Balanced Scorecard, Performance Management and Measurement, and Change in Emerging Nations
: An Institutional Perspective on the Case of the Kurdistan Region

  • Mehabad Ali

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


To date, studies of management accounting change suggest that a large body of research has been published using institutional theory. The majority of management accounting change studies in the literature that adopt institutional theory and institutional logics were conducted looking at organisation practices and the ‘organisation-organisational-field’ level of analysis, i.e. macro and meso levels. However, old institutional theory does not take into consideration different aspects for analysis whereas, institutional logics takes into account a combination of different aspects which informs a better understanding of the change concept in organisations. Therefore, scholars demonstrate the importance of positioning institutional logics within the scope of institutional theory and institutional analysis.

The main aim of this thesis is relative to the implementation of a management control system, and in particular, to shed light on the interaction of multiple institutional logics at micro level, i.e. how organisational actors employ available institutional logics in certain situations. For this, an institutional perspective supported by interpretivism is adopted to examine the process of change with a specific focus on the active role of organisational actors. To conduct the research, a public sector organisation (The General Board of Tourism) in an emerging nation (The Kurdistan Region) is explored as the case study of this research. The case study has been developed using an action research perspective in which the total of 31 interviews and two focus groups were conducted. The case organisation decided to adopt a tool for strategy implementation which was an interesting topic for study; thus, this research started to contribute to the organisational change. Accordingly, Balanced Scorecard was adopted and implemented as the setting for this research.

Overall, the empirical research has helped to refine the idea of processes of change at micro level through the interaction of institutional logics adopted by individual actors, and the emergence of compromises between contradicting institutional logics. It was further found that the emerging compromises made the process to persist through showing the conditions for future compromises if the current compromises came to an end. Specifically, as contributions, this research helps to understand how different institutional logics became more or less available and accessible, and become activated in specific situations; understand how different logics at the individual and organisation levels compromise; and understand the development of management accounting change theory through the adopted framework. On a practical note, this research can potentially support public sector organisations in how to improve their performance with the adoption of systematic tools such as the Balanced Scorecard. Regardless of these contributions, there are some limitations; for example, the research period was relatively short for studies of institutions and institutional logics; the collected data might be biased and skewed towards the case study organisation; the research findings might be skewed towards the adopted organisation; and qualitative studies are not concerned with generalisability.
Date of AwardApr 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorPasquale Ruggiero (Supervisor), Paolo Quattrone (Supervisor), Riccardo RICCARDO MUSSARI (Supervisor) & Pasquale Ruggiero (Supervisor)

Cite this

Balanced Scorecard, Performance Management and Measurement, and Change in Emerging Nations: An Institutional Perspective on the Case of the Kurdistan Region
Ali, M. (Author). Apr 2019

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis