Articoli

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Evoluzione e prospettive dei sistemi di informazione e di controllo

Evolution and perspectives of information and control systems

This special issue includes five articles, identified among the best papers presented at the session “ICT, sustainability, regulation and uncertainty: evolution and perspectives in information and control systems” of the XXXVIII Congress of Italian Academy of Business Administration and Management and two research works.

Nowadays, firms work in a very complex and dynamic environment, in which different forces interact, as new technologies, new ways to look at the future, new principles and values, new regulations influencing the traditional view of accounting and management information systems. In this environment, a key driver to reshape the above-mentioned systems is to identify new models able at describing firms’ complexity. According to the author, these concepts are “ecosystem” and “triple helices”. New ways to look at the role and activities of firms in the economic environment inevitably affect their information and control systems.

Keywords: accounting information systems, ecosystems, triple helics.

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“Mondo reale-tradizionale” e “mondo digitale”, strategie aziendali e web intelligence: il futuro del controllo e della gestione delle informazioni

The “real-traditional” world and the “digital” world, strategic management and web intelligence. The future of information management and control.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the web intelligence may influence the principal dimensions of strategic intelligence, improving the capacity to make right strategic moves. Specifically, the aim is to study the possibilities and the risks, with the related control needs, of using web data and web information in defining strategies in the real traditional world, and not only in defining web strategies. First of all, we advanced a framework  and, then, the research was completed with specific interviews to managers of leader companies in the field of managing information and data. The study shows how “big data” may contain “rich data” and “deep data” and how the digital world may represent the “real traditional world”. Indeed, the study highlightsthe relationship, and maybe also the futures of the relationship, between the “digital world” and the strategic management.

Keywords: strategy, web, intelligence, big data, digitization, information system.

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Quale metodologia di ricerca sulle tematiche di Management Control?

Which research methodology on the Management Control issues?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Le sfide evolutive del Management Control tra relazioni strategiche, innovazione e discontinuità: a knowledge transfer matter?

The evolutionary challenges of management control between strategic relationship, institutional innovation and discontinuity: a knowledge transfer matter?

Management control studies provide a relevant body of knowledge able to support any organization in the strategy formulation, information processing and performance measurement. The suggested frameworks and tools are now proposed and implemented in a wide range of organizational contexts to face the increasing environmental discontinuity, characterized by the growing importance of strategic relationships and institutional innovations. In this scenario, the selected papers discuss some theoretical proposals and cases of implementation that could be interpreted in the knowledge transfer perspective, stimulating an analytical approach able to foster the role of management control in supporting economic and social development.

Keywords: management control, strategic relationships, innovation, performance measurement, knowledge transfer.

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Context matters. Il ruolo del contesto negli studi di controllo di gestione

[Editoriale]

Un elemento di sostanziale continuità ha caratterizzato nel tempo gli studi sui sistemi di controllo di gestione. L’analisi della letteratura specialistica, infatti, rivela che, sebbene si possa riscontrare un’estrema differenziazione di approcci metodologici e di filoni di ricerca, vi è una costante tendenza ad individuare nel ‘contesto’ una variabile rilevante, da analizzare per via delle profonde relazioni esistenti con la progettazione, l’implementazione e l’utilizzo di sistemi di controllo di gestione. Si tratta, però, di un elemento di continuità che non è sintomatico di una sostanziale staticità degli studi. Al contrario, nel tempo la prospettiva di osservazione del contesto è stata oggetto di profondi cambiamenti che hanno ispirato nuovi approcci allo studio dei sistemi di controllo di gestione e del loro concreto funzionamento.

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L’introduzione di un Performance Management System nell’Esercito Italiano

Nel corso degli ultimi trent’anni, il New Public Management (NPM) ha ispirato le riforme manageriali nel settore pubblico in tutto il mondo (OECD 2009). La valutazione delle performance e i sistemi di controllo gestionali sono stati i principali strumenti utilizzati dal NPM per aumentare l’efficienza e l’efficacia delle organizzazioni pubbliche (Hood 1991). Anche in Italia, i vari governi hanno adottato tale approccio, emanando diversi provvedimenti legislativi per promuovere la gestione delle performance. Nel presente lavoro si è utilizzato il framework proposto da Bouckaert e Halligan (2008) per analizzare e descrivere l’implementazione di un performance management system (PMS) all’interno dell’Esercito Italiano e per cogliere come determinati fattori abbiano contraddistinto tale processo organizzativo.

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Over the last thirty years, New Public Management (NPM) has inspired managerial reforms in public sectors worldwide (OECD 2009). Performance evaluation and managerial control systems have been the main instruments for the pursuit of efficiency and effectiveness in public organizations (Hood 1991). Successive Italian governments have embraced this theory and have enacted several laws to promote performance management. In this paper, we use the framework proposed by Bouckaert and Halligan (2008) to describe the implementation of a performance management system (PMS) in the Italian Army and to identify some critical factors that have characterized this organizational process.

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Key words: Performance measurement systems, Performance management, Management control