Globalization Discourse and Performance Measurement Systems in a Multinational Firm

49 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2013

See all articles by David J. Cooper

David J. Cooper

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems

Mahmoud Ezzamel

Cardiff Business School - Accounting and Finance Section

Date Written: February 22, 2013

Abstract

This paper examines the role of management control systems, in particular performance measurement systems (PMS) such as the Balanced Scorecard and key performance indicators, in a multinational context. We begin by exploring how globalization discourse is engaged with, consumed, appropriated, re-produced, disseminated and promoted in a major multinational company. We link the adaptation and dissemination of global discourse of senior managers with Said’s (1975/1997) concepts of authority and molestation. We then examine how PMS are translated and customized within local manufacturing plants and sales units in the UK and China, the significance of benchmarking and the extent to which PMS render managerial discourse of globalization practical. We comment on the importance of discourse in understanding control systems in general and the way in which external discourses impact the internal practices of the organization. We also explore some of the sources that give rise to molestation (deviation of practice from global aspirations of senior managers). We conclude by stressing the potential for the globalizing effects of PMS through the interaction of the discourses of HQ and subunits, even in the absence of explicit statements about globalization.

Keywords: globalization, performance measurement, management control, discourse, authoring, molestation, Balanced Scorecard, key performance indicators (KPIs)

Suggested Citation

Cooper, David J. and Ezzamel, Mahmoud, Globalization Discourse and Performance Measurement Systems in a Multinational Firm (February 22, 2013). University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2222817 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2222817

David J. Cooper (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Mahmoud Ezzamel

Cardiff Business School - Accounting and Finance Section ( email )

Colum Drive
Cardiff CF10 3EU
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 29 2087 4277 (Phone)
+44 (0) 29 2087 4419 (Fax)

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