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Management control systems use, organisational capabilities and performance in universities: application of the resource-based view

conference contribution
posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Belete Jember (BJ) BobeBelete Jember (BJ) Bobe, D Taylor
Invoking the resource-based view (RBV), this study investigates relationships between management control systems (MCSs) use, including information use from performance measurement systems (PMSs), and organisational capabilities in the context of academic units of Australian universities. Increased competition and attention to distinctive capabilities amongst universities, particularly at their strategic operating unit level of Schools 1, provides the setting for application of this theoretic perspective. The objective of this study is to model various relationships between diagnostic and interactive use of MCSs, attention given to centrally-imposed and discretionary types of PMS information, the strength of capabilities of the academic unit and, in turn, performance of the academic units. This objective is investigated using a field survey in which a mail survey instrument is administered to a census of all Heads of Schools in all 39 universities in Australia. Valid responses were received from 166 Heads. Principal components factor analysis finds that Heads conceived capabilities of their unit in functional dimensions, not in generic dimensions as found in prior literature; Heads also considered performance measures in terms of their importance (critical or discretionary) rather than type (financial versus non-financial). Partial least-squares analysis is then used for path modelling, and several significant results are obtained. Highlights are that diagnostic MCS use and centrally-imposed performance measures, i.e., key performance indicators, but not interactive MCS use or discretionary performance measures, significantly relate to some or all of the strength of capabilities in the fields of teaching, research and networking, and in turn indirectly relate to performance of the academic units. The findings have practical implications for styles of control systems use; focus on selected key performance measures; and development of organisational capabilities for achievement of superior performance by academic schools in universities.



Monash University Forum on Management Accounting (2010 : Melbourne, Vic.)


Monash University


Melbourne, Vic.

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Melbourne, Vic.

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E1 Full written paper - refereed

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MONFORMA 2010 : Papers from the Monash University Forum on Management Accounting

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