Institutional work between dissemination and fidelity: Insights from the case of Beyond Budgeting

58 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2010 Last revised: 12 Jun 2017

Sebastian D. Becker

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department

Martin Messner

HEC Paris

Utz Schäffer

WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management

Date Written: January 9, 2010

Abstract

The paper examines the institutional work carried out to promote ‘Beyond Budgeting’, a comprehensive management philosophy that has been heralded as an alternative to budget-based forms of management. We use data from interviews, observations, and published material to trace the way in which the innovation community around Beyond Budgeting developed and how different actors within this community promoted the innovation through their institutional work. Our main contribution is to refine our understanding of the dynamics of institutional work by providing evidence on two key concerns that jointly drive such work: the concern with dissemination of the practice and the concern with fidelity of the practice vis-à-vis the prototypical idea. We suggest that these two concerns may more or less strongly conflict with each other, depending on how the focal innovation is theorized. Further, we demonstrate that these concerns may be unevenly distributed within an innovation community and that this can lead to tensions that may eventually preclude certain types of institutional work.

Keywords: Budgeting, Beyond Budgeting, institutional work, institutionalization, dissemination, fidelity, practice variation

JEL Classification: M10, M40

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sebastian D. and Messner, Martin and Schäffer, Utz, Institutional work between dissemination and fidelity: Insights from the case of Beyond Budgeting (January 9, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1535485 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1535485

Sebastian D. Becker (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas
France

Martin Messner

HEC Paris ( email )

1 rue de la Liberation
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Utz Schäffer

WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, D-56179
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.whu.edu/controlling

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