یکپارچه سازی استراتژی کسب و کار، تنظیمات سازمانی و سیستم حسابداری مدیریت با اثر واحد کسب و کار : چشم اندازی از رویکرد سازگار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|12216||2004||22 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 15, Issue 2, June 2004, Pages 179–200
This study adopts a fitness landscape approach to test contingency hypotheses about the relationship between business strategy, organizational configurations, management accounting systems, and business unit effectiveness. Central to this approach is the notion of contingent fit between strategic priorities and its contextual variables. Building on Kauffman’s N-locus, two-state additive fitness model, this study predicts that the degree of contingent fit, defined as the weighted sum of independent fitness contributions of each contextual variables, will have a positive association with business unit effectiveness. Based on a mail survey and personal interviews of 106 business unit managers of publicly held companies listed under consumer goods industry, this study indicates that the degree of contingent fit has a positive association with business unit effectiveness. Further analysis reveals that strategic priorities affect the types of controls and management accounting systems used by the business units.
In today’s business environment, companies need to take every advantage they can to remain competitive. Global competition, rapid innovation, entrepreneurial competitors, and increasingly demanding customers have altered the nature of competition in the marketplace. This new competitive environment requires companies’ ability to create value for their customers and to differentiate themselves from their competitors through the formulation of a clear business strategy (Simon, 2000 and Porter, 1985). Other researchers, however, argue that to achieve competitive advantages and to ensure high performance, a clear business strategy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. Business strategy must be supported by appropriate organizational factors such as effective manufacturing process, organizational design and accounting information systems (e.g., Jermias and Armitage, 2000, Waterhouse and Svendsen, 1998, Shank and Govindarajan, 1993 and Johnson and Kaplan, 1987). Researchers have attempted to explain how accounting systems might be affected by the fit between environmental, organizational, and decision-making style factors. Bruns and Waterhouse (1975) were among the first to address the contingent nature of environment, technology, organizational structure, and management control systems by hypothesizing that there is no universally appropriate accounting system which applies equally to all organizations in all circumstances. Rather, they suggest that appropriate accounting systems depend upon organizational contextual variables (see also Otley, 1980, Waterhouse and Tiessen, 1978 and Gordon and Miller, 1976). Otley (1980), for example, proposes the need to identify specific aspects of an accounting system that are associated with certain defined circumstances and demonstrate an appropriate matching. More recent researchers that employ contingency theory have incorporated strategy as an important contingent variable (Chenhall and Langfield-Smith, 1988, Samson et al., 1991, Dent, 1990, Gupta, 1987 and Gupta and Govindarajan, 1984). Central to the contingency approach in examining the relationships between strategic priorities, organizational configurations, and management accounting systems is the notion of contingent fit. This approach asserts that neither the type of strategy, nor the organizational configuration will directly affect performance. Rather, this approach suggests that the most important determinant of performance is the contingent fit between the chosen strategy and its contextual variables. While previous studies have added to our understanding of the interrelationship between contextual variables and organizational design, few, if any contingency studies have successfully developed and measured the construct of “appropriate match” or fit between strategic priorities and its contextual variables. In addition, previous studies tend to underutilize performance measures as dependent variables (notable exceptions include Govindarajan and Gupta, 1985, Govindarajan and Fisher, 1990 and Chenhall and Langfield-Smith, 1988), even though these variables are considered by many as key components of a system-based contingency approach (e.g., Ginsberg and Venkatraman, 1985, Govindarajan and Gupta, 1985, Selto et al., 1995 and Garg et al., 2003). Researchers argue that ignoring performance variables not only impedes the development of a true contingency theory (Otley, 1980) but also indicates the lack of consideration that organizational researchers have for the concerns of practitioners (Sussman and Evered, 1978). The objective of this paper is to contribute to the limited body of knowledge in this area by attempting to develop and measure the contingent fit between strategic priorities and its contextual variables using fitness landscape approach and investigate the association between the level of contingent fit and effectiveness at business unit levels. A mail survey and personal interviews are used to collect quantitative information from business unit managers of publicly held companies listed under consumer goods industry. Consistent with the main prediction, the level of contingent fit has a significant positive association with business unit effectiveness. Further analysis reveals that strategic priorities do not affect the relationship between the level of contingent fit and business unit effectiveness. Although the association between contingent fit and business unit effectiveness is stronger for low cost business units as compared to that of product differentiation business units, the difference is not statistically significant.2 Examining these issues is important for both theoretical and practical reasons. From a theoretical perspective, this study provides insights into the development of the contingent fit construct to represent an appropriate matching between strategic priorities and its contextual variables and how to measure this construct. From a practical perspective, the findings of this study can help to increase understanding of how different strategic priorities may require different organizational configurations to positively affect performance. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. The next section contains the background theory, a review of the related literature, the conceptual model used, and hypotheses tested. The research method is then described followed by the results. The final section presents a discussion of the major findings, limitations, and implications for future research and practice.