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An Experimental Study about How to Choose the Indexes and Representation Format in the Performance Evaluation Report

Author: HeKun
Tutor: MaoHongTao
School: Southwestern University of Finance and Economics
Course: Asset evaluation
Keywords: Performance Evaluation Reports Laboratory Experiment Performance Indicators Presentation Format Level of Accounting Knowledge
CLC: F231
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 65
Quote: 0
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Abstract


The famous American scientist Herbert Simon said:’Decision is the heart of the management, and management is formed by a series of decisions, management is decision making.’’Where there is no measurement, there is no management.’ This is a famous saying by Professor Robert Kaplan, one of the founders of the Balance Score Card,(BSC). The famous consulting firm-Rand, made a similar point of view:100bankruptcies of large enterprises in the world,85%is caused accidentally because of the decision-making of business managers.’shows that the importance of the management decision-making, and the factors which influence the decision-making also highlight its value. The focus of traditional financial reports is to research the contents of the information which should be included in the financial reports. With the development of economics, a growing number of studies found that the disclosure of information has an important influence on the effect of the decision-makers’behavior. The practices of management accounting have constantly improved its information contents, but research is still rare on their disclosure forms in our country.In order to study the above problem, the author focus on the performance evaluation reports as a research subject, in-depth discussion of the two influence factors:the selection of indicators and reporting format. This paper based on theoretical analysis, using the Balanced Scorecard as a tool to systematically reflect that how reporting formats (both tabular and graphical) influence the enterprise management mechanism, as well as the effect of non-financial indicators. Then introduce the’accounting knowledge’as a variable, and study its impact on the influence of the evaluation results. With the help of Visual Basic applications, the author invited more than a hundred first-year postgraduate students from the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics as subjects to take part in the laboratory experiment. The experimental background material uses a retail enterprise called ABC, and Weekend is a sector in ABC company, this sector especially to build the colorful, fashionable and vitality style which targeted at15-25year-old young people. In recent years, ABC has been using the Balanced Scorecard to evaluate the performance of Weekend sector. This technology is relatively mature and formed a suitable retail performance metrics. This paper divided the Weekend sector’s performance evaluation report into two reporting format (tabular vs. graphical), subjects were asked to evaluate the performance of the manager in Weekend department through different formats, then shortlisted five important performance indicators when making decisions and ranking by their importance. Secondly, according to the survey, the subjects were divided into high and low level of accounting knowledge decision-makers, to study this variable’s impact of the decision-making results.The arrangement of the main content as follows:Chapter Ⅰ:Introduction. This chapter makes a comprehensive overview of the entire article through the background and significance of research content, research framework and methods, possible innovations and contributions;Chapter Ⅱ:A Literature Review. Mainly from the performance evaluation reports, evaluation format as well as the selection of the indicators to seek some effective scope of this study;Chapter Ⅲ:Theoretical basis and Hypotheses. This paper try to comb the previous researches at home and abroad to lay a solid theoretical basis for the article from psychological theories which include the theory of representational congruence, the theory of function fixation and the theory of constructed preferences.Draw on existing literature, combing the logical relationship between the reporting format and the selection of indicators, then put forward five hypotheses;Chapter4:Experimental design. This chapter systematically describes the idea of the process of the experiment which including the experimental materials and experimental process, and then use the flow chart to show the specific setups;Chapter5:An Empirical Analysis. Through descriptive statistics of the dependent variable, testing the effectiveness of the independent variables, the author uses empirical methods to test how reporting format and accounting knowledge impact the results of the performance evaluation, then we again-depth discussion of the factors affecting the subjects through statistical analysis of the experimental feedback;Chapter6:Conclusions and Prospects. Comprehensive overview of the experimental findings, analysis the reason that the verification of the hypotheses; generalization of theoretical and practical significance, and have real revelation about the company’s future performance evaluation practice in the aspects of reporting format and selection of indicators. Finally, we discuss the limitations of this paper and propose improvement ideas for future research and possible research directions.Through the empirical results, we have the following conclusions:Compared to table, although the decision-makers use graphical reporting format emphasized the correlation between each data, the graphics’unstructured information rendering some important data, so that decision-makers make a relatively conservative decision-making results; Secondly, the decision-makers gave more attention on the financial indicators in the draw of the evaluation results so that damaged the role of non-financial indicators by function fixation phenomenon; Finally the lower level accounting knowledge senior managers relatively lack of accounting literacy and professional knowledge reserves, so they possibly investigate results only by browsing the overall framework of the report about the department’s performance, then tend to be conservative to make the results of the evaluation.Innovation and contribution of this study may be reflected in the following aspects:First, in the respect of research methods, the author try to understand the mechanism of the performance evaluation information through reading literature, then use of rigorous experimental design, in-depth discussion of the performance evaluation reports. This paper uses the statistical software Stata11and Microsoft Excel2003as a tool for data collection and processing text. Making full use of the resources of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, to discuss management accounting information’s decision value through computer experiments, invited more than a hundred postgraduate students involved in the experiment, to ensure the validity and reliability of the experimental data.Second, in the respect of research perspective, through the perspective of social behavior and psychology theories, we focus on each variables and action motivations that influenced the results of the performance evaluation. Then reveal the value of its mechanism to improve this filed in practical and theoretical aspects.Third, in the respect of research ideas, traditional research just analysis the contents of management reports, we tend to discover the influence of reporting format. The practices of management accounting have constantly improved its information contents, but research is still rare on their disclosure forms in our country. So, the author proposes five hypotheses through reading literature, according to the analysis of variance between the different experimental groups, then achieve the research value.Fourth, in the respect of the studying content, this article innovatively explore the impact of both graphical and tabular reporting format on the results of performance evaluation through laboratory research methods. The unique contribution of this paper is to link the level of accounting knowledge of the different reporting format with decision makers. And find that under the theory of representational congruence, senior management required having a higher level of accounting knowledge because of their decision-making tasks, so they can make it less susceptible to the impact of the reporting format when they choose the indicators and have clearer understand about the decision-making process and purpose.

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