Budgeting, the individual and the capital markets: a case of fiscal stress?

Image of Royal Holloway School of Management working papers cover
Document type
Working Paper
Ryan, Bill
Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of publication
1 April 2006
Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business
Business and management
Material type

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Budgetary control is a major aspect of management control and one that has undergone major shifts of emphasis in both the literature and practice in much of the later part of the 20th century. At the same time the movement from a manufacturing to a knowledge or service type environment has also been accompanied by an increasing acknowledgement of individual contribution to organisation performance. This has happened in a business context where the influence of the capital markets has impacted on the budget and other control practices of organisations. This paper draws on a detailed field study focusing on the individual and the problematic nature of budgetary control in a changing operational environment that acknowledges both the importance, internally, of the organisation members and externally, the growing influence of shareholders on business operations. From an operations viewpoint, control and accountability for results continues to move down the organisation to the level of the individual in a manner that could be said to lead to a 'performative contradiction' running counter to the ideal of a individual participatory budgeting style.

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