The role of the qualitative accounting research in the value creation process: managerial practices and theoretical development

Hristov Ivo, Mechelli Alessandro


The recent health and economic crisis has disrupted many aspects of our lives. Restrictions on the movement of people, lockdowns, and factory shutdowns are just a few of the main problems experienced during this period. Nowadays, to achieve a long-term competitive advantage, companies must be able to adapt to the dynamics of a constantly evolving environment. On one hand, in fact, we are witnessing to the emergence of new markets which reach the stage of maturity at a speed never experienced before; on the other hand, old markets are disappearing or are being revitalized by new products or by innovative production or distribution models. The integration between qualitative dimensions and strategy has become a crucial process for managing environmental complexity in companies to improve their performance. Financial dimension, based on the financial reporting and cost analysis, is essential in the value creation process, but often it is not able to consider all variables of the company’s system. In this context, deeper analysis on the positioning of qualitative determinants to date in the field of management accounting and on their integration in the performance management system (PMS) are required. In order to contribute to the research field, we devote our attention to two main goals: 1) to provide a clear picture of the main qualitative dimensions and connected value drivers for organizations and managers; 2) to identify critical issues, main challenges and managerial practices and measures to integrate qualitative dimensions into the strategy of the company. Based on a semi- structured interview with 65 managers, we analyzed the main qualitative dimensions positively perceived by managers and the relationship exists between qualitative dimensions and companies’ performance. We found five main qualitative dimensions (motivational, cultural factors, stakeholders’ perception, organizational integration, sustainable development) significantly influencing company’s performance and value creation process, which lead an organization to be better positioned in terms of employees’ involvement, management decision, stakeholders’ perceptions, and financial performance. In addition, we built a specific set of key performance indicators (KPIs) associated to the dimensions emerged. All results are discussed and incorporated in a five- dimensional framework aimed to provide a suitable way to support the integration process.

KEYWORDS: cultural change, performance management, KPIs

Hristov, I., Mechelli, A. (2021). The role of the qualitative accounting research in the value creation process: managerial practices and theoretical development, RIREA n.2, pp. 204-228. DOI: 1017408/RIREAIHAM050607082021