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The clinical risk management. A case study

The continuous increase in healthcare costs as regards GDP and the public expenditure reflects, on the one side, the growth of health demand due to the change in the global epidemiological landscape and, on the other side, a progressive rise in health costs, significantly influencing the sustainability of the world health system. The legislative measures adopted by many countries, primarily aiming at containing the public expenditure, have drawn the attention of academics and practitioners.

The interest is focused on risk management because nowadays this process is considered necessary in healthcare public companies. The reason is that it allows, on the one hand, to reduce waste and, consequently, costs, and, on the other hand, to improve the results and the assistance quality offered. In this context, the aim of the study is twofold: i) to examine the clinical risk management in healthcare organizations; ii) to verify, through a case study, in which way the adoption of innovative managerial models, such as the lean management, can improve performance and reduce the clinical risks caused by adverse events; this, to improve the clinical risk management. For this purpose, we analyze the lean management model implemented in “Morgagni Pierantoni Hospital Unit” of Forlì. The results show a positive impact of lean management model on clinical processes in terms of improvement of performance and higher security of assistance services.

Keywords: clinical risk management, lean management, health care organization, clinical processes, clinical risk, case study.

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L’azione di governo e le attività di supporto alla filantropia strategica nelle fondazioni italiane: determinismo o solidarismo?

In che modo gli organi di governo delle principali fondazioni d’erogazione italiane possono migliorare la strategia delle proprie fondazioni e ricercare migliori risultati sociali? Il tema è dibattuto da anni soprattutto nel mondo anglosassone dove sono numerosi gli studi che spingono verso modelli d’intervento filantropico che potrebbero essere definiti deterministici e scientifici. La storia secolare della filantropia italiana è storicamente portatrice di un diverso modello di intervento, più solidaristico, che affonda nel ricco tessuto sociale dei nostri territori ed è in grado di stimolare importanti fenomeni di partecipazione civile e associazionismo sociale. Sull’analisi di questi diversi modelli filantropici, più scientifico o più solidale, si è concentrata la seconda indagine sul governo delle fondazioni d’erogazione promossa dall’Università di Padova. I questionari compilati da 201 soggetti di governo e decision makers presso le nostre fondazioni tratteggiano un quadro favorevole all’adozione della filantropia strategica di matrice anglosassone, opportunamente rivista e specificata in funzione delle tipicità nazionali. L’analisi dei dati suggerisce una progressiva specializzazione dei ruoli nell’esteso mondo del “non profit”, indicando per le fondazioni d’erogazione il ruolo di operatori qualificati in grado di sviluppare competenze specifiche utili sia per promuovere nuove reti d’intervento sia per affiancare operatori del terzo settore al fine di migliorarne i progetti e i risultati.

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How foundations’ board can improve philanthropic strategy and research better social performances? This topic is highly debated in the Anglo-Saxon literature which proposes to foundations’ CEO several managerial and deterministic models. The Italian history of mecenatism and philanthropic initiatives, however, portraits a different theoretical model built on solidarity and able to activate civil action and social activism. Methodology: In this paper two theoretical models (determinism vs solidarism) have been tested trough a national online survey addressed to 201 Italian foundations’ decision makers (presidents, board members and project leaders). Descriptive and multivariate analysis is next used for testing the associations between the main theoretical elements and foundations’ perceived performances. Findings: Results highlight a favourable adoption of the Anglo-Saxon guidelines adjusted with national element of solidarity. Respondents know and successfully apply in their foundations the basic elements of strategic philanthropy, namely: selecting the best grantees; signalling other funders; improving the performance of grant recipients and advancing the state of knowledge and practice in the targeted social areas. Conclusion calls for a further specialization of nonprofit players. Grant-making foundations are invited to focus on the development of unique skills for the promotion of social networks and for the support of other operative players. However, the improvement of grants’ recipient capabilities in our national context is intended as separate philanthropic goal which could be object of specific foundational action and separate grants, with the ultimate goal of improving social activism, nonprofit projects and social outcomes.

