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Alpenberg, J. & Karlsson, F. (2019). Resource allocation and capital investment practice in Swedish local governments: A messy business. Journal of Business Research, 101, 897-905
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resource allocation and capital investment practice in Swedish local governments: A messy business
2019 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 101, p. 897-905Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We examine capital investment practice for large infrastructure projects undertaken by local governments. Our study contributes to the existing literature by addressing the field theoretically from both decision- and process-based investment approaches and by using multiple research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, in search of empirical evidence of investment practice in Sweden. Our results confirm the large spread of financial and non-financial criteria used to evaluate new projects. Local governments that have adopted New Public Management largely use more sophisticated capital investment routines and methods. We contribute with added granularity to capital investment practices in local governments, characterized by diverse and sometimes conflicting decision rationales in terms of financial, operational, and political considerations. The investment practice reveals a complex, competitive, and "messy" picture with potential effects and consequences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019
Keywords
Capital investments, Practice, New public management, Conflicting rationales
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration; Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-77081 (URN)10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.02.010 (DOI)000473379000091 ()
Available from: 2019-02-08 Created: 2019-02-08 Last updated: 2019-07-23Bibliographically approved
Alpenberg, J., Wnuk-Pel, T., Adamsson, P. & Petersson, J. (2019). The use of environmental performance indicators in "the greenest city in Europe". Baltic Journal of Management, 14(1), 122-140
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The use of environmental performance indicators in "the greenest city in Europe"
2019 (English)In: Baltic Journal of Management, ISSN 1746-5265, E-ISSN 1746-5273, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 122-140Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: the purpose of this study, based on the Swedish city Växjö, which is called “the greenest city in Europe”, is to examine how and why municipal managers and CEOs for municipally owned companies use environmental performance indicators.   

Design/methodology/approach: a case study approach as a research design was used. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted among managers for municipal departments, municipal company CEOs, politicians and employees at the environmental office.

Findings: this study conclude that the environmental indicators, which are a part of the Environmental Program at the municipality, are used by department managers mainly for resource allocation, control and for teaching of the employees. The CEOs for the municipal companies are using the environmental indicators for communicating with external stakeholders and are seeing the indicators primarily as a marketing tool. Department manager´s internal use of environmental information could be explained by their inward orientation towards the municipality itself and not to the external stakeholders. The main motivation for the department managers to use the environmental information is to gain access to resources for projects within their departments. The company managers for the municipal companies express their motivation for using the environmental indicators when they do business with external stakeholders and they realize that this can help to create a competitive advantage. In summary, the explanation to why the Environmental Program is used in the municipality can be found in a strong demand from the local politicians to push the “green agenda”.  

Research implications/limitations: as in any case study, generalizations from the research should be made with care, but since this is only one municipality further research is needed to find additional evidences.  

Originality/value: the research adds to the literature by examining different patterns of using environmental performance indicators in an unique setting – in Växjö Municipality which is called “the greenest city in Europe”, which is one of the “pioneers” in environmental work and is extensively using performance indicators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019
Keywords
environmental performance indicators, public sector, use of information, local government
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-70013 (URN)10.1108/BJM-01-2018-0028 (DOI)000454911700008 ()
Available from: 2018-10-03 Created: 2018-10-03 Last updated: 2019-01-22Bibliographically approved
Alpenberg, J., Wnuk-Pel, T. & Henebäck, A. (2018). Environmental orientation in Swedish local governments. Sustainability, 10(2), 1-20, Article ID 459.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental orientation in Swedish local governments
2018 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 1-20, article id 459Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores the environmental orientation in Swedish local governments. Environmental concerns over potential risk factors have become more important and popular among public organizations and environmental improvement efforts are made to create a sustainable ecosystem for the actors doing business, living and working in the area. Prior research indicates that public organizations have started to become more environmentally oriented in order to take on more responsibilities for reducing their own environmental impact as well as influencing the citizens and local businesses in the direction of a more sustainable way of living and working.

