David Bedford is a Senior Lecturer at UTS Business School in the Accounting Discipline, which he joined in 2005. Prior to his appointment he served as an accounting intern at the CBA and Bovis Lend Lease as part of the UTS Bachelor of Accounting program. David was awarded first class honours in 2004 and the University Medal. David completed his PhD in 2011. His work investigated how management controls combine as a package in different organisational settings.
David has published in a number of leading academic journals, including Accounting, Organizations and Society and Management Accounting Research. David’s research interests focus on performance measurement systems and management control. Specifically, he has investigated the use of performance measurement systems in firms pursuing different types of innovation, the performance implications of using combinations of management controls in different firm contexts, and the use of management controls in private equity firms. David has been part of research grants received from CPA Australia and NSW Health.
David coordinates and lectures in the subjects Cost Management Systems and Accounting Information Systems. He is often cited as a top undergraduate lecture and regularly appears in the UTS Business School postgraduate teaching merit list.
Management control, performance measurement, innovation, contingency theory.
Managerial accounting, cost management, contingency theory.
Bedford, D.S. & Speklé, R.F. 2018, 'Constructs in Survey-based Management Accounting and Control Research: An Inventory from 1996 to 2015', Journal of Management Accounting Research.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Greve, J., Ax, C., Bedford, D.S., Bednarek, P., Brühl, R., Dergård, J., Ditillo, A., Dossi, A., Gosselin, M., Hoozée, S., Israelsen, P., Janschek, O., Johanson, D., Johansson, T., Madsen, D.Ø., Malmi, T., Rohde, C., Sandelin, M., Strömsten, T., Toldbod, T. & Willert, J. 2017, 'The impact of society on management control systems', Scandinavian Journal of Management, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 253-266.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd The aim of this study is to investigate whether certain configurations of management controls dominate in certain societies (socio-cultural contexts) and whether the effectiveness of a given archetype of management control systems (MCSs) varies depending on the socio-cultural setting—the society—in which it operates. The study focuses on three socio-cultural groups and the corresponding institutional contexts (an Anglo-Saxon group, a Central European group, and a Northern European group) and three MCS archetypes (delegated bureaucratic control, delegated output control, and programmable output control). We use unique data from a cross-national, interview-based survey encompassing 610 strategic business units from nine countries (seven European countries plus Canada and Australia). The idea that firms tend to adapt MCSs to the socio-cultural context does not gain empirical support in this study. No significant differences in the distribution of MCSs between the three socio-cultural groups are noted. However, we do find that programmable output control has a more positive impact on effectiveness in Anglo-Saxon cultures, while delegated output control has a more positive impact on effectiveness in Northern Europe. Taken together these findings indicate that distinct differences between societies make a particular MCS design more appropriate in a given society, but where such differences are not dramatic (as in the present case), multiple MCS designs can be found in the same society.
Bedford, D.S., Malmi, T. & Sandelin, M. 2016, 'Management control effectiveness and strategy: An empirical analysis of packages and systems', Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol. 51, pp. 12-28.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study examines management control (MC) combinations that are effective in different strategic contexts through two related approaches – MC as a package and MC as a system. First, this study identifies how a set of MC practices combine (i.e. MC packages) to achieve effective control outcomes for firms operating in defender and prospector strategic contexts by applying fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). Using data from a survey of top managers the analysis reveals that there are multiple ways by which firms can effectively combine MC practices in a given strategic context. Furthermore, the analysis shows that not all MC practices found to be relevant in isolation are relevant when examined simultaneously as a package. Second, based on a comparison of effective MC packages this study examines interdependencies between MC practices (i.e. MC systems). Results show that in defender firms a diagnostic control use of accounting and mechanistic structural controls act as complements, while mechanistic structural controls and measure diversity act as substitutes. In prospector firms an interactive control use of accounting and organic structural controls are found to have complementary effects. These results indicate that the effectiveness of accounting control and structural control choices are determined not only by their fit with strategic context but also by how they fit with each other. This study also demonstrates how an understanding of MC packages can provide guidance for theory development and empirical analysis of MC systems.
