Performance implications of misalignment among business strategy, leadership style, organizational culture and management accounting systems

Christina Juliana, Lindawati Gani, Johnny Jermias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the performance consequences of misalignment among business strategy, organizational configurations and management accounting systems (MAS). Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted a questionnaire survey to collect data and test the hypotheses developed in this study. The authors sent the questionnaires to the accounting and finance managers of the manufacturing companies listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. The authors received 259 responses from a total of 579 questionnaires sent or a 44.73% response rate. This study excludes 36 responses for further analyzes due to incomplete responses (five responses) and responses from lower-level employees (31 responses). The remaining 223 responses are used for statistical analyzes. Findings: This study hypothesizes and finds that misalignments among business strategy, leadership style, organizational culture and MAS are negatively associated with both financial and non-financial performance. Research limitations/implications: The study has three limitations. First, the authors intentionally collect data from the manufacturing industry to minimize the effect of data heterogeneity. To improve the generalizability of the study, future research might consider using data from other industries. Second, the study measures business strategy based on respondents’ perception of their companies’ strategy using indicators representing either product differentiation or cost leadership strategy. Future studies might use different ways of measuring business strategy using more objective empirical proxies such as research and development expenditures or premium price capability. Finally, this study conducts a survey and measures all the variables in a single period. Future studies might use a longitudinal approach to investigate the evolution of companies’ strategies and their impact on leadership styles, organizational commitment and MAS. Practical implications: The results of the study will help companies in their search for senior executives, in building their organizational culture and in implementing their MAS. The study suggests that product differentiation companies should search for transformational leaders that empower their subordinates to take initiative and encourage innovative ideas in performing their tasks. In regard to MAS, the results suggest that product differentiation companies should implement broad focus MAS that emphasize the balance between financial and non-financial factors. By contrast, cost leadership companies should search for transactional leaders who emphasize on completing tasks on hand effectively and efficiently. In regard to MAS, the findings suggest that cost leadership companies will benefit more from using narrow focus MAS such as formal planning and budgeting, variance analyzes and cost-volume-profit analyzes. Social implications: The findings of the study suggest that product differentiation companies should build a flexible culture that encourages subordinates to take the risk and effectively manage opportunities and challenges through changes and innovation. Furthermore, cost leadership companies should build a controlled culture that promotes adherence to policies and procedures to minimize costs and increase efficiency. Originality/value: This paper introduces to the management and accounting literature the concept of fit among competitive strategy, leadership style, organizational culture and MAS and uses the two-stage method proposed by Ittner and Larcker (2001) to measure the degree of misalignment among business strategy and its contextual variables and, in turn, examines the impacts of the misalignment on financial and non-financial performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-525
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Ethics and Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021


  • Business strategy
  • Leadership style
  • Misalignment
  • Organizational culture


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