Through a survey to Swedish local government we conclude that they are taking on a key role in developing a sustainable ecosystem through becoming more environmentally oriented. This includes developing a framework for setting environmental goals, identifying suitable environmental indicators and reporting to a wide range of stakeholders. A factor that is explaining the increasing environmental orientation in the public sector is the implementation of digitalized performance measurement systems. We find that the environmental performance measurements are used to motivate different internal and external stakeholders in the efforts to create a multi-actor ecosystem.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2018
Keywords
environmental orientation, framework for a sustainable ecosystem, performance measurement system, local government, indicators
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69698 (URN)10.3390/su10020459 (DOI)000425943100182 ()
Available from: 2018-02-06 Created: 2018-02-06 Last updated: 2019-07-08Bibliographically approved
Alpenberg, J. & Scarbrough, P. (2018). Management control and lean production. In: Paper presented at the 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018: . Paper presented at The 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018. Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Management control and lean production
2018 (English)In: Paper presented at the 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018, Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association , 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this case study we examine two organizations and compare them in terms of how the implementation of LP has been provocative to the control system. Changes in the MCS have been shown to follow from changes in operations. We use a case comparison method to examine the Management Control System (MCS) in two organizations that have started a decisive move into a comprehensive Lean Production (LP) operating practice. Both organizations were very strong performers in competitive industries prior to this change. Neither organization had previously self-identified as Lean. However their actual operating and MCS practices contained a mixture of traditional and LP practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association, 2018
Keywords
Lean Production, Management control system, Lean accounting, Organizational changes
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-77080 (URN)
Conference
The 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018
Available from: 2018-10-26 Created: 2018-10-26 Last updated: 2018-11-02Bibliographically approved
Alpenberg, J. & Karlsson, F. (2018). Resource allocation and capital investment practice in Swedish local governments – a messy business. In: Paper presented at the 8th Global Innovation & Knowledge Academy Conference (GIKA), Valencia, Spain, June 25-27, 2018: . Paper presented at 8th Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy Conference (GIKA), Valencia, Spain, June 25-27, 2018. Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resource allocation and capital investment practice in Swedish local governments – a messy business
2018 (English)In: Paper presented at the 8th Global Innovation & Knowledge Academy Conference (GIKA), Valencia, Spain, June 25-27, 2018, Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy , 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to explore capital investment practices in Swedish local governments, outline some critical issues of the resource allocation process and also to reveal the behind rationales used for and influencing decision making of large tangible investment projects. Through a survey to all 290 Swedish local governments, in combination with interviews in two municipalities, the resource allocation process is mapped and analyzed.

Our results confirm and support the existing literature in the area of capital investment practice in local governments, in terms of the large spread of financial- and non-financial criteria used in the process of evaluating new projects. Additionally, we find support for the fact that local governments which have adopted New Public Management to a larger extent also tend to use more sophisticated capital investment routines and methods. 

The main contribution with this study is added granularity about capital investment practices in local governments in general and more in depth insights about the tension in use of diverse and conflicting decision rationales. These rationales that exists in the municipalities during the resource allocation process are financial-, operational-, and political. Altogether, the capital investment practice in Swedish local governments reveals a complex and even messy picture.

In conclusion this research also provides additional insight to some potential inclination effects and consequences of today´s capital investment practice in local governments and agencies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy, 2018
Keywords
Capital investment practice, Investment methods and criteria, Local governments, New public management, Decision rationales
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-71586 (URN)
Conference
8th Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy Conference (GIKA), Valencia, Spain, June 25-27, 2018
Available from: 2018-06-26 Created: 2018-06-26 Last updated: 2018-11-02Bibliographically approved
Alpenberg, J. & Karlsson, F. (2018). The importance of the symbiosis: working environment conditions in manufacturing lean enterprises, the effects and implications. In: Paper presented at the 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018: . Paper presented at The 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018. Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of the symbiosis: working environment conditions in manufacturing lean enterprises, the effects and implications
2018 (English)In: Paper presented at the 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018, Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association , 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Lean production (LP) has been the dominant production rhetoric for the last couple of decades but there is limited and ambiguous knowledge concerning the impacts of how LP practices influences the working environment conditions. Drawing from prior research (i.e. Håkansson, et al., 2017; Saurin and Ferreira, 2009; Conti, et al. 2006) we add granularity through in-depth empirical studies to the field and provide evidence for both positive and negative impact of the use of LP on the perceived working environment conditions among employees in the manufacturing sector. Through in-depth interviews with managers and production workers, and a survey to non-managers in three manufacturing companies in the southern part of Sweden.  

