• Line Slavensky Hansen
The purpose of this project is to investigate, whether Beyond Budgeting is the only solution to the criticism of the budget, or if changing the way we use the budget and the roles it plays in organisations can solve it. In relation to the problem formulation, focus was on budgets in a company perspective. Methodically, a theoretical approach was chosen for the project and a literature review was created to provide a better understanding of the problem area. As a choice of methodology, the functionalist paradigm was chosen due to an objectivistic approach and the purpose of the project is not to make radical changes, but to widen the knowledge of budgets.
Through the literature review, the definition of the budget and the roles it has had in a historical point of view was described. Furthermore the literature review is used to highlight the criticism of the budgets, what Beyond Budgeting is and how it can solve the disadvantages of the budget. Furthermore, it highlighted how budgets are used in practice, which approaches are used (for example interactive, enabling, coercive and continuous), what attitude employees have towards the budget and what effects participative budgeting may have.

In the analysis, it is investigated how the elements of the budget can be assigned a coercive and enabling approach. In addition, Simons Levers of control is included. Both theories are put together and analysed, as to how organisations can mix these together in relation to the approach the elements of the budget is assigned. Two possible designs are analysed for organisations, operating under uncertainty and a constant changing market, and organisations operating in a market with higher predictability. These two designs of approaches to the elements of the budget, together with the different approaches presented from the literature review and Beyond Budgeting is discussed, as whether these can solve the critical points of the budget. It was here found, that not only Beyond Budgeting could solve the points of which the budget is criticised for. Designing the approach of the budget element in a way that fits the organisation or in general incorporate more participative and enabling, interactive or continuous approach can also solve the criticisms. Thus, there was no criticism that could be solved only by going Beyond Budgeting. This has also questioned the need for Beyond Budgeting.

Even though the budget has been under great criticism, it still remains an integrated part of the vast majority of organisations. It was found through the literature review, that organisations in general did not have any intention to abandon the budget in the nearest future. Pulling towards the conclusion, that making changes in the design of approaches to the elements of the budget seems like a better solution to the critic of the budget, than abandoning it and go Beyond Budgeting. It is here important to acknowledge that the proposed designs of approaches are not universal. Each organisation must design the use of the different approaches awarded the elements that fits the organisation in order to create the greatest value.
The project highlights possible approaches to solve the criticisms of the budget and further-more emphasises the complexity of a budget. It also contributes with greater knowledge about the use of coercive and enabling approaches to the budget and connects it with Simon’s Levers of control.
Publication date6 Jun 2018
Number of pages92
ID: 280422996