6 results for Akroyd, C

  • The use of control systems in new product development innovation: Advancing the 'help or hinder' debate

    Akroyd, C; Narayan, SS; Sridharan, VG (2009)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    New Product Development (NPD) innovation is a critical activity in the current economic environment. In order to manage their NPD innovation projects, firms use Management Controls Systems (MCS). However, the effect that these systems have on NPD innovation is not clear. One stream of research suggests that MCS help NPD innovation while another stream suggests MCS hinder NPD innovation. Past research has shown that the role and style of MCS used may offer explanations on why MCS can both help and hinder NPD innovation. This paper adds another explanation by examining the relationship between three models (divisional, activity/decision and conversion/response) of a commonly used MCS, known as the Stage-Gate Process1 in the NPD innovation literature, and three types of NPD innovation projects (incremental, semi-radical and radical). The insights from an ethnomethodology informed field study are used to understand how and why the firms may use a different MCS (Stage-Gate Process models) for different NPD innovation project types.

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  • The MCS package in a non-budgeting organisation: a case study of Mainfreight

    O'Grady, Winifred; Akroyd, C (2016)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    Purpose: Budgets are commonly viewed as a central component of management control systems (MCS). The beyond budgeting literature argues that managers can develop other controls to replace budgets. The purpose of this paper is to examine the MCS package of an organisation which has never in its history had a traditional budget. Design/methodology/approach: The authors carry out an ethnomethodology informed case study at Mainfreight, a large multinational logistics company headquartered in New Zealand. Data were collected from interviews with managers and accountants, internal company documents, published corporate histories, a company presentation, the corporate Web site and site visits. Findings: The authors found that Mainfreight???s MCS package was explicitly designed based on cultural and administrative systems which supported the planning, cybernetic and reward systems managers used to monitor key drivers of short-and long-term performance with a focus on profitability. Research limitations/implications: The implication of the finding is that a more holistic view of the MCS package is necessary to understand how control is achieved within organisations that have moved beyond budgeting. Practical implications: The authors show that organisations can operate without traditional budgets and still maintain a high level of control by developing appropriate cultural and administrative control systems that are internally consistent with their planning, cybernetic and reward systems. Originality/value: The scarcity of organisations that have never had budgets limits opportunities to investigate an MCS package intended to function without budgets. This unique case setting reveals the design of an integrated non-budgeting MCS package.

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  • Employers??? Perceptions of Information Technology Competency Requirements for Management Accounting Graduates

    Spraakman, G; O'Grady, Winifred; Askarany, Davood; Akroyd, C (2015)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    Management accountants work in a computerized workplace with information technology (IT) for producing financial ledgers and for reporting. Thus, the role of the management accountant has shifted from capturing and recording transactions to analyzing business issues. The research question is: what IT knowledge and skills do employers require of management accounting graduates? An exploratory field research approach was used; chief financial officers and their subordinates at some of New Zealand's largest firms were consulted. These respondents were consistent in their requirements. They emphasized intermediate proficiency with some Microsoft tools (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and sufficient familiarity with the structure and navigation of an enterprise resource planning system to process transactions such as accounts receivable. Of those requirements, Excel for analysis was the most important. Our contributions update and augment the literature by clarifying the perceptions of employers regarding the IT competencies required of management accounting graduates.

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  • How Management Control Practices Enable Strategic Alignment during the Product Development Process

    Akroyd, C; Narayan Biswas, SS; Chuang, S (2016)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    Purpose: This paper examines how the management control practices of organization members enable the alignment of product development projects with potentially conflicting corporate strategies during the product development process. Methodology/approach: Using an ethnomethodology informed research approach, we carry out a case study of an innovative New Zealand food company. Case study data included an internal company document, interviews with organization members, and an external market analysis document. Findings: Our case study company had both sales growth and profit growth corporate strategies which have been argued to cause tensions. We found that four management control practices enabled the alignment of product development projects to these strategies. The first management control practice was having the NPD and marketing functions responsible for different corporate strategies. Other management control practices included the involvement of organization members from across multiple functions, the activities they carried out, and the measures used to evaluate project performance during the product development process. Research limitations/implications: These findings add new insights to the management accounting literature by showing how a combination of management control practices can be used by organization members to align projects with potentially conflicting corporate strategies during the product development process. Practical implications: While the alignment of product development projects to corporate strategy is not easy this study shows how it can be enabled through a number of management control practices. Originality/value: We contribute to the management accounting research in this area by extending our understanding of the management control practices used during the product development process.

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  • The governance of inter-firm co-development projects in an open innovation setting

    Narayan Biswas, Sharlene; Akroyd, C (2016)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the governance of inter-firm co-development in an open innovation setting and show how a stage-gate product development process can be used to support this relationship. Design/methodology/approach The authors adopt a qualitative case-study approach informed by ethnomethodology. Data were obtained via semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Findings They found that in an open innovation setting ??? where the producing partner relies on a research partner for all product development activities ??? a stage-gate product development process can act as a governance mechanism, as it enables the development of trust and cooperation which supports the co-development relationship. Research limitations/implications The implication of this finding is that a stage-gate process can be a flexible governance mechanism, which can adapt over time in relation to the needs of the co-development partners in an open innovation setting. This also lays the groundwork for future research to explore the applicability of this tool in other settings, e.g. outsourcing arrangements as well as help guide the design and implementation of future governance mechanisms. Originality/value In the context of accounting research, this paper helps practitioners and academics understand how a stage-gate process can be used as a governance mechanism to manage and control co-development projects in an open innovation setting.

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  • Executing Management Control through Decision Technology

    Liew, Angela; Akroyd, C (2010)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    When competition is tough and resources are scarce, management may seek ways to systematise their decision-making process so as to control their operations and resource allocations. Yet little is known about how decision technology is used as a means to administer managerial control. This research investigates how an organisation used decision technology to execute management control to manage the work activities of their employees in a group decision-making setting. It assesses the impact decision technology has had at the firm level focusing on the transformation of the formalised decision process and the individuals involved. The research is carried out using case study, where the data is collected from multiple sources including passive observations in board meetings and functional team meetings, and interviews with decision makers of different hierarchal levels. We found that the decision technology not only enabled management to execute management control vertically across different hierarchal levels but also horizontally over their fellow peers. We also learned that product development decisions that were previously avoided (due to fear of project failure) are now made. This is noted from the increased number of radical (for the firm) new products commercially launched.

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