The results confirm existing literature in that we find workers in mature LP-organizations consider their working conditions to be generally good but challenging and that workers feel empowered and motivated when working in a LP context. The study add to prior knowledge in that LP also have less positive effects on the working environment conditions which is seen primarily through high level of stress and weak communication patterns.

We conclude that improvement work, when properly done, gradually strengthen the working conditions, and the need for worker empowerment in the improvement work process is crucial. Furthermore, when LP is perceived to be top-down from the managers, the overall perception is rather negative from a worker perspective and several of the advertised benefits from LP are never experienced among members of the organization.

Our study contributes to further connecting the Operations Management and Human Resource Management concerning the practice of LP and the impact it has on the perceived working environment conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association, 2018
Keywords
Working environment conditions, Lean production, Manufacturing companies
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-77079 (URN)
Conference
The 14th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan, October 29-31, 2018
Available from: 2018-10-26 Created: 2018-10-26 Last updated: 2018-11-02Bibliographically approved
Alpenberg, J. & Scarbrough, P. (2018). Trust and control in changing production environments. Journal of Business Research, 88(July), 527-534
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trust and control in changing production environments
2018 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 88, no July, p. 527-534Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We examine the relationship between trust and control in four organizations implementing new production methods. Research on the trust-control relationship provides conflicting results. Some empirical studies show that the relationship between trust and control is substitutive, while some show that it is complementary (Kalkman and Waard, 2016).

We identify three moderators of the trust-control relationship that lead to either a substitutive or a complementary result. The variables are: control source, control incidence and control information type. Additionally we find that the concept of trust becomes a matter for reflection by both managers and workers as they navigate new production methods.

This result extends prior research by revealing connections that moderate the relationship between trust and control, and contribute to explaining the contradictory results in the literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Trust and control, Control variables, Lean production, Production environment
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67337 (URN)10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.12.003 (DOI)000434004100057 ()
Available from: 2017-12-14 Created: 2017-12-14 Last updated: 2018-07-17Bibliographically approved
Alpenberg, J. & Scarbrough, P. D. (2018). Ve and target costing in a stage-gate design system. In: 2016 Value Summit: The Power of VE. Paper presented at SAVE/VAC 2016 Value Summit: The Power of VE, Niagara Falls, Canada, June 5-7, 2016. SAVE International
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ve and target costing in a stage-gate design system
2018 (English)In: 2016 Value Summit: The Power of VE, SAVE International , 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study describes how Target Costing (TC), which is strongly associated with the Value methodology, was attempted as an addition into a traditional Stage-Gate (SG; Cooper, 1990) product development process. We find conflict between the Stage-Gate method and TC that is consistent with criticisms of SG raised by Sethi and Iqbal (2008). This includes limitations to learning due to truncation of sub-projects without the iterations in TC. We identify the aspects of TC that are in conflict with SG-type design processes, in particular, the lack of effective use of Value Engineering and Quality Function Deployment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAVE International, 2018
Keywords
Quality function deployment, Value engineering, Product development process, Stage gates, Target costing, Type designs, Design
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-83598 (URN)2-s2.0-85041669388 (Scopus ID)
Conference
SAVE/VAC 2016 Value Summit: The Power of VE, Niagara Falls, Canada, June 5-7, 2016
Available from: 2019-05-27 Created: 2019-05-27 Last updated: 2019-06-05Bibliographically approved
Scarbrough, P. & Alpenberg, J. (2017). Creating control at the last mile in production. In: Paper presented at the 13th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Shanghai, China, November 7-9, 2017: . Paper presented at The 13th Asia-Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Shanghai, China, November 7-9, 2017. Asia-Pacific Management Accounting Association
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creating control at the last mile in production
2017 (English)In: Paper presented at the 13th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Shanghai, China, November 7-9, 2017, Asia-Pacific Management Accounting Association , 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the role of management control at the metaphorical “last mile” in transmitting knowledge into the actual product through the management-worker boundary. Our understanding of this boundary is based on Taylorist/Fordist understandings of work as manager-directed. This has, in turn, influenced our concepts of Management Control. Although this traditional view of both work and MCS has long been a point of friction, the upswell of methods claiming the alternate foundation of manager-worker collaboration (i.e., TQM, 6-Sigma, and Lean Production (LP)) have placed the Management Control Systems (MCS) metaphor itself under increased strain.

