Using negotiated budgets for planning and performance evaluation: An experimental study : an experimental study

Arnold, Markus Christopher; Gillenkirch, Robert Maria (2015). Using negotiated budgets for planning and performance evaluation: An experimental study : an experimental study. Accounting, organizations and society, 43, pp. 1-16. Elsevier 10.1016/j.aos.2015.02.002

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Budgets are often simultaneously used for the conflicting purposes of planning and performance evaluation. While economic theory suggests that firms should use separate budgets for conflicting purposes this contrasts with existing evidence that firms rarely do so. We address two open questions related to these observations in an experiment. Specifically, we investigate how a planning task that is in conflict with the performance evaluation task affects behavior in budget negotiations and their outcomes. Additionally, we analyze whether a single budget can be effectively used for both purposes compared to two separate budgets. We develop theory to predict that adding a planning task that is in conflict with the superior’s performance evaluation task increases the subordinate’s cooperation in and after the negotiation of a performance evaluation budget. Moreover, we predict that subordinate cooperation increases even more when the superior is restricted to use a single budget for both purposes. Our results broadly support our hypotheses. Specifically, we find that when budgets are used for both planning and performance evaluation, this increases the subordinate’s budget proposals during the negotiation and his performance after the negotiation. These effects tend to be even larger when the superior is restricted to a single budget rather than separate budgets for planning and performance evaluation, particularly with respect to subordinate performance. In our experimental setting, the benefits of increased subordinate cooperation even more than offset the loss in flexibility from the superior’s restriction to a single budget. The results of this study add to the understanding of the interdependencies of conflicting budgeting purposes and contribute to explain why firms often use a single budget for multiple purposes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute for Accounting and Controlling > Managerial Accounting

UniBE Contributor:

Arnold, Markus Christopher, Gillenkirch, Robert Maria


600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations








Beda Scherrer-Schweizer

Date Deposited:

04 May 2015 15:54

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:46

Publisher DOI:





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