Controller involvement in a project management setting: Effects on project functions and performance

Malagueño, Ricardo, Gomez-Conde, Jacobo, de Harlez, Yannick and Hoffmann, Olaf (2021) Controller involvement in a project management setting: Effects on project functions and performance. Journal of Applied Accounting Research. ISSN 0967-5426

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Abstract

Purpose. We examine the extent to which a controller’s involvement in project functions (viz. definition and scope, organization, constraints management, and risk management) cascades down to project performance. Design/methodology/approach. We test our framework using survey data from a sample of project leaders in German and Swiss firms. Responses were analyzed using the partial least squares (PLS) technique. Findings. We find that controllers contribute to project success via the previously described project functions. Further, the study reveals the crucial role of controllers in managing uncertainty and project risks. Originality. We add to the literature by examining the role of controllers in highly knowledge-intensive, highly pressured, task-driven, interdependent, and dynamic operational settings, thus contributing to a better understanding of how controllers function at an operational level. We also strengthen a broader role of controllers in project management that goes beyond their historical controlling activities to include more modern functions, extending previous studies analyzing their professional identity. Research limitations. Although the arguments used in this research were not country-specific and suggest that the findings of this study also apply to the controller professional in general, this study clearly acknowledges that further research is needed to address the effects of this role in different jurisdictions given the specific characteristics of controllers acting in German-speaking countries. Practical implications. We provide insights on the role of controllers at an operational level, like project management, highlighting the need for controllers to support an effective project governance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: project management,cross-functional teams,controllers,management accountants,project functions,project performance
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 31 Dec 2020 22:20
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 01:21
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/78013
DOI: 10.1108/JAAR-07-2020-0129

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