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Attributes of Performance Measurement Systems in Service Organizations: An Exploratory Study

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Using a contingency framework, this paper attempts to contribute to a stream of literature that investigates on PMS design issues. It examines the effect of service process type, business strategy and perceived environmental uncertainty on services performance measurement systems (PMS) attributes. According to literature, the interactions between these factors determine the design of PMS in service firms. However, little evidence has been published on the significance of these elements in services PMS. To advance our knowledge and understanding of the attributes of PMS in service firms, this study extends prior manufacturing based researches to services. The focus is on the relationships between the antecedents and the design of PMS attributes that include scope, timeliness, competitive benchmark and performance evaluation procedures. The responses of 121 service firms’ senior managers, drawn from a cross section of the Malaysian service sectors, to a questionnaire survey were analyzed to test the significance of the theory within Malaysian services context. Principle findings reveal that differentiation strategy and intensity of competition are the determinants in designing PMS attributes, but exhibit no association with service process type.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Sustaining Competitiveness in a Liberalized Economy: The Role of Accounting
    The International Management Accounting Conference 4 was held in August 2007 in Kuala Lumpur to discuss issues pertaining to the role of accounting in liberalized economy. From the conference, it was clear that liberalized economy does impact the direction, nature and practices of accounting. In response to these challenges, accounting must play a proactive and relevant role to sustain the competitiveness of companies in the business environment. The book is organized in the following themes: Cost and Information Management; Performance Measurement; Strategic Alliance. The articles were written based on research findings of studies conducted in several countries including Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia, UK, India, Saudi Arabia and Botswana.
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