Global competition: challenges for management accounting and control Jeremy F. Dent*
The success of Japanese and south-east Asian ﬁrms in world markets over recent decades is well known. Playing by ‘new’ rules, these ﬁrms have pursued global strategies which many Western ﬁrms have found difﬁcult to confront. Moreover, the rules are continually evolving. This paper analyses some issues arising for management accounting. By way of introduction, the paper ﬁrstly reviews the analytics of global competition and discusses emerging issues for the 1990s and beyond. Thereafter, ﬁve challenges are identiﬁed for management accounting, and in particular for planning and control. The ﬁrst is to foster multiple perspectives, the second is the coordination of complexity, the third concerns competitor analysis and a fourth concerns resource allocation. The ﬁfth is to overcome centrifugal tendencies, developing a clarity of strategic intent, binding managers together worldwide and rewarding behaviour in the corporate, as opposed to local, interest. ÷ 1996 Academic Press Limited
Key words: global competition; transnational organizations; planning and control in complex organizations.
1. Introduction The considerable success of many Japanese ﬁrms in world markets over recent decades, and of those from the newly industralised countries of south-east Asia, is quite apparent. In industries ranging from shipbuilding to electronics, and from automobiles to banking and ﬁnancial services, they have achieved the most remarkable and rapid international expansion. Often proceeding from a pitifully small resource base just a few years ago, some have emerged to rival or dominate their leading Western counterparts (Figure 1). To some extent this reversal in Western fortunes is ironic, for Western ﬁrms have a much longer tradition in managing international businesses1. The overseas * London School of Economics and Political Science....