCINI_2016.2_Documentazione

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How Italian companies are monitoring innovation

The paper aims to highlight the characteristics of a Managerial Control System (MCS) that can better support innovation processes. The topic is not new, but it has been analysed by previous literature mostly from a theoretical perspective. There is, instead, a lack of empirical evidence supporting the different approaches.

This study, through the analyses of a sample of Italian firms, tries to contribute in this direction. The sample of this study was chosen from Italian manufacturing firms operating in the sectors with the largest number of registered patents according to the European innovation trend chart. The results show that MCS can enhance product/service innovation but can also inhibit it depending on the role the MCS fosters. MCS can be an obstacle for innovation when limited to pursuing diagnostic functions. On the contrary, product/service innovation is positively associated with an interactive role of MCS. These, although necessary to evaluate business performance, become effective innovation drivers only when they are proposed to stimulate coordination, communication, and learning inside the groups devoted to innovation.

Keywords: Performance Measurement, Managerial Control, Innovation, Informal Control, Interactive Control, Diagnostic Control.

ARCARI_2016.2_Sample-Analysis

ARCARI_2016.2_Correlation-Matrix

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Inter-firm coordination as an Information problem. The case of a divisionalized company

The extant literature on inter-organizational control distinguishes the main control problems as coordination problems and appropriation concerns. The present study focuses on coordination problems and is intended to understand the process leading to the hybrid nature of inter-firm coordination modes and the role of information in this process.

In a theoretical part, after discussing the main critical assumptions underlying coordination studies, an integrative framework is proposed to conceptualize the coordination process and describe the role of information in this process. In Particular, the framework assumes inter-firm settings as a-centered and a-static, whence the relevance of an interpretive approach where coordination is viewed as a process characterized by dialectic interactions between coordinating actors.

The empirical part of the study is aimed at verifying the explanatory power of the framework studying a case of outsourcing relations in a divisionalized company operating in the semi-conductor industry. The case provided useful data giving new insights that enrich the framework.

Keywords: coordination, information, inter-organizational relations.

LEOTTA_2016.2_Figure1

LEOTTA_2016.2_Table1

LEOTTA_2016.2_Outsourcing-relations

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Accounting Information Systems in an Open Society. Emerging Trends and Issues

During the second decade of the XXI century, several contextual forces have changed the way in which firms interact with environment. The economic and financial crisis, the development of technologies, the convergence between different communication channels and the spread of social networks are just some of the forces that determine a quick and radical change in the way employees and firms look at the future and interact each other.

This contribution focuses on the meaning of the word “open” as one of the keywords of this period and highlights how the open society affects accounting information systems, as systems processing information to support strategic decisions in such a complicated environment.

Keywords: accounting information systems, open society.

 

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The role of IS Auditing in assurance services

This study investigates the role of IS auditor concerning the digital environment in the assurance services. The study has its relevance where the implications of abandonment of ISA 401 or suppression ISA 620 in auditing engagement particularly, when one reflects upon the current complexity from use of digital technologies and the questionings arising from the recent financial scandals. As a result, this phenomenon has challenged the knowledge, expertise and role of independent auditors, which is primarily aimed at ensuring the reliability of accounting information by asserting business transactions or events in terms of integrity, occurrence, accuracy, cutoff, classification and disclosure. The study toes the critical reality theories to in-depth investigate the role of IS audit in financial audit engagement team in this digital environment. Based on our analysis, the independent auditors need to rethink the neglect of ISA 401 and ISA 620 in order to ensure the true rule of quality of financial statement audit.

Keywords: Auditing, Assurance Services, Information Systems, Compliance

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Performance Appraisal of Business Networks. How SMEs Define and Monitor Network Objectives

This paper aims to understand how business networks created by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) measure the common results achieved through the example of Italian network contracts. The relevance of the topic is demonstrated by the widespread adoption of networking strategies and the difficulty for both researchers and SMEs managers to evaluate the success of the alliances created.

Focusing on the network as an entity, the empirical analysis searched for the adoption of performance measurement systems at the network level and the usage of information systems to collect and disseminate information. Preference has been given to the use of multiple case-studies. Data collection recurred to direct interviews and document analysis.

Our findings indicate that the analyzed SMEs networks do not have a proper management control system at the network level. Network managers collect some indicators related to the resources invested, the network’s internal processes and the customer dimension, but these indicators are not linked by causal relationships. All networks prepare an annual report, which is mainly used to monitor expenses. However, network meetings and internal communications are considered more important tools to monitor network members’ behavior and assess the results achieved.

