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Ambrutytė, Zita
Alternative names
Publications (2 of 2) Show all publications
Ambrutytė, Z. (2008). Management Control: Linking Strategy with Inter‐Organisational Relationships. (Doctoral dissertation). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Management Control: Linking Strategy with Inter‐Organisational Relationships
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Management Control : en länk mellan strategi och inter-organisatoriska relationer
Abstract [en]

The alignment of strategies and control systems is believed to affect the chances for firms to successfully achieve competitive edge. Contemporary business trends like globalization, vertical disintegration, the reduction in supplier bases, the focusing of operations and outsourcing of non-core activities, have caused companies to rely increasingly on relationships with other firms. These trends strengthen the awareness of the fact that a company’s success is also built upon the contribution from other players in the total supply network. It is recognised that management control systems play an important role in the management of interdependencies between organisations; yet, there has not been much research into strategy and control systems in interorganisational relationships. The relationship between strategy and control systems in purchasing as an interface towards interorganisational relationships has not received attention in the strategy-management control literature either. Moreover, discussions on inter-organisational control seem often to be divorced from the internal process in the companies concerned.

In this thesis, an attempt is made to relate strategy with intra- and inter-organisational controls. The overall purpose is to describe and analyse the effects of strategy on those management control systems used within the purchasing function and to control relationships with suppliers, and further, to propose a framework for understanding how strategy impacts purchasing management control systems and the control of inter-organisational relationships. Two research questions are developed for this purpose, i.e. to examine 1) how a business unit strategy affects management control in purchasing, and 2) how a business unit strategy affects the pattern of management control for inter-organisational relationships. The ideas behind the strategy-structure paradigm are thus extended towards understanding the effects of strategy on the use of controls in inter-organisational relationships. The fieldwork is based on twenty nine interviews with employees at two manufacturing and ten supplier companies, and the data was collected during two periods of time, i.e. 2002-2003 and 2006-2007.

This thesis began with the assumption that two companies pursue different business strategies which could be classified by using Porter’s (1980) typologies. It was expected that these different strategies would result in the different use of management control systems in purchasing and in controlling relationships with suppliers. The contribution of this thesis is twofold: firstly, it establishes the pattern of the alignment of business strategy, functional strategy, functional control systems and control of interorganisational relationships, and secondly, it suggests the possible directions towards the refinement of this pattern.

Abstract [sv]

Inom ekonomistyrningsforskningen antas allmänt att anpassningen mellan strategi och styrsystem påverkar hur framgångsrika företag är i konkurrensen. Nutida tendenser till globalisering, vertikal desintegration, minskning av antalet leverantör, fokusering av verksamhet och outsourcing av icke-kärnverksamhet, leder till att företagen för sin framgång blir alltmera beroende av relationer med andra företag. Det är allmänt accepterat att styrsystem här spelar en viktig roll när det gäller att hantera beroendeförhållanden mellan organisationer, men trots detta har forskningen kring kopplingen mellan till strategi, styrsystem och styrning av inter-organisatoriska relationer hittills varit begränsad. Detsamma gäller sambandet mellan strategi och styrning av och inom inköpsfunktionen som gränssnitt mot inter-organisatoriska relationer. Vidare har området inter-organisatorisk styrning oftast behandlats skilt från interna företagsprocesser.

I denna avhandling görs ett försök att relatera strategi till intra- och inter- organisatorisk styrning. Syftet är att beskriva och analysera hur företagets strategi påverkar utformning av styrningen av inköpsfunktionen och hur detta sedan kopplar an till styrningen av relationerna med leverantörerna. Vidare är syftet att föreslå en modell för strategins effekter på styrningen av inköp och av inter-organisatoriska relationerna. De två forskningsfrågorna som utgör grunden för syftet är 1) hur affärsstrategin påverkar styrning av inköpsfunktionen, och 2) hur affärsstrategin påverkar styrning av inter-organisatoriska relationerna. Fältarbete omfattar tjugonio intervjuer inom två tillverkningsföretag och tio underleverantörer. Data samlades in under de två tidsperioderna, 2002-2003 och 2006-2007.

Avhandlingen fokuserar två företag med olika affärsstrategier klassificierade enligt Porters (1980) typologi, samt deras underleverantörer. I enligt med ett contingency-synsätt förväntades att de olika strategierna skaulle medföra olika utformning av styrningen av inköpsfunktionen och av styrningen av underleverantörsrelationerna. Resultatet av denna avhandling är tvåfaldigt; för det första föreslås ett mönster för kopplingen affärsstrategi, funktionsstrategi samt styrning och kontroll av interorganisatoriska relationer; och för det andra, identifieras möjliga vägar till utveckling av detta mönster.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. p. 242
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 458Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 119
Management control systems, business strategy, inter-organisational relationships, management control variables, intra-organisational controls, Management control systems, styrsystem, affärsstrategi, inter-organisatoriska relationer, styrvariabler
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17071 (URN)978-91-7393-780-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-11-20, C3, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2014-09-17Bibliographically approved
Ambrutyte, Z. (2005). Accounting for cooperation: case study of swedish vertical supply relationships. (Licentiate dissertation). Linköping: Linköpings universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Accounting for cooperation: case study of swedish vertical supply relationships
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the last decades a combination of business trends has caused companies to rely increasingly on relationships with other firms. Despite the popularity of inter-organizational relationships, evidence shows that many inter-organizational relationships fall short of meeting the expectations of their participants or fall for other reasons. It has been claimed that the degree to which efficiency is created is dependent on the information availability to the decision-makers; in order to assess the benefits and the results of the cooperation, there should be some arrangements by the parties done. The purpose of the study is therefore to provide an empirical evidence of the existing management accounting practice in vertical company relationships, how parties in the relationships use management accounting systems and financial information to determine effective and efficient use of resources through planning, co-ordination and evaluation.

When this project started, it was expected that in practice this approach would result in systems that support the relationships and provide the foundations for realising the benefits. The findings provide unexpected results, i.e. the parties in the case rarely use management accounting knowledge or systems in managing relationships. However, the use of management accounting related decisions is almost a daily responsibility for the parties involved in relationships management. The reasons for such a situation might be the prevailing technical culture of most companies. This focuses on quality and processes and treats accounting and control as a staff function that is unnecessary in relationships management. Due to the shortage of funds and initiative the supplier companies often lack expertise and management information systems. However, the case investigated as well as other research evidence shows that decision-making based on management accounting information is becoming more common in managing the relationships and even more benefits could be achieved from improved accounting knowledge use.

The mismatch between the empirical data and the expectations could possibly be influenced by two factors. First, it is possible that the case analysed represents a practical example which does not match the ideal case, and therefore the management practices illustrated might have room for changes. The second possibility is that the theories referred to in the thesis, do not represent exactly the likely practical scenarios, and accordingly these theories could be enhanced to better explain inter-organisational practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2005. p. 147
FiF-avhandling - Filosofiska fakulteten – Linköpings universitet, ISSN 1401-4637 ; 87Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 94
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-29050 (URN)14304 (Local ID)91-85457-02-7 (ISBN)14304 (Archive number)14304 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-12-20

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