Extremely challenging to implement beyond budgeting

PhD Defense

17 August 2016 10:15

(updated: 17 August 2016 10:30)

Extremely challenging to implement beyond budgeting

On Wednesday 31 August 2016 Danielius Valuckas will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

Budgeting and the role of corporate and educational culture

Trial lecture:

10:15, Aud. Karl Borch

Title of the thesis:

The Rise and Fall of Budget Initiatives


Whereas the problems of budgeting practice seem to be widely accepted, the solutions to the problems are not. One such radical solution is beyond budgeting. However, the extent of organizations that have moved beyond budgeting has been limited. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate why this management model without budgets has not become more prevalent.

The first study explores the conformity with budgets being problematic. Only two major criticisms are found significant in reducing budget value to the organization: budget’s strategic misalignment and budget’s unresponsiveness to changes in the environment. In contrast to previous research, budget gaming does not seem to be negatively affecting its total value. In addition, the study finds that chief executive officers, older or female employees seem to be less critical of different types of budgeting problems and perceive higher value of budgets to the organization.

The second study explores the initiative to implement beyond budgeting. The study starts out by looking for a successful case of implementing a beyond budgeting approach to management, but finds one where the change initiative failed. It appears that it is extremely challenging to implement beyond budgeting even in a context that seems to be very susceptible to such changes, and the presence of one influential change agent is not sufficient for changes to materialize.

 The third study explores the establishment of new ideas in conventional wisdom. Among other things, this study analyses the discussion of beyond budgeting and the weaknesses of traditional budgeting in management accounting textbooks. The study indicates that textbooks heavily rely on consulting genre and fail to provide comprehensive discussions of management accounting techniques. Critical ideas are seldom presented in textbooks and, even if they are, their argumentation seems to lack scientific rigor – material tends to remain unchallenged and alternatives are not provided.


12:15, Aud. Karl Borch, NHH


Professor Trond Bjørnenak (principal supervisor), NHH

Professor Bino Catasús, Stockholm Universit

Members of the evaluation committee:

Assistant Professor Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge (leader of the committee), NHH

Professor Theresa Libby, University of Waterloo

Professor Matti Skoog, Professor at Åbo Akademi University, Finland

The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from presse@nhh.no.