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Conceptually, this study relies on the proposition that contingent fit between chosen strategy and its contextual variables is positively associated with business unit effectiveness. The findings from this study indicate that contingent fit has a significant positive relationship with business unit effectiveness regardless of the strategic choice. This is consistent with the proposition from contingency theory that no systems are universally appropriate to all organization and to all circumstances. Instead, a particular strategic choice must be associated with a certain organizational configuration and management accounting systems and demonstrate an appropriate matching to positively affect performance. Previous research has found that product differentiation units tend to use a more decentralized structure, more intensive behavioural control, and more intensive management accounting systems that support business units’ ability to differentiate their products and to satisfy their customers. Low cost units tend to be organized with a more centralized structure, use more intensive behavioural control, and more intensive management accounting systems that promote efficiency. The results of this study indicate that product differentiation units tend to use more behavioural control and management accounting systems that support companies’ ability to differentiate their product and to satisfy their customers. These results are consistent with those of previous research. One contradictory result was observed when comparing the level of intensity of output control used by product differentiation and low cost units. While we predict that product differentiation units will tend to use output control less intensively as compared to low cost units, the results show the opposite. Further analysis indicates that there is a strong correlation between output control and behavioural control indicating that business units in this industry use both behavioural and output controls simultaneously, but product differentiation companies use both types of controls more intensively. We also performed an alternative test to compare the total control and relative control levels (defined as percentage of behavioural or output control to total control) used by product differentiation and low cost business units. Table 6 and Table 7 present the descriptive statistics and the t-test results. The results indicate that as a percentage of total control, product differentiation business units use more behavioural control and less output control as compared to low cost business units (46.72% versus 44.82% and 53.28% versus 55.18%). These results are consistent with H5 and H6 although the differences are not statistically significant. It is interesting to note that both product differentiation and low cost business units use more output control than behavioural control. It might be that business units in this industry rely more on output control than behavioural control because of high outcome observability. Another possible explanation for the fact that output controls are more intensely used than behavioural controls may be that the companies studied here are all listed companies. In most cases, these companies tend to be bigger (in size) than average. Size may motivate managers to rely more on output-based controls than on behaviour controls (like detailed rules and procedures). Hence, bigger companies tend to have different control structures than smaller companies (see also Zimmerman, 2003). Furthermore, the results indicate that product differentiation business units use significantly more total control than low cost business units. One possible explanation for this finding is that being more stable and less risky, low cost units may not require intense control as opposed to product differentiation units. 5.1. Limitations Although contingent fit between business strategy and its contextual variables is considered by many as the central issue in using the contingency approach, researchers have yet to agree on the construct of contingent fit and how to measure it. This study sheds some new light on how to develop and measure the contingent fit between strategic choice and its contextual variables. One limitation of this study is the assumption that each contextual variable is independent of the other variables (K=0) and makes an independent contribution to the overall fitness value. In a contingency model with more than one contextual variable, it is likely that the contribution of each variable is affected by the state of the other variables. We leave this for future research. Second, the findings of this study are based on data from a single industry that might not necessarily reflect the general pattern of companies. Therefore, caution should be taken in making inferences from the results of this study. The advantage of using a single industry, however, is that the influence of business environment is greatly minimized. While data collected from a survey and personal interviews can enable researchers to explore the richness of the reality by obtaining information that is not publicly available, socially desirable bias due to subjective responses to the questionnaires should be taken into considerations. Finally, this study only investigates the fit between strategic choice, degree of centralization, type of control and type of management accounting systems and its association with business unit effectiveness. Other variables such as size, technology, and leadership style might also play a significant effect on business unit performance 5.2. Implication for future research and practice The approach used to define and measure the contingent fit and its association with business unit effectiveness is a preliminary step toward understanding the complex relationship between business strategy, its contextual variables and performance. Further studies are needed to extend the model used in this study, for example, by relaxing the assumption that each contextual variable makes an independent contribution toward the overall fitness value. To do this, one needs to find the interdependency among contextual variables and their cumulative effect on fitness value to affect performance. Future research might also use cross-industry data to investigate the impact of fitness on business units as well as organizational level performance. From a practical perspective this study is relevant to executives responsible for the design and implementation of organizational structure, control and management accounting systems. The results of this study provide insights into the need to align strategic priorities, organizational design and management accounting systems since the appropriate match between business strategy and its contextual variables is likely to affect performance.