Assessing performance in management accounting research

Ricardo Malagueño de Santana

Research output: Conference paperContribution


This paper aims to review how performance has been assessed in prior contingency-grounded, survey-based management accounting and control systems research, to analyze the alternative approaches that have been adopted in the literature, and to provide some guidelines for enhancing the assessment of performance in future survey-based empirical research. First, the paper identifies a total of 75 survey-based, contingency-grounded papers published in top accounting journals in the period 1982-2007 where performance was used a variable of analysis. It was observed that, for both the individual and organizational level, the use of self-reported, primary measures predominates. While in recent years there has been a moderate trend towards the increased use of approaches other than self-reported, primary measures, these are still the most widely used. Second, this paper discusses on the main methodological problems of self-reported perceptual measures of performance. Specifically, this study examines the problems of a) conceptualization that are reflected by misspecification and, b) problems of operationalization expressed through common method bias. The goal of the article is to provide insights that could assist researchers in selecting between the various available choices of performance measurement by considering their respective weaknesses and strengths. Additionally, the paper presents the main sources of bias and offers possible solutions that could be used as guidelines for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event6th Conference on New Directions in Management Accounting -
Duration: 15 Dec 200817 Dec 2008


Conference6th Conference on New Directions in Management Accounting


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