This article considers the strengths and weaknesses of value-based management approaches based upon the residual income (RI) concept as the basis for incentive-based reward systems. The objective of these systems is to encourage optimal corporate investment selection by divisional managers and to encourage them to act as if they were independent owners of their divisions sharing a proportion of all losses and all profits. Part 1 of the article considers these systems in the light of the earlier RI debate in the 1960s and 1970s which raised a number of problems applicable to today's value-based systems. It also considers recent attempts to solve, perhaps, the major problem generated in the earlier debate—how to ensure that a single period RI is congruent with project net present value. Part 2 of the article provides a brief survey of current research into incentive systems based on RI. It then presents a possible programme of further research emphasising relevant research in finance theory.
Management Accounting Research – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 1998
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