University of Oulu

Management accounting and control systems used by R&D intensive firms in different organizational life-cycle stages

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Author: Silvola, Hanna1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Accounting and Finance
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2007
Publish Date: 2007-03-06
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Auditorium TA105, Linnanmaa, on March 16th, 2007, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Kim Langfield-Smith
Professor Jaana Sandström


This dissertation investigates the use of management accounting and control systems in R&D intensive firms in different organizational life-cycle stages. The thesis consists of four essays focusing on two categories of management accounting and control systems: capital budgeting decisions and management control systems. First, we investigate the evaluation and financing of investment projects in R&D intensive firms. Second, we moreover investigate how R&D intensive firms themselves use management control systems and how investors control their investments in R&D intensive target firms. The survey method within a contingency framework is used in the first three essays while the last essay represents the case study method. However, the dissertation as a whole is based on two main contexts, i.e. the organizational life-cycle and the field of high technology.

The results indicate that more sophisticated capital budgeting methods are used in large-sized R&D intensive firms while small-sized firms are not so likely to use these methods. The results indicate that firms understand the nature of R&D investment on the level of strategic management, because they have adopted strategic management tools in order to achieve better financial performance. We conclude that high R&D intensity plays an important role in management accounting, suggesting that large-sized high R&D intensity firms take note of special characteristics of R&D investments when taking strategic capital budgeting decisions. The comparison of the growth and revival stages extends the earlier life-cycle literature indicating that the information produced by management accounting and control systems is at least as important in the revival firm as it is during the first growth stage.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. G, Oeconomica
ISSN-E: 1796-2269
ISBN: 978-951-42-8376-5
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-8375-8
Issue: 26
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2007. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.