Letter from the IMA Research Foundation Chair
As chair of the IMA Research Foundation, it is with great pleasure that I present my foreword to the IMA Research Foundation Annual Report.
The Foundation has provided exemplary support for research in a wide range of categories. This support has made—and continues to make—significant contributions to the knowledge base of management accounting. A distinguishing feature of the management accounting research that we support is its fine blend of theory and applications, with practical relevance drawn out for accountants and financial professionals in business. The work is also aligned with, but not limited to, IMA’s Research Center of Excellence, focused on important topics such as Leadership Strategies and Ethics, Internal Controls and Risk Management, Technology Enablers, Strategic Costing, and Business Performance Management. It is designed to promote collaboration between academics and professionals, as well as to increase practical relevance.
Another key objective of the supported research is keeping the knowledge base active for the next generation of researchers. We do this by focusing on and supporting doctoral (Ph.D.) candidates with research interests in management accounting. Overall, the activities of the Foundation maintain a healthy mix of knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination. Knowledge for the future—whether for textbooks, students, professors, managers, or leaders—is created and sustained by research. This fundamental activity will be critical as we surge ahead into complex, global, and/or uncertain business environments.
I encourage you to review the report and to express your support for IMA and the IMA Research Foundation in any capacity that works for you—whether as individuals conducting, consuming, or desiring to sponsor research, or as organizations interested in purveying the knowledge base and/or capable of supporting research. I welcome any feedback that you may have. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Vairam Arunachalam, Ph.D., CMA, CFE
Chair, IMA Research Foundation
Professor & Director, School of Accountancy
University of Missouri
The mission of the Foundation is:
To assist with the funding, development, and dissemination of timely research that assists accountants and financial professionals in their roles. All research projects funded by the Foundation are evaluated based on their potential to contribute to the “body of knowledge” available to the members of IMA and the management accounting profession as a whole.
The IMA Research Foundation is committed to investing in research initiatives throughout the world that promote thought leadership, create new knowledge, and offer innovative ideas for accounting and financial professionals in business. The Foundation funds scholars researching important practice issues and financial management trends in management accounting. In these challenging economic times, the Foundation continues to be a vital source of funding for fundamental research in the field of management accounting and is proud to take a leadership position in supporting research by academics and doctoral candidates.
A crowning accomplishment for the year is the Foundation’s special global call for research in partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). This joint research call will focus on promoting research in several areas of joint research interest. With total grant funding of up to $100,000, this exciting initiative will not only help promote strategic partnering between these two dynamic organizations, but also help advance our knowledge frontiers on a truly global basis.
The funding provided by the Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the research efforts of many scholars. The following are typical comments received from these researchers:
“The grant I received from the IMA Research Foundation was a primary factor in my ability to conduct research that is meaningful to both the practitioner and academic community. Not only did it provide support for the doctoral student who helped me with the project, but it also allowed me to compensate those who participated in our survey. We received great response from members because of this. Much of the research funded by the IMA Research Foundation could not occur without this support.”
Mary B. Curtis, Ph.D., CPA, CISA
University of North Texas
“IMA’s financial support and access to practitioners were instrumental in our research efforts.”
Jasmijn C. Bol, Ph.D.
“My association with the IMA Research Foundation has been a truly significant one. Both grants … provided me with opportunities that I would not have had otherwise and helped my career in innumerable ways. I am extremely grateful for the IMA’s support.”
S. Mark Young, Ph.D.
Professor of Accounting
USC Marshall School of Business
Output from Research Foundation Funded Grants
The findings of the research funded by the Foundation are disseminated in a variety of ways. These include C-suite reports and white papers published by IMA, as well as articles in both academic and practitioner journals. For the 2011–2012 year, these included:
Articles in Academic and Practitioner Journals
“Out of Africa: Managing Risk in Global Business”
Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Ph.D., CPA and Patrick Wheeler, Ph.D., CPA, CITP
Strategic Finance, February 2012
As the African continent joins the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations as an investment destination, investors require more information about national culture, especially as it affects strategy, financial statements, account misstatement risk, and implementing internal controls. Using Geert Hofstede’s scoring system that measures cultural differences, this study reviews differences between various African locations concerning enterprise risk management (ERM).
“Exploring the Role of Standard Costing in Lean Manufacturing Enterprises”
Manjunath Rao, CMA and Andrew Bargerstock, Ph.D., CPA
Management Accounting Quarterly, Fall 2011
Do mature Lean manufacturers continue to use standard costing and variance analysis even though some Lean accounting experts say this hinders Lean implementation? The authors present a research protocol to determine if this is the case, and how standard costing compares to Lean accounting theory.
“Continuous Auditing and Continuous Monitoring Technology Implementation: A Worldwide Survey”
George C. Gonzalez, Ph.D., CPA; Pratyush N. Sharma, CIS; and Dennis F. Galletta, Ph.D., CPA
This study involved conducting two surveys of IMA members worldwide, one on continuous auditing and the other on continuous monitoring. Based on the findings, the researchers characterize the current state of adoption of continuous auditing and continuous monitoring as more experimentation and pilot testing than full adoption.
“How Firms Learn from the Uses of Different Types of Management Control Systems”
Michael T. Lee, Ph.D. and Sally K. Widener, Ph.D., CPA, CIA
Many users of management control systems claim that a system’s effectiveness in creating business performance resides in its ability to facilitate learning and decision making. Yet this does not explain why users of management control systems have varying levels of success in business performance with these tools. Our IMA-sponsored research project examines the following questions that relate management control system use, learning, and performance:
- How are management control systems used?
- How do organizations learn from management control systems?
- What uses of management control systems and styles of learning characterize high-performing firms?
The authors find that there are combinations of system types, system uses, and forms of learning that are associated with high-performing firms. The results provide managers, users, and practitioners with a number of configurations of system uses and learning that can support improved firm performance.
“Understanding the Accounting Faculty Shortage: Perceptions of Practitioners”
Douglas M. Boyle, CMA, CPA; Brian W. Carpenter, Ph.D., CMA; Michael O. Mensah, Ph.D.; and Dana R. Hermanson, Ph.D.
This study surveyed IMA members to gain a better understanding of their awareness of the shortage of accounting faculty; their level of interest in pursuing careers in academia; their concerns about potential transitional issues; and their beliefs regarding the factors and accomplishments related to effective teaching in accounting. This report provides a description of the survey, key findings, and conclusions for consideration by C-suite executives.
The IMA Research Foundation also sponsors a variety of awards, including the Emerging Scholar Award.
Emerging Scholar Award Winner
This award was given this year to William B. Tayler, Ph.D., of Brigham Young University, for his article titled “The Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy-Evaluation Tool: The Effects of Implementation Involvement and a Causal-Chain Focus,” which was published in the May 2010 issue of The Accounting Review.
This study examines experimentally how involvement in the implementation of a strategic performance-measurement system can affect the interpretation of information that this management accounting tool provides. It predicts and finds that the ambiguity inherent in performance-measurement systems allows individuals who are responsible for the selection of strategic initiatives to interpret evidence in ways consistent with their preferences, via a process known as “motivated reasoning.” Further, it shows that when the strategic performance-measurement system is framed as a causal chain of leading and lagging measures of performance, rather than as a balanced set of measures, manager involvement in the selection of performance measures can help to mitigate this bias by reducing the “wiggle room” necessary for managers to succumb to motivated reasoning. In addition to advancing academic research on strategic performance-measurement systems, the article has clear implications for practitioners.