ABSTRACT

To what extent do Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems enable or limit the implementation and use of Beyond Budgeting ideas? This article investigates this question by drawing upon a qualitative case study in the oil and gas industry. We examine tensions arising from the conflicting logics of Beyond Budgeting (BB) and ERP systems as well as the strategies an organization uses to resolve them practically. More specifically, BB is driven by the logics of flexibility and dynamic adaptation that are based on bottom-up and team-based management control, which come directly into conflict with the logics of ERP systems that are driven by concerns of integration, standardization, and centralization. This article theorizes and demonstrates how Dynamic Oil “manages” these conflicting logics behind ERP systems and BB. We show that BB is placed outside of the core ERP system in a so-called Best of Breed (BoB) solution. Our case also shows, however, that ERP systems and BB are used concomitantly, and, depending on the specific purpose of control at a given time, one or the other gains significance with regard to managers’ attention. This article contributes to Management Accounting Innovations (MAIs) literature and to ERP literature, addressing the socio-technical nature of accounting objects.

Keywords: Management Accounting Innovations (MAIs), Beyond Budgeting (BB), Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs), flexibility, integration, Best of Breed solutions (BoBs)