Key words: Governance, Foundations, Philanthropy

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Exploring the use of Social and Environmental Performance Indicators by European companies

This study explores the use of Social and Environmental Performance Indicators (SEPIs) by European companies, starting from the premise that little is known about how companies internally plan, implement, and monitor their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. More specifically, given the increasing critiques raised against companies’ CSR practices and the related CSR-washing debate, this study investigates the extent to which firms use SEPIs by distinguishing between internal (i.e., decision-making and control) and external (i.e., disclosure) types of use. It also examines the organizational factors associated with such different uses (namely, size, industry, and compliance to social or environmental certification standards). Empirically, the study is based on a survey conducted across a sample of 129 European firms. This work contributes to the social and environmental accounting literature by collecting and analyzing large-scale empirical evidence that provides a better understanding of the relationships between external and internal uses of indicators, as well as of the influence of firm characteristics on such uses, across both the social and the environmental dimension of the CSR domain.

Keywords: social and environmental performance indicators, control, decision-making, external disclosure, CSR-washing.

MC2017.3_4_LISI_Article

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Utenti che innovano: un’analisi empirica nella tutela della salute

L’innovazione generata dagli utenti – meglio nota come user innovation – è una pratica sempre più diffusa sia nelle amministrazioni pubbliche sia nelle aziende private, ed è possibile rinvenirne numerosi esempi anche nel settore sanitario. L’intento del presente articolo è contribuire alla teoria sulla user innovation, con particolare riguardo alle motivazioni e agli stimoli che inducono gli utenti ad innovare, analizzando evidenze empiriche originali tratte dal settore sanitario Italiano. Nella prima parte del lavoro sono analizzati criticamente i diversi filoni di letteratura sviluppati attorno al concetto di user innovation. Nella seconda parte, è presentata e analizzata l’esperienza di pazienti affetti da malattie croniche e rare. I dati confermano l’importanza della user innovation e la prevalenza della motivazione altruistica su quella commerciale, da cui derivano implicazioni rilevanti per incentivare gli utenti. La collaborazione medico-paziente e i modelli di diffusione dell’innovazione emergono come elementi che influenzano in modo cruciale la piena realizzazione dei benefici, non solo individuali, legati alla user innovation in sanità.
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User innovation is widespread in both private and public sectors and there is now abundant anecdotal evidence in health care. We review different literature streams developed around the concept and draw on original empirical evidence on patient innovation in rare and chronic diseases, aiming to further develop the theory on user innovation. The analysis of our survey data confirms the relevance of patient innovation in rare and chronic diseases and the prevalence of altruistic motivations driving patients’ efforts. Collaboration with physicians and patterns of innovation diffusion emerge as key aspects undermining the full realization of innovation benefits and the creation of public value.

Key words: Collaborative innovation, Patient innovation, Public Value

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La comunicazione al mercato delle performance economico-finanziarie: il ruolo del controllo di gestione

The emerging role of Management Control to the evolution of Financial Reporting

The general framework of this paper is the evolution of financial and non-financial reporting along with internal and external conditions of companies, which explain this evolutionary path.

Starting from this framework, the objective of this study is to analyze whether Management Control could be included among the internal conditions that lead to changes in the financial and non-financial reporting.

The methodological approach is based on both deductive and inductive logic. Thus, the answer to the research question is provided by the analysis of the literature and is strengthened by a case study.

Keywords: Management Control, Financial Reporting, Business Culture, Financial Performance, Non-Financial Performance.

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Perché una riforma della contabilità delle regioni e degli enti locali

[Esperienze Innovative]

Il presente lavoro intende illustrare le ragioni fondamentali che hanno indotto il legislatore nazionale ad avviare la riforma della contabilità delle regioni, degli enti locali e dei loro enti ed organismi. Nello specifico, evidenzia come l’esigenza del coordinamento della finanza pubblica abbia richiesto in maniera sempre più pressante un linguaggio contabile unico garantito dall’armonizzazione dei sistemi contabili adottati dalle varie pubbliche amministrazioni. Ci si è concentrati, preliminarmente, sui fattori strutturali che hanno spinto verso una profonda riforma della contabilità degli enti territoriali, quali il consolidamento dei conti pubblici e i vincoli europei, il processo di federalismo fiscale e l’azione sulla qualità della spesa in favore degli investimenti pubblici. Infine, è stato brevemente affrontato il più importante tra i fattori contingenti che hanno reso opportuna se non necessaria la riforma della contabilità degli enti territoriali e, cioè, il ritardo da parte delle pubbliche amministrazioni nel pagamento dei debiti in favore dei propri creditori.

