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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-02182020-150209

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Thesis title
Management Accounting and Sustainable Performance in the Food Value Chains: Shared Value Creation Approach. An empirical analysis of Electra Case study
Academic discipline
Course of study
tutor Prof. Riccaboni, Angelo
  • agrifood
  • management accounting
  • performance measurement system
  • shared value
Graduation session start date
Release date
This research aims to identify the role of farmers within the network, emphasizing the role of the leading company in implementing innovative and inclusive strategies in a top-down perspective. Such activities lead firms towards a fair and equal distribution of value created by pointing out the importance of new forms of collaboration between organizations in the supply chain in the current dynamic environment. In line with the main key purposes, research has shown that the agro-food sector is facing a range of pressures from the internal and external environment. A rich seam of prior work has highlighted the increasing global competition and growing pressures for companies to adopt sustainable practices (Zouaghi & Sánchez, 2016; Jambor & Babu, 2016; Boccia & Covino, 2016). Moreover, in a dynamic environment, international norms and regulations on food security and food safety are thriving extremely, in seeking to ensure that social and environmental sustainability requirements are met (Validi et al., 2014; Seuring and Muller, 2008). In such context, companies are meant to focus and comply with European guidelines, in order to align their corporate governance practices with internal and external principles. Such an integration might align the company’s business model and performance management system with sustainability practices and knowledge management (Busco et al., 2007).
This research focuses on the agricultural sector, which is characterized by many small, medium and micro-sized firms, where the owner and the manager are being recognized within the same person. These firms are operating in a very competitive and dynamic environment, where the demanding environment is challenging their survival (Brinkmann et al., 2014; Tell et al., 2016). However, agro-food firms are slow at ‘modernizing’, as they lack in technical, organizational and logistic skills, resulting in low investment for training and new technologies (Tschirley et al., 2010; Adenle et al., 2015; Sivertsson & Tell, 2015). Farmers as being also the owners-managers of their companies, often adopt a ‘traditional way of thinking’ in doing and managing their businesses (Sivertsson & Tell, 2015). In line with these struggles, the implementation of innovative business models can provide new opportunities and insights towards performance improvements and continuous learning (Lambert & Davidson, 2013; Bocken et al, 2014).
On this regard, prior work has tackled the role of business models and the integration of innovative sustainable practices in measuring the organizational performance in the food industry and all throughout the entire value chain (Baden-Fuller and Mangematin, 2013; Sargiacomo, 2016; Cantino et al., 2016). Moreover, prior accounting studies have explored the role played by performance management systems in handling the challenges of integration within and across organizations (Busco et al., 2010). We aim to develop these research by counting on the theoretical background offered by actor-network theory (Callon, 1986; Callon, Law and Rip, 1986; Latour, 1987; Latour and Woolgar, 1979) through a descriptive case study analysis (Yin, 1994; Scapens 1990).