The dynamism of pre-decision controls in the appraisal of strategic investments

Jari Huikku*, Jouko Karjalainen, Tomi Seppälä

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we examine the dynamism of pre-decision controls in the appraisal of strategic investments, an area largely overlooked by the literature, even though it is of the utmost importance to understand the mechanisms companies use to ensure their optimal capital investments. More specifically, we investigate how changes in companies’ economic, strategic, and organisational conditions relate to an increased emphasis on pre-decision controls such as policies, procedures, and routines. The empirical data is based on 108 interviews from among the 150 largest Finnish manufacturing companies. The paper contributes to the scarce capital budgeting literature by extending the discussion of the adaptations of pre-decision controls to external and internal environmental changes. We add to the literature by showing that changes in management may play a decisive role in control adaptations. Furthermore, we provide strong support to maintain that increased financial pressure can be related to the tightened use of controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-538
JournalBritish Accounting Review
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Capital budgeting
  • Generalised linear model
  • Management accounting change
  • Pre-decision control
  • Strategic investment


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