 

Keywords: Performance, Business Networks, Small and Medium Enterprises, Performance Measurement Systems

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The performance appraisal of public/private networks. The case of home care integrated services for the elderly

In the last thirty years, many OECD countries have taken reform paths in the financing and in the delivery of home care integrated services. In particular, the last Italian reform of welfare (Law n. 328/2000) is inspired on a multi-level governance model which involves several institutional levels and actors to help non-self sufficient elderly patients and their families to satisfy their needs better.

Italian municipalities and health districts represent relevant actors in the network of long-term care. However, the integration between them represents the real challenge to face.

After analyzing the existing literature on performance assessment in network settings, we examined the performance of home care integrated services for older people by investigating the case of Apulia region (the South of Italy). We collected survey data from 21 health districts out of 49 in the region (43%), and from 17 out of 45 “local welfare areas” (38%) in the same geographical context.

The research was carried out by means of statistical methods (OLS). The analysis was cross sectional.

Overall, the research may provide empirical evidence to analyze performance of networks in long term care, and it may strengthen findings of previous studies on the matter.

Keywords: Care networks, Performance Measurement, Integration, Information systems, Health care.

ANGIOLA_2016.1_Appendix

ANGIOLA_2016.1_Figure_1

ANGIOLA_2016.1_Figure_2

ANGIOLA_2016.1_Statistical_Results

ANGIOLA_2016.1_Tables

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The performativity of Accounting Information System in interfirm relationships

Over the last decades, contributions in Management Accounting have focused at the forms of controls that are suited in situations of strategic alliances with suppliers, investigating the role of accounting tools, such as Accounting Information System (AIS), in supplier selection. We investigate the performative role of AIS in selecting suppliers. More specifically, we interpret AIS not just as an accounting tool, which explains reality but as an actor who contributes to create reality, performing it. Drawing on Actor Network Theory (ANT) as a proper method theory, we study the dynamics among actors (human and non-human) directly involved and their interactions. In doing so, we carry out a longitudinal case-study at a manufacturing firm located in the south of Italy, where we examine the performative role of the AIS in supplier selection from 2012 up to 2014. ANT lens provides a better understanding of role played by AIS in selecting suppliers by mobilising all actors enrolled in the selection process.

Keywords: performativity, Accounting Information System, supplier selection, interfirm relationship

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Managerial Information and Integrated Accounting Systems. The Perception of Italian Managers

The paper seeks to analyze the effects that an integrated Information Technology (IT) system and the overall integration of accounting systems have on the quality in managerial information. The exploratory analysis was based on a sample of Italian managers (controllers and financial accountants) working for both publicly held and non-publicly held firms, both large and small/medium-size companies. Preliminary empirical findings based on a survey from the Italian context have contributed to reduce the gap in the literature and to provide some evidence useful for managerial practices.

Keywords: Managerial Information, Integrated Information Technology, Integration of Accounting Systems, Italian Firms.

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The Strategic Intelligence implications for Information Systems

In current economic contexts, one of the most important drivers of firm success is the ability of information systems to answer the call for new relevant data. This request for data is increasingly related to the likelihood of supporting the strategic decision-making process. Consequently, data collection and data analysis processes are evolving from the traditional Enterprise Resource Planning systems to innovative Strategic Intelligence. Despite the growing attention on Intelligence, there is a lack of studies analysing the many critical perspectives and data that firms can consider to embrace Intelligence in strategic management. The literature, from one perspective, does not clearly define the boundaries of the broad concept of Strategic Intelligence, and, from another perspective, does not provide the needed support to the information selection process for decision-making. Accordingly, the aim of this paper is to develop an integrated framework that aims to support the commitment of managers to Strategic Intelligence by analysing the implications for information systems. Using a structured literature review, we develop a conceptual comprehensive framework based on five main dimensions: competitive intelligence, market intelligence, resources intelligence, finance intelligence and innovation intelligence. The comprehensive framework provides insights and guidelines for collecting, analysing and explaining data for Strategic Intelligence. Specifically, the paper suggests sources and methods to translate data into effective knowledge for strategic decision-making.

Keywords: strategic intelligence, information systems, strategic management, decision making.