Bedford, D.S. 2015, 'Management control systems across different modes of innovation: Implications for firm performance', Management Accounting Research, vol. 28, pp. 12-30.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study examines the use of management control systems (MCS) across different modes of innovation and the effects on firm performance. Specifically, this study draws on Simons' levers of control framework to investigate how top managers attempt to simultaneously balance exploration and exploitation, which place contradictory requirements on firms. Using data collected from a survey of top managers in 400 firms this study demonstrates that the patterns of use and interdependencies among control levers associated with enhanced performance differ depending on the mode of innovation. The findings show that control levers are independently associated with enhanced performance in firms that specialize in either exploration or exploitation, suggesting that levers operate as supplementary rather than as complementary controls in these contexts. However, in ambidextrous firms, diagnostic and interactive levers are shown to have interdependent effects on performance. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that both the combined and balanced use of these levers contributes to generating dynamic tension necessary for managing contradictory innovation modes.
There is growing interest in how management controls operate together as a package of interrelated mechanisms. Although theoretical debate dates back to the seminal paper of Otley (1980), there remains little empirical analysis of how control mechanisms combine. To increase knowledge in this area this study explores how multiple accounting and other control mechanisms commonly combine and the associations these combinations have with firm context. From a cross-sectional sample of 400 firms, this study presents an empirically derived taxonomy of five control configurations used by top managers, labelled as simple, results, action, devolved, and hybrid. Many of these patterns closely resemble control configurations common to the literature, while others represent distinctively contemporary arrangements, such as flexible variants of traditional bureaucracy (action), and instances where multiple and seemingly conflicting control types intermesh (hybrid). In analyzing these configurations this study provides accounting and control researchers with empirical observations to refine and extend existing control frameworks and theory.
Bedford, D.S. & Sandelin, M. 2015, 'Investigating management control configurations using qualitative comparative analysis: an overview and guidelines for application', Journal of Management Control, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 5-26.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Configuration theory is concerned with understanding complex phenomena involving multiple and interacting attributes. The theory is consistent with a long line of research recognizing that management controls operate as complex packages or systems. However, empirical research aimed at understanding management control configurations is relatively scarce. One possible reason is the lack of appropriate methods. This paper introduces a promising case-oriented method for understanding complex phenomena called qualitative comparative analysis. This paper provides a basic guideline for applying the method, outlines how the method can be combined with more conventional research approaches, and offers suggestions for future research into management control configurations.
Bedford, D.S., Brown, D.A., Malmi, T. & Sivabalan, P. 2008, 'Balanced scorecard design and performance impacts: some Australian evidence', Journal of Applied Management Accounting Research, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 17-36.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Academic literature is giving increased consideration to the use of performance measurement systems, notably the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). However, there has been limited empirical investigation into the particular benefits that result from the use of the BSC (Ittner and Larcker, 1998). This study empirically examines how the BSC has been applied in practice and whether different BSC designs result in varying performance outcomes. Data is from a cross sectional survey, which provided a sample of 92 Australian firms using BSC. It is hypothesised that the BSC provides greater benefits when 1) cause and effect logic is used between measures 2) nonfinancial measures are tied to compensation and 3) implemented at multiple levels within the organisation. Results support the first proposition, although cause and effect logic appears to be more important if the BSC is tied to compensation. These results are discussed, and implications for practice and future research are presented.
Bedford, D.S. 2006, 'Management control systems: Configurations and equifinality (Acct paper #84)', School of Accounting Working Paper Series, vol. 84.
Bedford, D.S., Bisbe, J. & Sweeney, B. 2016, 'How Performance Measurement Systems help firms achieve Intended Ambidexterity: The role of Cognitive Conflict', Quantitative Empirical Research on Management Accounting, Shanghai.
Bedford, D.S., Bisbe, J. & Sweeney, B. 2016, 'How firms translate intended ambidexterity into innovation outcomes: The role of performance measurement systems', New Directions in Management Accounting.