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The present work aims to illustrate the fundamental reasons that led the Italian national legislator to initiate the accounting reform of the regions, local authorities and their bodies and entities. Specifically, it highlights how the need for coordination of public finance has increasingly required a unique accounting language guaranteed by the harmonization of the accounting systems adopted by the various public administrations. We focused, firstly, on the structural factors that led to a  thorough reform of the accounting of territorial entities, such as the consolidation of public accounts and European constraints, the process of fiscal federalism and the action on the quality of spending in favor of public investment. Finally, the most important of the contingent factors that made the reform of the accounting of local authorities, and that is, the delay on the part of public administrations in the payment of debts in favor of their creditors has been briefly addressed.

Key words: Accounting harmonization, Territorial entities, Italian experience

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La Network Governance a supporto dell’Open Innovation: un’analisi della letteratura

Network governance and Open Innovation. A literature review

This study aims at investigate the state of the art of network governance studies in relation to a specific context, that is research and development (R & D) and open innovation. The research was conducted through a literature review over the period 2007-2017. The obtained results outline a descriptive picture of the main trends in the field of governance in open innovation networks, highlighting the concentration of studies in some research centers and journals, and therefore a need for research that deepens the Governance as a key factor in open innovation processes.

Keywords: network governance, open innovation, literature review.

MC2017.3_7_PIEDEPALUMBO_Allegato 1

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Il ruolo dei manager universitari in un’ottica di performance integrata. Analisi di un caso studio

The role of university managers under an integrated performance approach. A case study

Universities are, and this is even truer in Italy, peculiar public administrations, characterized by common elements to other public administrations (PAs) but also by distinctive features. In universities, professionals are the main producers of core services, while an administration works in support of these core functions. In time evaluation focused on teaching and research activities and thus on the academic component of the university, leaving aside the administrative one. Nevertheless, worldwide has increased the relevance of professional management within universities, due to the key role played by it in determining the university. Moreover, the guidelines issued in Italy in 2015 by the National agency for Evaluation of the University System and Research (ANVUR) highlight that all the universities’ activities are affected by the administrative activity and that there is a need to view university performance in a more holistic manner (integrated performance), in which the general objectives of the universities should be linked to the objectives of the professional management. In this context, the main research aim of the paper is to analyze the contribution offered by university managers to the achievement of the university performance by investigating the actual management control systems within universities to verify the degree of linkages of university managers’ objectives with university’s objectives and whether university managers are provided with incentives when university objectives are achieved. The paper addresses the main research question  using a case study methodology applied to the University of Calabria.

Keywords: universities, integrated performance, performance management, evaluation, university managers.

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Intellectual Capital as driver for controlling managers’ performance. An innovative approach

The purpose of the paper is to analyse how Intellectual Capital (IC) of contemporary companies can be used as management control tool, by proposing it as a driver for sport and financial performance from a value creation perspective. Through a quantitative method with an empirical application, the research investigates the football industry. The IC of professional football clubs has been identified in three components: the first team players, the brand and the right of qualification for the competition on sporting merit. The outcomes of the new model based on IC enhancement allow defining a new use of it as management control tool and a driver for clubs’ managers, overcoming the traditional models of traditional objective functions, which do not consider the managers’ role. Furthermore, the new objective function, defined by the research, allows managers to make strategic decisions finalized to achieve clubs success in compliance with ownership aims. Therefore, this study provides a control tool and a driver for managers’ performance that can be used by company ownership.

Keywords: Intellectual capital, management control tool, evaluation tools, football clubs, manager, value creation.

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Indice – Management Control – n° 2/2017

Management Control

2/2017

Sommario

Controllo della performance nelle aziende dei servizi: contributi e tendenze

Selena Aureli, Claudio Travaglini

pag. 5
Rilevazione del gap tra DRG price e internal cost: implicazioni di case-mix accounting

Cristiana Cattaneo, Gaia Bassani

» 13
 
Performance economiche e ambientali nelle aziende italiane di igiene urbana: prime evidenze empiriche

Francesca Bartolacci, Antonella Paolini, Anna Grazia Quaranta, Michela Soverchia

» 33
 
Managerial accounting and charity in hospitality enterprises

Maria-Gabriella Baldarelli

» 53
Misure di performance innovative e modelli di business: il caso delle aziende aeroportuali italiane

