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Aalto University has excellent possibilities for multidisciplinary research cooperation

Business representatives interviewed for the article related to strategic investments were informed about the results shortly after the data collection.
Kuvassa Tomi Seppälä, Jari Huikku ja Jouko Karjalainen

Assistant Professor Jari Huikku from the Department of Accounting at the School of Business, Senior University Lecturer Jouko Karjalainen from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at the School of Science, and Senior Fellow Tomi Seppälä from the Department of Information and Service Management at the School of Business have recently written together an article ‘The dynamism of pre-decision controls in the appraisal of strategic investments’. The article deals with the dynamism of controls preceding strategic investment decisions, and it was published in the British Accounting Review (ABS-3). 

According to Jari Huikku, the article is a good example of the fruitful research cooperation that takes place between Aalto University’s different schools and departments.

‘In this project, for example, we benefited greatly from the fact that we were able to combine our research knowledge of three different fields. In addition, we had a nice and even refreshing time when working on the writing project, as we had not previously worked together. We encourage all our colleagues to take advantage of the multidisciplinary opportunities at our university.’

Maximising the societal impact of the research as a target

The researchers made as many as 108 interviews among the 150 largest Finnish manufacturing companies. In this way, they made their own contribution to the scarce capital budgeting literature about the research theme in question. The article extended discussion on how pre-decision controls in capital budgeting are adapted to companies’ external and internal environmental changes.

‘More specifically, we looked at how changes in companies’ economic, strategic and organisational conditions relate to an increased emphasis on pre-decision controls. Such control mechanisms include, for example, various required policies, procedures and routines. The study indicated that changes in management may play a decisive role in control adaptations. In addition, our research strongly showed that increased financial pressure can lead to tightened use of controls’, Jari Huikku says.

‘The companies interviewed were extremely keen on knowing about the investment appraisal practices in other companies. An executive summary with the main findings was distributed to the interviewees very soon after the data gathering process. By this, we aimed to maximise the societal impact of the research and help companies compare their practices.’

Photo: Tomi Seppälä (on the left), Jari Huikku and Jouko Karjalainen. Photo taken by Roope Kiviranta.

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