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Esiste una strategia di Internal Auditing che crea valore? Un’analisi empirica del contesto italiano

Does exist an internal strategy that can create value? An empirical analysis of the Italian context

To create value the internal auditing (IA) functions should define a strategy taking into account the characteristics of the external and internal environment and the expectations of the IA stakeholders. It does not exist a “one best way” to create value, but the IA strategy should be defined and implemented considering the specific contexts in which the IA functions operate. This is the main finding that emerges from the empirical analysis the authors have carried out in cooperation with the Italian Institute of Internal Auditors involving 78 CAEs (Chief Audit Executives). Other important research findings show that the IA function performs more the assurance engagements than the consulting activities. Moreover there is a growing use of audit software, data analytics and data mining tools to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IA process and finally the IA carries out a wide range of auditing activities to meet the various expectations of an increasing number of stakeholders.

Keywords: internal auditing, strategy, audit plan, value creation

DONZA_2016.1_Approfondimento

DONZA_2016.1_Tabelle di Sintesi

 

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Il contributo del Sistema Informativo alla gestione logistica dei materiali. Un caso di studio nel settore sanitario

The contribution of the Information System to the logistic materials management. A case study in health sector

The internal distributive logistic process of materials appears to be primary and strategic activity in any type of company, both in the production of goods and services. In recent years, this issue has caught the attention of the scientific world and of the operative one.

Its smooth operation allows adequate enterprise risk management aimed at averting the occurrence of adverse events and the effective and efficient management of stocks to achieve cost reductions of storage and handling.

For inpatients or outpatients, with important consequences for the clinical risk management aimed to prevent the occurrence of adverse events.

In line with the evolution of doctrine, the informative system supporting the management assumes a configuration more and more close to the operations setting as a basic requirement to be able to make the tracing of the whole process. The purpose is to know the use of the resources, for what purposes and in what locations, in addition to managing the stock devices of the department. The management can thus have available a range of information crucial to know the cost for each health activity or to make trusted forecasts and programming. This paper illustrates how, starting from the critical issues identified in a specific operational context and characterizing the most logistics-distributing hospital systems, it was possible to create an electronic data processing system that allow you to achieve the aforementioned objectives.

Keywords: internal logistics, information system, process management, clinical risk management.

 

DELBENE_CECCARELLI_2016.1_Figure_1

DELBENE_CECCARELLI_2016.1_Figure_2

DELBENE_CECCARELLI_2016.1_Figure_3

 

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Nuove prospettive di ricerca sulle tematiche di Management Control

[Editoriale]

In una fase di rapido cambiamento degli scenari ambientali e aziendali, è necessario riflettere se e come la ricerca nell’area dei sistemi di Management Control debba essere ri-orientata e, quindi, se la linea editoriale della rivista debba essere ri-definita. Dare risposta alle richieste del mondo accademico e degli operatori aziendali sulle tematiche di pianificazione, informazione e controllo, con il ricorso ad un approccio integrato di analisi, era stata la linea editoriale definita nel primo numero della rivista (Management Control, n. 1/2011). Il suddetto approccio di analisi era stato definito in termini di “integrazione dei sistemi operativi con quelli informativo-contabili, della struttura organizzativa con la tecnologia informatica, dell’analisi revisionale con quella prospettica, anche al fine di raccordare i sistemi di misurazione con quelli di governo aziendale, nel riferimento indistinto ad aziende pubbliche e private, profit e non-profit”. La rivista intendeva differenziarsi, in tal modo, dalle riviste “generaliste” dell’economia aziendale e dall’insieme, più numeroso, delle riviste aventi carattere specialistico in rapporto ad una singola funzione aziendale, ovvero ad uno specifico settore di attività. L’obiettivo di fondo della rivista era quello di inserirsi nel processo di internazionalizzazione della ricerca coniugando le conoscenze affermate a livello internazionale con i valori di fondo del pensiero economico aziendale italiano, anche nella scelta metodologica, cioè mantenendo il noto metodo di ricerca integrato induttivo-deduttivo. Il richiamo all’approccio integrato di analisi e all’obiettivo di fondo ci permette di dare una prima risposta alla domanda che ci siamo posti all’inizio: la linea editoriale della rivista rimane senz’altro valida. […]

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MC2015.3_1_MARCHI

 

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Evaluation of the e-Invoicing Impacts through a set of Key Performance Indicators