Vincenzo Fasone, Mariano Puglisi

» 71
 
Applying business analytics for performance measurement and management. The case study of a software company

Franco Visani

 

»

89
 
Caratteristiche dell’Audit Committee e Gestione del Rischio Bancario: un’analisi empirica del contesto europeo

Davide Rizzotti, Claudia Frisenna

» 125

 

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Indice Azienda Pubblica 2/2017

Azienda Pubblica

N. 2/2017

Sommario

Editoriale

Riccardo Mussari

pag. 111

Sistemi di misurazione delle performance  nelle reti pubblico-private del settore dei servizi turistici

Mara Del Baldo, Selena Aureli

» 119
Le relazioni tra performance management systems e innovazione nel settore culturale: evidenze dal Herculaneum Conservation Project

Alessandra Allini, Francesca Manes Rossi, Rosanna Spanò, Riccardo Macchioni

» 151
Il bilancio degli atenei: criteri di analisi e prime evidenze

Tommaso Agasisti, Guido Modugno

»  165

Promozione dell’equità in sanità e programmazione aziendale: evidenze  da uno studio di caso esplorativo

Antonella Cifalinò, Irene Eleonora Lisi, Emilio Passetti

 »  187
Fr

Indice – Financial Reporting 2/2017

Financial Reporting

2/2017

 

Italian academia facing an international scenario: Issues and trends

Andrea Lionzo

pag. 3
Toward a learned profession: The future of accounting research

Bruce Behn

» 23
Increasing the value of accounting research: An Italian perspective

Aldo Pavan, Isabella Fadda,

» 29
Some notes about financial accounting research: Research methodology, epistemological approaches and practical implications

Marco Allegrini, Giulio Greco

» 43
Past evolution and recent trends in accounting research

 

Annalisa Prencipe, 

» 51
The points of contacts between academics and professionals

 

Massimiliano Semprini

» 61
The usefulness of accounting research: A practitioner’s point of view

Giovanni Andrea Toselli

» 67
Accounting research production and evaluation: The view of the professionals

Orazio Vagnozzi

» 75

 

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Controllo della performance nelle aziende dei servizi: contributi e tendenze

Performance evaluation in service companies. Contributions and trends

This issue of Management Control focuses on the so-called service sector or tertiary sector, which represents the most important component of every country’s economy. Since this sector covers a wide variety of activities, this issue gathers contributions on performance measurement systems and metrics used in different types of service businesses, such as transport companies, restaurants, public utilities, financial institutions, software companies and organizations delivering healthcare services.

Reasons for a thematic issue on performance evaluation in service companies are: the speed at which modern countries have made the transition to service-based economies, the emergence of new Internet-based services and ways of using services due to the spread of ICTs and the demand for new management control systems or metrics capable to respect services’ characteristics and their trends of change like the increasing involvement of costumers in service production.

Selected contributions coherently highlight the need to integrate financial performance metrics with the measurement of qualitative and non-monetary results like customer satisfaction and socio-environmental impacts, the shift from monitoring processes to focusing on service outcomes and the opportunity offered by ICTs to collect and elaborate a great amount of data on customers, processes and external sources and use them to improve service managers’ decision making.

Keywords: management control, ICT, public services, performance measurement, service co-production.

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Editoriale

Gli interessanti saggi che appaiono in questo numero di Azienda Pubblica offrono numerosi spunti di riflessione. Uno dei temi che li accomuna e sul quale intendo concentrare la mia attenzione in questo editoriale, è quello della performance. La ricerca e la pratica sono concentrate da lungo tempo sui diversi significati che si possono attribuire al generico termine performance, sulle migliori soluzioni tecniche contabili ed extracontabili da adottare per poterne dare una rappresentazione quantitativa e/o qualitativa e sulle possibili interpretazioni delle risultanze dell’applicazione di tali tecniche (performance measurement, performance evaluation). Sono argomenti da tempo al centro del dibattito dottrinale e operativo che i saggi di questo fascicolo bene mettono in evidenza. Tuttavia, ancora prima di richiamare tali profili, è per me indispensabile chiarire che i termini performance e management pubblico sono inestricabilmente legati. Non c’è management pubblico senza performance e non c’è performance (ovvero non c’è bisogno di riferirsi alla performance) senza management pubblico. Il management pubblico implica e presuppone la responsabilità per i risultati. Non per caso si scrive di public performance management volendo significare la necessità che tutte le componenti dell’unitario processo manageriale pubblico siano guidate, responsabilizzate, incentivate (non solo attraverso sistemi a base monetaria) e valutate, all’interno e all’esterno del perimetro aziendale, sulla base di un sistema di obiettivi di performance (risultati attesi) reso esplicito e operante. […]

