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  • 1.
    Karlsson, Bo
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Hersinger, Anders
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Kurkkio, Monika
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Hybrid accountants in the age of the business partner: exploring institutional drivers in a mining company2019Ingår i: Journal of Management Control, ISSN 2191-4761, E-ISSN 2191-477X, Vol. 30, nr 2, s. 185-211Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the question of how it is possible, despite the persuasive characteristics of the business partner role, to explain the prevalence of hybrid accountants in management accounting practice. This research question is addressed from an institutional theory vantage point, suggesting that institutional drivers exist in every organization that shape the role of the practicing actors. The empirical evidence presented is drawn from a case study of a mining company pursuing a change program to transform its management accountants into business partners. The results illustrate how the hybrid accountant role is formed through an interplay among regulative, normative, and cognitive institutional drivers that influence the role of the management accountants in opposing directions. Because of the tension between facilitating and impeding institutional drivers, the change program toward business partnering results in a hybrid accountant role which is characterized by a combination of traditional and business partner traits. Hence, the conclusions suggest that the prevalence of hybrid accountants in management accounting practice can be explained by tensions between opposing institutional drivers that contribute to a compound role.

  • 2.
    Karlsson, Bo
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Kurkkio, Monika
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Hersinger, Anders
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    The role of the controller in strategic capital investment projects: bridging the gap of multiple topoi2019Ingår i: Journal of Management and Governance, ISSN 1385-3457, E-ISSN 1572-963X, s. 1-26Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The literature on capital budgeting and investment proposals is rich with techniques, such as portfolio management and stage-gate project management, which rely on a rational approach to strategic capital investment projects. There is, however, a lack of research on the process of managing and coordinating strategic capital investment projects where investment proposals and decisions are seen as human constructions. The controller is an important but seldom noticed actor in this process. This paper draws on a pragmatic constructivist framework to create an understanding of the controller role in strategic capital investment projects and how the controller acts to contribute to create a functioning construct causality in such projects. We conducted a case study of a mining company, which had recently decided on strategic capital investments resulting in the moving of two towns to enable continued operations. Based on a two-step thematic data analysis, our results illustrate that the controller is an essential actor in strategic capital investment projects with high degrees of uncertainty and multiple decision-participants. By using the pragmatic constructivist framework we find that gap-bridging between multiple decision-participants is an essential role for controller, in order to create successful investment proposals. The case study further illustrates that controllers need to learn to speak technical and operational language and to become knowledgeable about business operations to gain trust in order create a functioning construct causality. Our study provides an actor-focused understanding of the organizational and managerial processes within strategic capital investment projects, illustrating how the controller contributes to construct causality therein.

  • 3.
    Karlsson, Bo
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Controller Work in Strategic Capital Investment Projects: Case Studies in a Swedish Mining Company2018Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Det finns en tendens i ekonomistyrningslitteraturen att fokusera på system, rutiner, modeller och tekniker som är avsedda att förbättra planering och styrning av affärsverksamheten. Denna tendens finns också i den mer specifika litteraturen som för investeringsbeslut. Enligt forskning är controllers viktiga aktörer som är involverade i att hantera osäkerheter som kan uppstå i investeringsprojekt. Om den rationella beslutsorienterade synen på ekonomistyrning råder så finns en risk att förbise controllers som agenter och där igenom uppstår en otillräcklig förståelse för deras agerande. Forskningsfrågan som behandlas i denna avhandling är hur och varför controllers ingriper i och påverkar strategiska investeringsprojekt? Det övergripande syftet är att empiriskt och teoretiskt skapa förståelse för controllerns agerande i strategiska investeringsprojekt med särskild tonvikt på gruvkontexten. Studien genomfördes i det svenska multinationella gruvföretaget LKAB. Företaget ansågs vara lämpligt på grund av dess strategiska investeringsprojekt och på grund av dess förändringsprogram avseende controllerns roll. Uppsats I är en litteraturstudie där det rådande forskningsläget gällande controllern sammanställes, tre litteraturströmmar identifieras och metoder och teoretiska ramverk för framtida studier av controllerns agerande identifieras. I uppsats II illustreras controllerns roll i den sociala verkligheten och det teoretiska ramverket pragmatisk konstruktivism lyfts fram som lämpligt för att skapa en förståelse av controllerns agerande. I uppsats III undersöks med hjälp av institutionell teori controllerns roll från ett individuellt perspektiv. Resultaten visar förutsättningar för att controllern ska kunna agera som business partner. Uppsats IV fokuserar på controllerns användande av kalkyler för strategiska investeringsprojekt i en gruvkontext. Med utgångspunkt i det teoretiska ramverket ’using calculations’ ger uppsats IV insikter om controllerns agerande med hänsyn till olika kontexter och temporala aspekter av investeringsprojekten. Avhandlingens slutsatser visar att controllerns agerande i strategiska investeringsprojekt betyder mer än att vara en rationell rapportör av finansiell information till chefer på toppnivå. Controllerns agerande involverar värderingsbaserade bedömningar av information och dialog med operativa chefer samt toppchefer om idéer och kalkyler. För att kunna agera behöver controllern tillägna sig insikt i verksamheten genom att samspela med operativa chefer. Kombinationen av finansiell expertis och operativ kunskap ger controllern möjlighet att påverka de strategiska investeringsprojekten. Controllerns agerande påverkas också av förväntningar, projektegenskaper, regler, normer och individuella egenskaper.

