Performative Roles of Management Control Systems in Post-Acquisition Integration Processes: A Field Study

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (not CDU)

Abstract

This thesis explores and explains the transformative roles of Management Control Systems (MCS) in strategising Post-Acquisition Integration (PAI) processes. In particular, it aims to investigate the enactment of the acquisition in practice through PAI, and, the performative role of MCS (i.e budgets) in strategising PAI of customers, human resources, sales and systems of acquired and acquiring companies. This qualitative study draws largely on Latour’s (1986, 2005) practice-based perspective and Actor Network Theory (ANT), where a PAI strategy and MCS are regarded as social practice, defined relationally (ie. they are a necessary element that forces the actors to converge in) and understood as bundles of activities that comprise interaction between diverse actors and actants. Drawing on the principle of ‘action in making’ actors, both, human and non-human (i.e, MCS) are followed and documented as they go about their everyday business of strategising PAI relations. This purpose is served by using field study as being the most appropriate. The study used semi-structured interviews, review of archival documents and observations to analyse data from an Australian company which had recently completed several acquisitions.

The study illustrates the transformative powers and intermediary effects of MCS which make PAI relations strategy visible and actionable. MCS structure, control and shape the integration strategies of the firm, play an active role in integration strategy formulation, constrain its implementation, and configure the identity of strategic actors, leading to the integration strategy and strategic change.

This study makes contributions to the research in the field of accounting, as it provides further knowledge on the important role that MCS play in forming integration strategies and how they are implemented. It also contributes to the strategic management literature by empirically demonstrating how integration strategy is defined relationally, and by proposing changes to the theoretical base of management accounting by empirically illustrating the agency of MCS as a non-human actant in strategising PAI relations.
This study has practical implications for the accounting profession, providing an opportunity to reflect on the integration skills required by accountants and the main factors that they should focus to achieve timely and effective integration. Business executives engaged in acquisition activities are directed to consider MCS as an important part of performative action in the formation and implementation of PAI relation strategies in order to have a successful acquisition.


Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • La Trobe University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Houqe, Zahirul, Supervisor, External person
Award date19 Dec 2016
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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