The dematerialization of business processes is one of the main challenges of the current decade. The concept of e-invoicing does not mean only the production and management of electronic invoices: it represents a part of the entire financial value chain and supply chain dematerialization (for its non-commodity component). In-deed the two value chains are now even more integrated and recent studies have shown significant monetary savings. The research question is now to define a reli-able set of indicators, which is also able to capture and to synthesize the interac-tions between the Financial Value Chain and the Supply Chain. In this paper we propose and validate among experts a set of Key Performance Indicators able to monitor these value chains from the financial, strategic, supplier, order and deliv-ery perspectives. The model has been validated through a survey that has been submitted to a number of players operating in different Italian value chains. The results obtained also allow building an assessment model in which a weight is assigned to each indicator and a comprehensive index can be generated.

Keywords: Dematerialization, e-Invoicing, Business management, Processes, Supply Chain, Metrics, Operational Costs, Simplification, Standards.

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Il controllo relazionale nelle destinazioni Turistiche: alcune evidenze empiriche

The Relational Control in Tourism Destinations: some empiric evidences

The Relational control is exerted within partnership of economic operators with different legal status, which are complementary in organization and production. Its aim is the efficient and effective use of resources by the partnership.

This research aims first of all to describe briefly a managerial control system (formed by formal and informal mechanisms, instruments used ex ante, in itinere, ex-post) to exert the relational or inter-organizational control, and then to check, through a survey, the use of this kind of inter-organizational control system within a sample of 249 Destination Management Organization (DMO) existing in 31 different world countries.

The main research questions is: “Does the sample of DMOs use an inter-organizational system control towards their partners”? If yes, the research explores the mechanisms and instruments used by DMOs at the moment or that will be used in the middle term; if not, the research explores the conceptual and/or economic obstacles that prevent or delay their implementation.

 

Keywords: Relational control, Destination, Destination Management Organization.

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Research perspectives on corporate reputation and company’s performance measurement. An interpretive framework

In the knowledge economy, corporate reputation is relevant in increasing financial and extra-financial performance of contemporary companies. Although corporate reputation represents a significant dimension of relational capital, included in the intellectual capital, its characteristics are not easy to measure in assessing company performance over the time. In this direction, the paper aims to analyze the corporate reputation as influential intangible asset of contemporary company to define its evaluation by completing the company performance measurement system. This paper uses an updated conceptualization of corporate reputation literature which focuses on the need to integrate and complete the value of company performance. Performing a literature review on corporate reputation allows us to build an adequate framework for a new, integrated and innovative way to evaluate this intangible asset in the future scientific contribution. So, the research aims to create an integrated literature framework on corporate reputation, including studies on the evaluation of corporate reputation as strategic asset, its relevance in the definition of company performance, its impact on stakeholders’ behavior.

 Keywords: Corporate Reputation, Intangible Asset, Performance, Performance Measurement, Relational Capital.

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Regulatory compliance of financial control sys-tems and its implications for accountants. Some evidence from Italian experience

The research examines the compliance of firms with laws and rules concerning accounting information and financial control systems. In particular it investigates the role of accountants and the skills they employ during the adoption of laws and regulations (regulatory compliance). In the preliminary step, the research suggests a reviewed concept of regulatory compliance: it is based on the idea that firms must consider compliance as a strategic opportunity, able to activate key changes in accounting procedures, information tools, organizational roles, control mechanisms.

In the following step the research examines how the revised vision of regulatory compliance affects accounting positions, accountants’ role and their skills. Using data collected on a sample of Italian accountants, an empirical research provides some evidences on key skills and competencies requested for an effective regulatory compliance.

Keywords: Compliance, Regulatory Compliance, Accounting Control, Accounting roles.

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Cause e implicazioni del cambiamento del revisore

 

Causes and implications of the auditor changes

This paper explores causes and implications of the auditor changes. We investigate the US setting in which the changes are voluntary and there is mandatory disclosure about the reasons for the change. The findings show that changes with a departing Big-4 are motivated by the auditor’s concerns about the client firm weaknesses in internal control processes and compliance with law. The changes between Non-Big-4 auditors are associated with the issuance of going concern qualified opinions, suggesting possible audit opinion shopping by client firms. The switches from a Non-Big-4 to a Big-4 auditor are associated with issues related to the application of accounting standards. Overall, our findings suggest that changes allow auditors to better organise their audit, and balance the objectives of their assignments and the maintenance of effective client relations. The balance of reasonably effective internal controls systems and of risk-proportioned audit fees is at the core of negotiations between audit and client firms. Also, the search for more effective audit and higher governance and financial markets reputation may motivate the switch from a smaller audit firm to a Big-4. The information regarding auditor changes can shed light upon the financial reporting practices and management behaviour, signalling to investors any potential misrepresentation, to the management potential risk areas and to regulators where they might need to intervene to enforce auditor and management independence.

