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Nicole Sutton

Biography

Nicole is a Lecturer at UTS, having joined the Accounting Discipline Group in 2008. She teaches maagement accounting at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She completed her PhD in 2015, studying the management control of inter-organisational research and development (R&D) projects in the Australian cotton industry. More broadly, her research concerns the design and use of management accounting and control systems, which she has studied in various collaborative projects based in universities, aged care, innovation diffusion, supply chains, and sustainability.

Image of Nicole Sutton
Lecturer, Accounting Discipline Group
Core Member, CMOS - Centre for Management and Organisational Studies
B.Bus (Hons) (UTS)
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 3285

Research Interests

Management accounting; management control systems; research management; inter-organisational contracting; innovation diffusion; sustainable supply chains

Can supervise: Yes

Introductory accounting; business analysis, management accounting, performance measurement, management control systems

Chapters

Green, R., Berti, M. & Sutton, N. 2016, 'Higher Education in Management: The Case of Australia' in Dameron, S. & Durand, T. (eds), The Future of Management Education Volume 1: Challenges facing Business Schools around the World, Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 117-137.
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This book discusses the new challenges facing Business Schools around the world with potential scenarios that may be envisioned for 2030 and strategies for stakeholders.

Conferences

Gibson, A., Knight, S., Aitken, A., Buckingham Shum, S., Ryan, P., Jarvis, W., Nikolova, N., Tsingos-Lucas, C., Parr, A., White, A. & Sutton, N. 2016, 'Using Writing Analytics For Formative Feedback', UTS Teaching and Learning Forum, University of Technology, Sydney.
Sutton, N.C. & Brown, D.A. 2016, 'Extending the decision to 'ally': the inter-dependencies between hybrid governance structure and inter-firm management control systems', British Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference, Bath, U.K..
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Sutton, N.C. & Brown, D.A. 2016, 'Studying MCS package design through managers' incremental control choices', MONFORMA, Melbourne, Australia.
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Sutton, N.C. & Brown, D.A. 2015, 'Extending the decision to 'ally': disentangling the interdependent control capacities of hybrid governance structures and embedded management control systems', 8th Conference on Performance Measurement and Management Control, Nice, France.
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Brown, D.A., Lewis, R.L. & Sutton, N.C. 2013, 'An organizing paradox - Management control and four forms of employee empowerment', EAA 2013 36th Annual Congress, European Accounting Association, Paris, France.
Lewis, R.L., Brown, D.A. & Sutton, N.C. 2012, 'The paradox of management control and employee empowerment', AFAANZ Conference, AFAANZ, Melbourne, Australia.
Sutton, N.C. & Brown, D.A. 2008, 'Management control systems in enabling university research performance', Program of American Accounting Association Annual Meeting, American Accounting Association Annual Meeting, American Accounting Association (AAA), Anaheim, USA.
Sutton, N.C. & Brown, D.A. 2008, 'Management control systems in enabling university research performance', Program of 31st Annual Congress of European Accounting Association, Annual Congress of European Accounting Association, European Accounting Association (EAA), Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 1-26.
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The purpose of this study is to investigate how management control systems (MCS) are used to enable university research performance at the operating level. At the sector level, institutionally framed research within New Public Management literature has observed the more uniform use of managerialist and programmed approaches to university research management. However, empirical contingent studies within a private sector R&D setting have evidenced how such approaches are ineffective in enabling operating level research performance. Drawing on both literatures, as well as wider MCS package research, the research uses an exploratory case study to examine two high performing faculties with contrasting research characteristics. From these micro-level accounts, the paper develops a conceptual model demonstrating how a combination of institutional and technical factors contributes to the use of MCS. More specifically, while a similar complementary package of socio-ideological, administrative and incentive controls is used to satisfy the diverging managerial and collegial institutional interests, within each operating unit managers tailor the use of these categories of controls to suit their respective research cultures and contexts in order to enable university research performance.
Brown, D.A. & Sutton, N.C. 2008, 'Management control systems in enabling university research performance', 2008 AFAANZ/IAAER Conference website papers, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, AFAANZ, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-35.
The purpose of this study is to investigate how management control systems (MCS) are used to enable university research performance at the operating level. At the sector level, institutionally framed research within New Public Management literature has observed the more uniform use of managerialist and programmed approaches to university research management. However, empirical contingent studies within the private sector Research and Development setting have substantiated how such approaches are ineffective in enabling operating level research performance. Drawing on both literatures, as well as wider MCS package research, this paper uses an exploratory case study to examine two high performing faculties with contrasting research characteristics. From these micro-level accounts, the paper develops a conceptual model demonstrating how a combination of institutional and technical factors contributes to the use of MCS. A similar complementary package of socioideological, administrative and incentive controls is used to satisfy the diverging managerial and collegial institutional interests within each operating unit. However, managers tailor the use of these categories of controls to suit their respective particular research cultures and contexts in order to enable university research performance.

Journal articles

Sutton, N.C. & Brown, D.A. 2016, 'The illusion of no control: management control systems facilitating autonomous motivation in university research', ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 577-604.
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Other

Sutton, N.C., 'Managing cooperation control problems in inter-organisational research and development exchanges'.
Most scholarly knowledge about the management control of research and development (R&D) is premised on a vertical integration model of R&D management; however, in practice, R&D is increasingly being externally contracted through inter-organisational arrangements. Within this context, the aim of this thesis is to examine how cooperation control problems, which arise in inter-organisational R&D exchanges, are addressed by alternative hybrid structures and embedded management control systems (MCS)? To explore this question I investigate two inter-organisational R&D arrangements – a flexible subcontracting arrangement and a limited life equity alliance – within the Australian cotton industry. First, I use theory from transaction cost economics (TCE) to demonstrate the relevance of cooperation control problems in inter-organisational R&D exchanges. Furthermore, by decomposing the cooperation category I show how the risk of different forms of opportunism gives rise to three types of cooperation control problems at successive contractual phases. These are: costly (ex ante) negotiation of mutually agreeable projects contracts; suboptimal investment decisions based on misrepresented information (at the point of contract); and the difficulty in monitoring and enforcing (ex post) contract compliance. Second, I explain how cooperation control problems are addressed by inter-dependent combinations of hybrid structure and embedded MCS. This demonstrates that hybrid governance is not simply the generic inter-organisational context where control occurs; instead, alternative hybrid structures – characterised by varying degrees of formalisation, centralisation and relational governance – have different 'control solving capacities'. In addition, each hybrid structure's unique control capacity influences the design and operation of embedded MCS. This is because some MCS – particularly more structure-wide mechanisms – are used to complement the strengths of each hybrid structure; wh...