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Editoriale

Gli interessanti saggi che appaiono in questo numero di Azienda Pubblica offrono numerosi spunti di riflessione. Uno dei temi che li accomuna e sul quale intendo concentrare la mia attenzione in questo editoriale, è quello della performance. La ricerca e la pratica sono concentrate da lungo tempo sui diversi significati che si possono attribuire al generico termine performance, sulle migliori soluzioni tecniche contabili ed extracontabili da adottare per poterne dare una rappresentazione quantitativa e/o qualitativa e sulle possibili interpretazioni delle risultanze dell’applicazione di tali tecniche (performance measurement, performance evaluation). Sono argomenti da tempo al centro del dibattito dottrinale e operativo che i saggi di questo fascicolo bene mettono in evidenza. Tuttavia, ancora prima di richiamare tali profili, è per me indispensabile chiarire che i termini performance e management pubblico sono inestricabilmente legati. Non c’è management pubblico senza performance e non c’è performance (ovvero non c’è bisogno di riferirsi alla performance) senza management pubblico. Il management pubblico implica e presuppone la responsabilità per i risultati. Non per caso si scrive di public performance management volendo significare la necessità che tutte le componenti dell’unitario processo manageriale pubblico siano guidate, responsabilizzate, incentivate (non solo attraverso sistemi a base monetaria) e valutate, all’interno e all’esterno del perimetro aziendale, sulla base di un sistema di obiettivi di performance (risultati attesi) reso esplicito e operante. […]

Fr

Italian academia facing an international scenario: Issues and trends

The opening up to international debate of Italian accounting studies has required local researchers to deal with scientific paradigms based on assumptions, theories and methods markedly different from those that have been leading for decades the local knowledge production system. In an international scenario, a leading part has been played by the Anglo-Saxon mainstream paradigm. Not surprisingly, the interest of many Italian scholars has been catalyzed by such studies. However, the paradigm behind these studies is not free of criticism, as emerges from a qualified debate arising at international level around the pros and cons of this scientific approach. This paper – and the others collected in this Special Issue – hopes to contribute to the debate, with the aim, on the one hand, of overcoming some unbending defensive positions and, on the other hand, of favoring a conscious internationalization process.

Keywords: Accounting research, academia, positive accounting theory, scientific paradigm

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Rilevazione del gap tra DRG price e internal cost: implicazioni di case-mix accounting

Case-mix accounting. The gap analysis between DRG price and internal cost

In recent years, national and international studies analyse issues related to the consumption of resources, efficiency and appropriate costs in health care. In this framework, the Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) system and its implication for case mix, management accounting systems and processes in hospitals still requires research. This study has two objectives. The primary purpose is to investigate the gap between DRGs price and the internal cost for the hospital. The focus on the nursing care and non clinical services is due to the increasing relevance of the health and social care domain and non clinical services as well. Secondly, we want to investigate the opportunity to implement, especially at the national level, accounting case mix systems. The analysis in a hospital in northern Italy provides some results and insights in both directions.

Keywords: DRG, case mix accounting, cost, hospital.

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Sistemi di misurazione delle performance nelle reti pubblico-private del settore dei servizi turistici

Il presente lavoro si focalizza sui Convention Bureau (CB), quali reti/partnership di operatori pubblici e privati, create per promuovere la destinazione turistica e attrarre eventi che hanno un impatto rilevante sull’economia locale. La misurazione delle performance dei CB costituisce un compito sfidante a causa dell’elevata complessità di gestione della rete di relazioni, che richiede l’efficienza e la flessibilità tipica del privato, unitamente alla capacità di coniugare obiettivi privati con obiettivi pubblici. Per tale motivo, il presente lavoro intende comprendere quali dimensioni di analisi dovrebbero essere oggetto di monitoraggio in un sistema di misurazione delle performance di un CB. Mettendo a sistema aspetti teorici ed evidenze empiriche ottenute dall’analisi di tre casi esemplificativi, lo studio consente di comprendere quale gap nelle prassi di controllo deve essere colmato e quanto la prevalenza della componente pubblica nella governance e/o tra i finanziatori del CB possa essere associata a diversi obiettivi e quindi al monitoraggio di differenti dimensioni di analisi.

