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The use and effectiveness of management control systems in the Australian public sector

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posted on 28.03.2022, 16:40 authored by Nuraddeen Abubakar Nuhu
This thesis examines the use and effectiveness of management control systems (MCSs) in the Australian public sector. In examining the use of MCSs the study considers three aspects of MCSs: management accounting practices (traditional and contemporary), the approaches to using MCSs (the interactive and diagnostic use of controls), and specific MCS characteristics (broad scope MCS information, the formality of MCSs and the tightness of MCSs). The effectiveness of MCSs is assessed based on the impact on organisational change, organisational performance, the perceived success of MCSs, and organisational capabilities (employee empowerment and strategic flexibility). Data was collected using a mail survey of 740 Australian public sector organisations with the formulated hypotheses tested using structural equation modelling (SEM). The thesis adopts the “thesis by publication” format and identifies three related academic papers that address specific objectives. Paper One examines the extent of use of contemporary and traditional management accounting practices, and the relationship between the use of a package of contemporary and a package of traditional management accounting practices with organisational change and organisational performance. The results reveal that while the rate of usage of traditional management accounting practices was high, the usage of contemporary management accounting practices was low. In addition, while there was no association between the use of a package of traditional management accounting practices with organisational change and organisational performance, a positive association exists between the use of a package of contemporary management accounting practices with both organisational change and organisational performance. Given the importance of contemporary management accounting practices for organisational change and performance, Paper Two examines the association between the interactive and diagnostic use of MCSs with the extent of adoption of contemporary management accounting practices, and the subsequent impact on the success of such practices. It was found that both the interactive and diagnostic approaches to using MCSs were positively associated with the adoption of contemporary management accounting practices, either as a package or independently. Furthermore, although the level of success of contemporary management accounting practices was moderate, the success of such practices was enhanced by the extent of their adoption. Paper Three examines the mediating role of organisational capabilities (strategic flexibility and employee empowerment) in the relationship between the interactive and diagnostic approaches to using MCSs and the characteristics of MCSs (broad scope MCS information, the formality of MCSs and the tightness of MCSs) with organisational change and organisational performance. The results reveal that both strategic flexibility and employee empowerment mediate the association between the interactive approach to using MCSs, broad scope MCS information and the formality of MCSs with organisational performance, while strategic flexibility mediates their relationship with organisational change. Furthermore, employee empowerment mediates the association between the tightness of MCSs and organisational performance. The thesis contributes to the literature from a number of theoretical perspectives. In providing an empirical insight into the effectiveness of MCSs in the public sector, the thesis contributes to the limited studies evaluating the effectiveness of MCSs in the public sector, thereby providing assistance to public sector practitioners. The study also contributes to the MCS-contingency theory research in two major ways: first in addressing the dearth of studies examining the use of management accounting practices as a package, and secondly by considering the interdependency between aspects of MCSs in examining the association between the use of controls and the adoption of management accounting practices in Paper Two. Furthermore, the study also extends the resource-based view (RBV) perspective by highlighting the role of organisational capabilities (employee empowerment and strategic flexibility) in mediating the association between the approaches to using MCSs and the characteristics of MCSs with both organisational change and organisational performance.

History

Table of Contents

Chapter One. Introduction -- Chapter Two. Literature review -- Chapter Three. Paper One -- Chapter Four. Paper Two -- Chapter Five. Paper Three -- Chapter Six. Conclusion.

Notes

Bibliography: pages 203-227 Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD

Degree

PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance

Department, Centre or School

Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance

Year of Award

2016

Principal Supervisor

Kevin Baird

Additional Supervisor 1

Ranjith Appuhami

Rights

Copyright Nuraddeen Abubakar Nuhu 2016. Copyright disclaimer: http://mq.edu.au/library/copyright

Language

English

Jurisdiction

Australia

Extent

1 online resource (xiv, 227 pages) tables

Former Identifiers

mq:56926 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1160206