  • 4.
    Karlsson, Bo
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Kurkkio, Monika
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Using calculations in the early phase of strategic capital investment projects: insights from the mining industry2018Ingår i: Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management/Emerald, ISSN 1176-6093, E-ISSN 1758-7654, Vol. 15, nr 4, s. 465-484Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe how calculations are used in the early phase of strategic capital investment projects (SCIPs) in the mining context and thereby create an understanding of what calculations do in these situations.

    Design/methodology/approach

    The authors conducted a case study based on interviews with project managers, controllers and top-level managers, as well as documents and observations.

    Findings

    The empirical evidence provides key insights into the different uses of calculations in the early phase of SCIPs in the mining industry. The authors found evidence that calculations in the early phase of SCIPs are used to generate ideas, support learning and discussions, evaluate decisions and act as a mediating device.

    Research limitations/implications

    The paper is based on a single organization, and therefore, the findings of the paper are limited to theoretical generalization.

    Practical implications

    The study has practical implications directed toward top management, controllers and project managers working with SCIPs. This study suggests that calculations in the early phase are used to unite and create a shared view in the early phase rather than to present rational answers to different investment decision. Calculations can also be used to direct attention toward important areas, sort out and prioritize among ideas, communicate a shared view and function as a template. Thus, calculations are essential in the early phase as they help to transform activities into actions.

    Originality/value

    This paper contributes to the accounting literature in which it has been emphasized that we still know little of strategic capital budgeting processes, with insights into the multiple uses of calculations in the early phase of SCIPs. We also argue that calculations act as mediating devices in the early phase of SCIPs as they provide a common frame of reference and a basis for action.

  • 5.
    Karlsson, Bo
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Constructing financial projections for strategic capital investment projects in a mining context2015Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 6.
    Karlsson, Bo
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Kurkkio, Monika
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Nilsson, Anders
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    The controller role in strategic capital investment projects: an actor’s approach2015Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a rich literature on techniques, such as portfolio management and stage-gate project management, which typically relies on a rational approach to the management of strategic capital investment projects. There is however a lack of research which focuses on the process of creating and managing strategic capital investment projects. An important, but seldom noticed, actor in this process is the controller. Hence, little is known about the controller role in strategic capital investment projects. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the controller role in strategic capital investment projects and to provide insights about how the controller role is performed and about expectations on this role among the controllers themselves, project managers and top management. A case study was conducted in a large mining company in the north of Sweden encompassing interviews with controllers and managers involved in strategic capital investment projects. The selected case study organization was considered suitable because the mining industry is characterized by long production cycles and an ongoing need for capital investments which typically are expensive and involve complex and uncertain situations. The study shows that the tasks associated with the traditional controller role still constitute an important part of the controllers’ daily work in strategic capital investment projects, although the controller role is perceived as much broader. Another result is that controllers in strategic capital investment projects need to be able to adapt their role to suit specific situations. More specifically, in complex situations controllers need to be able to handle subjective information and to modify financial information for purposes such as predicting future outcomes. Controllers strive towards an adaption of their role towards analytical and strategic work and use experience and knowledge of the organization gained over time to broaden their role. Expectations from different actors are sometimes conflicting and create demands on both the work role and the skills needed by the controllers. These expectations keep the controllers from completely leaving the traditional role, thus to some extent preventing role adaptation.Keywords: actor’s approach, controllers, role of the controller, mining industry, strategic capital investment projects

