Enabling design characteristics and budget usefulness

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RAUSP Management Journal
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Mucci D.M.
Frezatti F.
Bido D.S.
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© 2021, Daniel Magalhães Mucci, Fábio Frezatti and Diógenes de Souza Bido.Purpose: This study aims to investigate the influence of budgeting design characteristics on perceived budgeting usefulness, based on the enabling-coercive framework. Design/methodology/approach: This paper develops a survey in one large publicly-listed Brazilian company that operates in the electric utility industry. The sample comprises 75 middle managers from different areas of this organization. This study uses structural equation modeling as the data analysis method. Findings: The results indicate that internal and global transparencies determine middle managers’ perceptions of budgeting usefulness, while no relationship was found for repair capacity and flexibility characteristics. This paper shows that managers, when provided with global and internal transparencies and independently of their level discretion regarding target revisions or the reallocation of resources, perceive budgeting systems as being useful for decision-facilitating and decision-influencing roles. Practical implications: The findings might be relevant for budgeting professionals to review or design the budgeting system in terms of dribbling potential flaws and increasing its use in the organization. Originality/value: The study explores the multidimensionality of the enabling-coercive budgeting design construct. This study provides a theoretical contribution to the literature by showing that budget alignment, integration, learning and information sharing are relevant such that an organization could improve the assertiveness using budgeting systems. Besides, this paper provides an opposing view about the supposed relation between flexible budgeting design and budgeting usefulness. Frequently, some management directions are offered by the literature and no guarantee is provided in terms of the connection between the adoption and the usefulness of those mechanisms. Therefore, the findings shed more light on the practical developments in budgeting.
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