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This study focuses on Convention Bureau (CB), organisations made by a network of actors, usually public-private partnerships, created to promote a tourism destination and attract events that have a significant impact on the local economy. Performance measurement of CB is a challenging task because they are complex organisations to manage that need efficiency and flexibility while being able to reconcile public and private goals. Thus, this study aims to understand which dimensions of analysis should be monitored by the performance measurement system of the Convention Bureau. Drawing from management control literature and empirical insights obtained from the analysis of three case studies, this study helps understand gaps in current control practices and how much the prevalence of the public component in the governance and/or the funding of the CB may be associated to different objectives and the monitoring of different dimensions of analysis.

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Key words: Convention Bureau, performance measurement, public-private networks, tourism, control, multidimensional measures, governance

Fr

Toward a learned profession: The future of accounting research

The Pathways Commission (2012) recommended that we devote significant efforts to building a learned profession by purposeful integration of accounting research, education, and practice for students, accounting practitioners and educators. The reason this goal is so important for our broadly defined accounting profession is that we are in market for talent with other traditional learned professions such as medicine, law and engineering (and other future learned professions). Potential students want rewarding successful careers so they will migrate to learned professions that help make a difference in the world. The key aspect to a learned profession is intellectual technique (research) that informs practice and teaching. If our accounting profession can enhance the link between research, practice and teaching, we can move towards a learned profession.

Keywords: Learned profession, pathways commission, intellectual technique, sustainable development.

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Performance economiche e ambientali nelle aziende italiane di igiene urbana: prime evidenze empiriche

Financial and environmental performance in Italian waste management companies. An empirical analysis

This article deals with Italian companies owned by Municipalities operating in collection, treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste. The aim is to carry out an exploratory analysis to understand if waste management “good practices” (in terms of separate collection) can be realized by these companies without compromise their financial performance. To verify if a relationship between financial and environmental sustainability exists, an empirical analysis on 45 companies for the years 2012-2013-2014 has been carried out, calculating the ROI ratio and the separate collection per capita: the analysis shows that this relationship exists, even if with a decreasing correlation coefficient in the triennium.

Keywords: waste management companies, separate waste collection, financial performance, environmental performance.

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Le relazioni tra performance management systems e innovazione nel settore culturale: evidenze dal Herculaneum Conservation Project

La relazione tra performance management systems (PMS) e innovazione sta acquisendo importanza crescente e le sue potenzialità per il settore culturale non sono ancora del tutto indagate. Muovendo da tale consapevolezza, il contributo investiga le condizioni alla base della creazione di un efficace PMS, orientando l’attenzione, in particolare, al ruolo che l’innovazione può svolgere nel favorire la convergenza tra prospettiva, appunto, culturale e quella economica, nell’ottica di supportare il processo decisionale. L’analisi è stata realizzata attraverso lo studio del caso dell’Herculaneum Conservation Project, considerato esempio di riferimento di cooperazione pubblico-privato, e si è soffermata sull’implementazione del Geographical Information Systems (GIS) quale strumento di innovazione manageriale, che ha favorito il raggiungimento di adeguati livelli di efficacia ed efficienza gestionali.

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The relationship between performance management System (PMS) and innovation is gaining increasing importance and its potential for the cultural sector is not yet fully expressed. Moving from this awareness, the study addresses the factors moulding an effectiveness PMS, focusing in particular on the possible positive role played by innovation supporting decision-making towards improved cultural and economic performance. The analysis was carried out through the study of the case of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, an example of excellence in public-private cooperation, and focused on the implementation of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as an example of managerial innovation, which has facilitated the achievement of adequate levels of effectiveness and efficiency.