Keywords: auditor change, Big-4, internal controls, auditor independence.

Appendice 1 

Appendice 2

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Dal Reporting alla Contabilità Industriale. Relazioni di coerenza e integrazione informativa

Integration between Reporting and Costing Models

The paper focuses on managerial accounting and cost accounting features, their different logics in the budgeting process, highlighting the importance of calculating the cost of the product, for prices formulation and inventory evaluation, the balance sheet item that more than any other transcends the accounting. While going down the bill of material, the value of production processes, represented by routing, increases. As a matter of fact, the typical question of Management Control, especially for industrial controlling, is what costs are included in the calculation of step rate, to check with the consistency of reporting scheme.

Keywords: statutory accounting, management accounting, cost accounting, bill of material, routing, phantom item.

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“Management Control” Special Issue: Research perspectives in Performance Management

[Editorial]

This Special Issue is a selection of papers presented to the third Management Control Journal Workshop on “Research perspectives in Performance Management”, held in Pisa on 23-24 July 2014 and it provides valuable insights into Italian research on performance management. The final picture is broad and it offers different views on the objectives, theories and methodologies. A total of five papers out of thirteen are included in this Special Issue. Starting with a review, Gaia Bassani and Cristina Cattaneo in “Performance management systems and strategy: state of art in Italian journals” disclose the perspectives and the contents of Italian academic journals on Performance Management Systems (PMSs). Their review is based on papers selected from the ESSPER database from 1980 to 2013 and it focuses on 34 papers that have been frequently published since 2000. Their analysis takes into consideration the distinction used in the international literature between PMSs which provide support for strategic decisions and PMSs which are implemented to develop and execute a defined strategy. The papers reviewed are predominantly normative, they are mostly conceptual and the debates appear more fragmented than in the international context. Furthermore, some suggestions to  Italian researchers are provided, such as leveraging the holistic research approach towards  Italy’s Economia Aziendale to answer the questions about PMSs that are frequently asked in the international arena. […]

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Performance Management Systems and Strategy: The state of the art in Italian journals

Taking the Ferreira and Otley (2009) broad view of performance management sys-tems (PMSs), the aim of this paper is to investigate the debate over PMSs and strategy tackled in a context of strong traditional academic roots in the accounting field, such as that in Italy. We conduct the research through a systematic review of studies on this topic that have been published in Italian journals since 1980. In de-termining the object of analysis, we discuss if these papers follow the taken-for-granted international distinction between strategic PMSs as such (ref. to first stream of literature) and PMSs introduced for developing and executing a defined strategy (ref. to second stream of literature). The literature review is based on pa-pers selected from the ESSPER database from 1980 to 2013. The first results show 34 interesting papers published in different Italian journals, especially in the 2000s. These papers are published in a wide range of journals and show a predominantly practical tendency in which both quantitative and qualitative studies are welcome. Studies related to the first stream of literature argue the diffusion of PMSs as tech-niques and the peculiarities of strategic cost management systems. Further devel-opment categorized in the second stream of literature describes in-depth relation-ships, benefiting from certain topics understudied nowadays in the national debate. Evidence of the influence of economia aziendale on some papers belonging to both the two streams emerges.

Keywords: Performance Management System, Strategy, Italian Journal, Literature. Review

Table 2 Bassani Cattaneo

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Web reputation and performance measurement systems in the hotel industry: An exploratory study in Italy

This research, which focuses on web reputation in the hotel industry, aims to understand hotel managers’ practices in monitoring travellers’ opinions disclosed on travel websites and online travel agencies. Results from a web survey administered to Italian hotel managers and owners highlight the great importance attributed to web reputation and describe the type and frequency of controls as well as how the information collected from the Internet is used to support performance evaluation and managers’ decision-making.

Keywords: web reputation, online reviews, intangibles, online room booking channels, decision making, User Generated Content (UGC)

Table 2 Aureli Supino