Purpose – This paper examines how the management control practices of organization members enables the alignment of product development projects with potentially conflicting corporate strategies during the product development process.Methodology/approach – Using an ethnomethodology informed research approach we carry out a case study of an innovative New Zealand food company. Case study data included an internal company document, interviews with organization members from new product development (NPD), marketing and finance functions as well as an external market analysis document focused on our case study company and its market.
Findings – Our case study company had both sales growth and profit growth corporate strategies which have been argued to cause tensions. We found that organization members at our case study company used four management control practices to enable the alignment of product development projects to these strategies. The first management control practice was having the NPD and marketing functions responsible for different corporate strategies. Other management control practices included the involvement of organization members from across multiple functions, the activities they carried out, and the measures used to evaluate project performance during the product development process.
Research limitations/implications – These finding add new insights to the management accounting literature by showing how a combination of management control practices can be used by organization members to align projects with potentially conflicting corporate strategies during the product development process.
Practical implications – While the alignment of product development projects to corporate strategy is not easy this study shows how it can be enabled through the use of a number of management control practices.
Originality/value – We contribute to the management accounting research in this area by extending our understanding of how organization members use management control practices during the product development process.