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Key words: Archaeological sites, performance management, innovation

Fr

Increasing the value of accounting research: An Italian perspective

Accounting research has a speculative and normative tradition. Starting at the beginning of the 1970s, empirical methodologies gained prominence and the boundaries of accounting disciplines have become uncertain. Quantitative and qualitative methods tend to overwhelm the accounting and business objects; often they are only suitable to deal with past and narrow phenomena. Empirical methodologies need reference theories, coming from other disciplines and particularly economics and sociology. In this context, it is questioned if accounting research does exist anymore and if it is relevant to the business world. Some scholars have begun to wonder whether it would be appropriate to revalue normative approaches in order to conduct a type of research which is useful to the society and allows the preservation of specific accounting knowledge. A necessity emerges to come back to the prominence of business and accounting issues over methodologies and sociological theories. Research should be directed to tackle wide and current phenomena, not just the narrow and past ones. Speculative thinking has to be reassessed and empirical findings should be used to strengthen it as starting premises. Explaining phenomena is not enough; empirical research has to go beyond its findings; the emphasis should be shifted to the drawing of policy recommendations.

Keywords: Accounting research, empirical methods, a priori research, research relevance.

Fr

Some notes about financial accounting research: Research methodology, epistemological approaches and practical implications

In this paper, we discuss three issues of current debate about financial accounting research. Firstly, we discuss the popularity of quantitative methods in financial accounting and the research limitations related to this dominance. As second issue, we critically discuss the epistemological approach underlying research methodologies. Finally, we discuss the practical implications of current financial accounting research and the need to search for a real impact factor besides the academic contribution.Keywords: Quantitative methods, qualitative methods, research methodology, epistemology, real impact factor.

 

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Managerial accounting and charity in hospitality enterprises

This paper has the objective of analysing the managerial accounting tools in the case of “Lentil as Anything” (LAA), that is an innovative charity in the hospitality industry. It is based on a new typology of catering, in which people can eat and will then pay as they “feel”. The combination of accounting and charity creates a new model of social enterprise and suggests certain analyses regarding the most important tools to use in management control in this area of the tourism sector.

Keywords:  managerial accounting, charity, hospitality industry, social enterprise.

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Il bilancio degli atenei: criteri di analisi e prime evidenze

Nel paper si intende valutare il contributo del nuovo sistema di reporting alla comprensione della situazione economico-finanziaria delle università italiane. Compiuto il passaggio alla contabilità “economico-patrimoniale”, è necessario ora porsi nella prospettiva dell’utilizzo delle informazioni offerte dal nuovo sistema. Basato sui risultati di un gruppo di lavoro che ha coinvolto 19 atenei, il paper propone un modello interpretativo per la valutazione della sostenibilità economico-finanziaria, presentando altresì i risultati di una prima applicazione sui bilanci di 10 università. Dall’analisi emergono alcuni caratteri comuni a tutte le università (solidità finanziaria), mentre per altri profili il quadro risulta frammentato. I dati segnalano che alcuni atenei si stanno avvicinando più velocemente ad un modello di entrepreneurial university.

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The paper aims at evaluating the contribution offered by the new financial reporting system to the understanding of their financial sustainability. After having implemented the accrual accounting system, it is now necessary to start debating on the use of the information obtained. The paper discloses the results of a study group of scholars and practitioners. The group developed a model for the financial analysis of universities and used it in 10 institutions. These early evidences show that while the financial position of all institutions is quite strong, the performances are differentiated. Some institutions show more capability to diversify incomes and lower risk aversion.

Key words: Higher Education, Financial statements analysis, Financial sustainability, Financial strategy

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Promozione dell’equità in sanità e programmazione aziendale: evidenze da uno studio di caso esplorativo

Questa ricerca analizza gli strumenti ed i processi attraverso cui le aziende sanitarie promuovono il principio di equità, integrandolo nell’ambito della programmazione aziendale. Affrontare e contrastare le disuguaglianze di salute è un tema prioritario a livello sia di politiche pubbliche, sia di interventi aziendali. In particolare, le aziende sanitarie hanno una responsabilità fondamentale nell’attivare processi programmatori ed attuativi volti alla riduzione delle disuguaglianze di salute, anche tramite l’applicazione di specifici strumenti di analisi e valutazione dell’equità. La letteratura aziendalistica offre, tuttavia, scarse evidenze a tale proposito. I risultati di questo lavoro, basati su uno studio di caso esplorativo, evidenziano una diffusa sensibilizzazione culturale relativa all’equità all’interno dell’azienda oggetto di studio, unita all’applicazione sperimentale di alcuni strumenti ad hoc, anche in sede di programmazione. Nel contempo, si illustrano una serie di complessità riconducibili alla natura del principio di equità, che si caratterizza per essere ampio, elusivo e difficilmente misurabile.

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This study explores the instruments and the processes through which healthcare organizations promote the health equity principle and integrate it within their organizational planning. Addressing and opposing health inequalities is a priority issue in terms of both public policies and organizational actions. In particular, healthcare organizations have a fundamental responsibility in activating decision-making and implementation processes aimed at reducing health inequalities, also through the application of specific tools for analyzing and assessing health equity. In this respect, however, little empirical evidence is to date offered by the management literature. The results, based on an exploratory case study, highlight a pattern of widespread cultural sensitization related to health equity across the organization, coupled with the experimental application of some ad hoc tools, within organizational planning too. The findings also illustrate several complexities deriving from the nature of the health equity principle itself, which appears to be broad, elusive, and difficult to measure.

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Key words: Equity, Healthcare organizations, Organizational planning

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Past evolution and recent trends in accounting research

Research in accounting is relatively young compared to other disciplines. Originally, normative research based on a priori reasoning and aimed at improving accounting practice was predominant among accounting scholars. After the 60’s, accounting academics started using an empirical positive approach, aimed to better understand accounting phenomena through empirical tests of hypotheses. As from then, research in accounting has gone through several changes in terms of approaches, research methods and topics. This paper aims at highlighting the main stages of the past evolution and recent trends in accounting research. After describing the main drivers of the shift from normative to positive approach, the dominant traits that have characterized accounting research for the last two decades are briefly analyzed. Particular emphasis is put on methods and topics. In the last section, the main limitations of current accounting research are highlighted, and some directions for future research are outlined.

Keywords: Accounting research, past evolution, future directions, research methods, research topics.

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Misure di performance innovative e modelli di business: il caso delle aziende aeroportuali italiane

Innovative performance measures and business models. The case of Italian airport companies

Business performance measurement literature stated that traditional metrics based strictly on economic and financial perspectives are not longer adequate for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating business performance. Nowadays innovative performance measurement systems are needed to better understand the evolution of businesses.

Because of emerging business models a modification and a deep impact on the definition of companies’ boundaries occurs. Accordingly, the main aim of this paper is to offer a theoretical contribution to the definition of new and innovative performance metrics in the context of a dynamic industry such as airports.

In this work, through the case study method, an innovative system to performance measurement is provided and the so-called “business model value creation ratio” is proposed. This specific approach encompasses simultaneously both shareholder perspective (quantitative-financial measures) and customer perspective (qualitative and non-financial measures).

Keywords: performance, business model, aeroporti, strategia, controllo.

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The points of contacts between academics and professionals

Some argue that the ultimate purpose of accounting research should be to improve accounting practice, rather than simply to describe or understand or critique it. Hence a gap appears to have emerged between practitioners and academics with regards to accounting research. In order to exploit as better as possible the output of the accounting research performed by academic researchers, the accounting profession should create a point of contact; auditing networks might facilitate this link. On the other hand, research performed by academics should become “understandable” by practitioners using a different jargon and simple mathematical formulas.

Keywords: Accounting profession; accounting research; research impact; impact factor.

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Applying business analytics for performance measurement and management. The case study of a software company

The concept of Business Performance Analytics (BPA) represents the adoption of analytical methods to support strategy control and (re)formulation. The purpose of the paper is to explore the potential support that BPA can provide for performance management systems. The study, through an interventionist approach, empirically tests a 5-step BPA framework (Raffoni et al. – forthcoming -) and provides insights for further developments.

The longitudinal study, conducted at a company operating in the data-security industry, supported the analysis of BPA potential and offered a number of insights to refine the framework and shed light on critical organisational issues. This paper offers both theoretical and practical suggestions. It is one of the few attempts to investigate the potential of Business Analytics in enhancing strategic control. It provides insights in a practical framework that could be used to guide further research in the area and provides an account of potential challenges faced by businesses when trying to move to strategic control with a data-driven approach.

Keywords: Business Analytics, Performance Measurement Systems, Business Performance Analytics, Big Data.