Controlling Collaboration between Firms

How to build and Maintain Successful Relationships with External Partners


  • Angelo Ditillo, Institute of Accounting, Finance and Control, Università Bocconi, Milan, Italy
  • Ariela Caglio, Institute of Accounting, Finance and Control, Università Bocconi, Milan, Italy

Shows how accounting information and control mechanisms are used in decision-making, planning and control at an inter-organizational level and how accounting tools and techniques may support the development and management of external relationships with strategic partners. In "global companies" the use of management control mechanisms has increasingly become decentralised from the management accounting department, this book covers these issues. In all functional areas (marketing, operations, human resources, etc.), those who are expected to be able to analyse and interpret accounting information collected from external partners, have to exercise cost control to ensure that profit targets are achieved and understand.
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The book has a practitioner-manager orientation. The main target is represented not only by managers working within the fashion industry but also by managers operating in firms characterized by critical relationships with external partners along the value chain. More specifically, buyers of this book would have the following job titles: CFO, CEO, COO, Controller, Management Accountant, Financial/Business Analyst, IS Manager, Management Consultant, Operations Managers/Directors.


Book information

  • Published: September 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-8131-5

Table of Contents

The formation and management of inter-organizational agreements; Rationales for collaboration; Inter-organizational archetypes. How companies exercise control over their partners without stifling collaboration; Levers for controlling inter-organizational relationships; The choice of what to control; Uses of formal vs. informal control mechanisms; Applying the levers of control to improve performance.The functionalities of accounting and control mechanisms for inter-organizational settings; How accounting acts as a stabilising mechanism of inter-firm relationships; Using accounting information for performance measurement and control of partners; the Total Cost of Ownership to select suppliers effectively; Collaborative Value Chain Analysis to support process improvement initiatives; Open Book Accounting to build trust; Target Costing for inter-organizational cost management and price definition; The contextual variables relevant to design controls and information flows between collaborating firms. How to build and maintain successful inter-organizational relationships in practice; Managerial processes in fashion companies; Forms and features of management control in fashion firms; The design of inter-organizational accounting information systems in fashion firms.