Bedford, D.S., Malmi, T., Ax, C., Bednarek, P., Brühl, R., Dergård, J., Ditillo, A., Dossi, A., Gosselin, M., Greve, J., Hoozee, S., Israelsen, P., Janschek, O., Johansson, D., Johansson, T., Øivind Madsen, D., Rohde, C., Sandelin, M., Strömsten, T., Toldbod, T. & Willert, J. 2016, 'The use of management controls in different cultural regions: An empirical study of Anglo-Saxon, Germanic and Nordic practices', New Directions in Management Accounting, Brussels.
Bisbe, J., Bedford, D.S. & Sweeney, B. 2016, 'How Performance Measurement Systems help firms achieve Intended Ambidexterity: The role of Cognitive Conflict', 39th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association, Maastricht, Netherlands.
Bedford, D.S. 2014, 'Qualitative Comparative Analysis In Management Accounting Research', 37th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association, Tallin, Estonia.
Bedford, D.S. & Ditillo, A. 2014, 'From governing to managing: Exploring determinants and modes of control in private equity relationships', New Directions in Management Accounting, Brussels, Belgium.
Bedford, D.S., Malmi, T. & Sandelin, M. 2014, 'Configurations of Strategy and Control: A Set-Theoretic Approach', 37th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association, Tallinn, Estonia.
Bedford, D.S., Sandelin, M. & Malmi, T. 2014, 'Combinations of Strategy and Control: A Set-Theoretic Approach', Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ), Auckland, New Zealand.
Bedford, D.S. 2013, 'Configurations of Strategy and Control: A Set-Theoretic Approach', Performance Measurement and Management Control, Barcelona, Spain.
Bedford, D.S., Malmi, T. & Sandelin, M. 2013, 'Configurations of Strategy and Control: A Set-Theoretic Approach', Monash University Forum for Management Accounting (MONFORMA), Melbourne, Australia.
Ditillo, A. & Bedford, D.S. 2013, 'Determinants and modes of control in private equity agreements: Exploring differentiated patterns of social control', EAA 2013 36th Annual Congress, European Accounting Association, Paris, France.
Bedford, D.S. 2012, 'Controlling contradictory modes of innovation and implications for firm performance', 35th Annual Congress European Accounting Association Programme, European Accounting Association (EAA), Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Bedford, D.S. 2012, 'Controlling contradictory modes of innovation and implications for firm performance', Manufacturing Accounting Research Conference, Helsinki, Finland.
Bedford, D.S. & Malmi, T. 2009, 'Configurations of Control: An Exploratory Analysis', Performance Measurement and Management Control, Nice, France.
Bedford, D.S. & Malmi, T. 2009, 'Configurations of Control: An Exploratory Analysis', Global Management Accounting Research Symposium (GMARS), Copenhagen, Denmark.
Bedford, D.S. & Malmi, T. 2009, 'Configurations of Control: An Exploratory Analysis', 32nd European Accounting Association Annual Congress, Tampere, Finland.
Bedford, D.S., Brown, D.A. & Malmi, T. 2006, 'Balanced scorecard content, use, and performance impacts: some Australian evidence', AFAANZ Annual Conference 2006, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, AFAANZ, Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 1-19.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Bedford, D.S., Brown, D.A. & Malmi, T. 2006, 'Balanced scorecard content, use, and performance impacts: some Australian evidence', 29th EAA Annual Conference, Annual Congress of European Accounting Association, EAA, Dublin, Ireland, pp. 1-18.
Bedford, D.S. & Malmi, T. CPA Australia 2009, Best Practice in Performance Management, Melbourne, Australia.
Bedford, D.S., Malmi, T., Ax, C., Bednarek, P., Brühl, R., Dergård, J., Ditillo, A., Dossi, A., Gosselin, M., Greve, J., Hoozée, S., Israelsen, P., Janschek, O., Johansson, D., Johansson, T., Øivind Madsen, D., Rohde, C., Sandelin, M., Strömsten, T., Toldbod, T. & Willert, J. 2016, 'Combining participation in strategic planning and budgeting: Interaction and effectiveness'.