We find that managers in a strong LP organization slowly redefine their understanding of “management control”, placing navigation of the manager-worker boundary at the centre of their conception of management competence and drastically reduced traditional MCS activities.

We propose a new, collective, model of “management” control, which we call Collective Organizational Control (COC). In COC, management retains strategic planning, and many other roles, but “control” in the narrow sense of ensuring that strategy is implemented in the “last mile”, is through an active collaboration with workers. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Asia-Pacific Management Accounting Association, 2017
Keywords
Collective organizational control, Worker-manager collaboration, Lean Production, Management control systems
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67548 (URN)
Conference
The 13th Asia-Pacific Management Accounting Association Annual Conference, Shanghai, China, November 7-9, 2017
Projects
Diffusion of advanced management accounting
Available from: 2017-11-06 Created: 2017-11-06 Last updated: 2017-11-07Bibliographically approved
Alpenberg, J., Wnuk-Pel, T., Adamsson, P. & Petersson, J. (2017). The use of environmental indicators in local government - a case study of Växjö municipality. In: Lina Dagilienė (Ed.), TARC 2017 Trends in Accounting Research Conference: Conference Proceedings: 4-6 October 2017, Kaunas, Lithuania. Paper presented at 4th Trends in Accounting Research Conference (TARC), Kaunas, Lithuania, October 5-6, 2017 (pp. 26-26). Kaunas: Kaunas University of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The use of environmental indicators in local government - a case study of Växjö municipality
2017 (English)In: TARC 2017 Trends in Accounting Research Conference: Conference Proceedings: 4-6 October 2017, Kaunas, Lithuania / [ed] Lina Dagilienė, Kaunas: Kaunas University of Technology , 2017, p. 26-26Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We examine how public municipal managers and CEOs for municipally owned companies use environmental indicators from a performance measurement system in a local government. Prior research has found that environmental indicators in municipal organization are used for collection of performance information but they don’t focus in detail on how the indicators actually are used by the managers in the local government or by municipal companies.This study concludes that department managers in the local government mainly use information from Environmental Program for internal purposes. The use of the environmental program has another meaning for the profit-driven municipal companies in which they use the information for external purposes in communicating with stakeholders. Additionally, we find that factors such as freedom of action, reliability of information, trust in the designer of the program, attitudes, social pressure and the usefulness of the information influence the actual use in both the municipal departments and municipal companies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kaunas: Kaunas University of Technology, 2017
Keywords
Environmental performance indicators, Public sector, Use of information from performance measurements, Local government
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67335 (URN)10.5755/e01.9786090213803 (DOI)9786090213803 (ISBN)
Conference
4th Trends in Accounting Research Conference (TARC), Kaunas, Lithuania, October 5-6, 2017
Projects
Environmental performance Indicators in local government
Available from: 2017-10-04 Created: 2017-10-04 Last updated: 2017-10-12Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-0378-2995

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