Les Cahiers de Recherche - HEC Paris
Using projective techniques to further understanding of the RAPM-PEU relationship : evidence from the experience of marketing and sales managers
(), Madeleine BESSON and Carla MENDOZA
Abstract: In an increasingly uncertain context, budgeting faces at
least two categories of concerns : how should realistic objectives be set
in a poorly predictable context? How should a fair year-end evaluation be
performed when uncertainty has affected the results and their
Since Hopwood's (1972) paper, performance evaluative
styles have provided a rich vein for empirical behavioral studies in
control, largely based on contingency approaches, and the Perceived
Environmental Uncertainty (PEU) has been examined in many empirical
studies. However, two decades of literature on the RAPM-PEU relationship
have produced results that are best inconclusive.
In our view, there is
a need for better understanding of the constructs commonly used in RAPM
research. To meet this need, we used a field-based study and projective
techniques to interview fourteen senior marketing and sales managers in a
variety of industries. The interviews were designed to capture the
managers' perceptions relating to RAPM, and to uncertainty.
highlight an important practical and theoretical distinction between
actionable and non-actionable sources of PEU, which is based on a manager's
ability to improve the predictability of change, and/or to be able to react
to changes in the environment with an additional effort. When PEU is high
and perceived as non-actionable, the paper examines what kind of social and
organizational adjustments take place that can avoid the potential negative
behavioral consequences of RAPM. The results emphasize that budgeting and
performance evaluation are a multiple-year game, where trust and knowledge
of social rules build up over the years, and learning takes place - a
picture left out of traditional RAPM literature.
Keywords: budgeting; RAPM; uncertainty; projective techniques; behavioral accounting; marketing and sales managers; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: G31; M31; M41; (follow links to similar papers)
34 pages, July 28, 2004
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