  • 7.
    Karlsson, Bo
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Kurkkio, Monika
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Nilsson, Anders
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    The role of the controller in strategic capital investment projects: a pragmatic constructivist view2015Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a rich literature on techniques, such as portfolio management and stage-gate project management, which relies on a rational approach to strategic capital investment projects. There is however a lack of research on the process of creating and managing strategic capital investment projects. In particular, the controller is an important but seldom noticed actor in this process. This paper draws on a pragmatic constructivist framework to explore the role of the controller in strategic capital investment projects, to provide insights about how the role of the controller is constructed and about expectations on this role among the controllers themselves, project managers and top management. A case study was conducted in a Swedish mining corporation encompassing interviews, observations and documents pertaining to controllers and project managers involved in strategic capital investment projects. The research setting was chosen because of the heavy investment phase characterizing the case study organization and the access granted. The results illustrate that tasks associated with the traditional controller role constitute an important part of the role of the controller in strategic capital investment projects, although the controllers themselves envision their role as broader. The results indicate that controllers in strategic capital investment projects need to be able to tailor their role to suit specific situations. Although controllers themselves emphasize subjective information and the ability to make value-based assessments, managerial expectations and formal role descriptions mostly focus on facts and logic. At the same time, controllers and project managers wish to be trusted by each other but seem not to trust one another. We conclude that the role of the controller in strategic capital investment projects seems to be constructed through an intricate interplay between the views and desires of the controllers themselves, expectations from managers and organizational guidelines stipulating proper controller behavior. As ‘hybrid accountants’, the controllers experience tension between the traditional and the business partner dimensions.

  • 8.
    Karlsson, Bo
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Exploring management control of strategic capital investments in innovative settings: a literature review2014Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reviews and analyzes literature on management control used in the dynamic and innovative settings of strategic capital investments (SCI). SCI have a significant impact on the long term performance of companies. Yet, they are challenging, complex and involve a high degree of uncertainty. Management control is demanding because money and resources cannot be traced to outcomes. SCI needs management control that is future oriented. Yet, Knowledge is lacking when it comes to the specifics of how future oriented management control can be exercised in innovative and dynamic settings. The first purpose of this paper is to review the theoretical and empirical literatures that offer the conceptual tools and the evidence of future oriented management control in companies operating in innovative settings. The second purpose is to prepare a framework to examine management control systems in the innovative context of SCI in the mining industry. This literature review is an attempt to organize current work in a way useful to structure future research questions and findings. The result of the literature review shows that the extant literature is characterized by an orientation towards future oriented management control systems for making SCI decisions. Further the review reveals that some future oriented control systems are more frequently advocated than others in the literature. Previous studies also show that the suitability of different appraisal tools for SCI is debatable. Because the traditional functions of management control systems rely on established measurable outputs, they are suggested to be less effective when considering SCI. The more advocated control systems tend to be more qualitative in nature and based on a long-term point of view. However, previous empirical studies suggest that traditional control systems still dominate in practice. Thus there is a gap between the normative management control literature and the empirical evidence in the area of SCI. Based on these findings it is concluded that there is need for more exploratory case studies able to capture intangible factors which address the different roles of management control in SCI, how management control is used and in the way that management control is used.Keywords: exploration, management control, innovation, strategic capital investments

  • 9.
    Karlsson, Bo
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Prospective control of SCI in the mining industry: A controller point of view2013Rapport (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Strategic capital investments (SCI) have a significant impact on the long term performance of companies. Yet, they are challenging, complex and involve a high degree of uncertainty. Previous studies also show that the suitability of different appraisal tools for SCIs is debatable. In the mining industry, SCI in new mining sites typically are highly capital intensive and have considerable long-term repercussions for local communities and regions. During the exploration phase it is essential to assess whether to allocate financial resources for additional exploitation of a mineral finding. The exploration phase allows companies to search for new opportunities that might lead to a competitive advantage. However, from a cost management point of view this is a decisive phase because large share of the production cost is determined here. Because the traditional functions of management accounting rely on established measurable outputs, they are less effective in this phase. Management control is demanding because money and resources cannot be traced to outcomes. This is a phase where control needs to be prospects-oriented. Knowledge is lacking when it comes to the specifics of how prospective control can be exercised and the possibilities for successful strategic control in the exploration phase. The overall purpose of this dissertation is to generate empirical knowledge of prospective control and to contribute with a more developed and dynamic theory of this concept in the context of strategic capital investments in the mining industry.The theoretical contributions of the planned papers are to generate theory about the nature and characteristics of prospective control in the context of SCIs and to create new insights about the controller perspective in this regard. The practical contributions of the proposed papers will be to identify factors and circumstances that are important to consider for practicing controllers in exploration environments.Keywords: Prospective control, strategic capital investments, controller perspective, mining industry, management accountant

  • 10.
    Karlsson, Bo
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Prospective control of strategic capital investments in the mining industry: The role of the controller2013Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
1 - 10 av 10
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