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Developing Management Accounting for Long-Term Decision-Making: Empirical Examinations from the Customer and Supplier Perspectives

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages61
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-4258-9
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-4249-7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


The aim of this thesis is to examine management accounting (MA) development that can facilitate investment decision-making in customer organizations and business development in supplier organizations through the following research questions: 1) How can the customer’s investment decision-making be supported with MA information? 2) How can the supplier’s business development be supported with MA information? 3) What kinds of characteristics are desired for MA development to support long-term decision-making?

The main contribution of this thesis is in showing that MA can increase the likelihood of good decisions simply by structuring the long-term decision effects in monetary terms and integrating knowledge into meaningful insights. Secondly, the thesis contributes to the existing understanding about using value-for money (VfM) and life-cycle costing (LCC) for decision-making in public and private organizations. Organizations need MA practices and tools that can help rationalize and guide investment decision-making in which subjective factors play a significant role. Thirdly, this thesis contributes to the servitization literature by identifying needs for MA development in the context of manufacturing companies moving toward more service-based business models. MA information about existing, rather traditional service business could serve the purpose of partially understanding customer behavior and thus support new service business development. Overall, this thesis suggests that there is a need to achieve a certain balance between accuracy and simplicity in MA development.

This thesis is a collection of four articles that are based on in-depth qualitative case studies. The first article focuses on the VfM considerations in the Finnish wastemanagement context. It presents a path to overcome the conceptual VfM challenges in public procurement with the help of quality requirements and methods such as LCC. The second article concerns LCC model development for defense material in Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) and illustrates the possibilities and challenges related to practicing LCC in an uncertain environment.

The last two articles focus on MA development in the context of machinerymanufacturers’ global service business development. The third article discusses how the service business potential can be understood through MA and presents how MA enables the consolidation of scattered financial and non-financial data to better support decisionmaking. The fourth article illustrates how machinery manufacturers can segment their spare part business customers with the RFM-analysis (recency of purchase, frequency of purchase, and monetary value of purchase) typically applied in consumer business. The article shows how certain methods outside the traditional MA practices can provide decision support for business development.


  • Management accounting, decision-making, long-term costs, long-term profits

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