Amhalhal, Abdallah Mohammed A (2013) A Contingency-Based Investigation of the Effectiveness of the Use of Multiple Performance Measures in a Libyan Context. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Lack of knowledge of the effective use of measurement diversity-based systems, especially in developing countries (e.g. Libya), was the core rationale and motivation for this research. Therefore, the key focus of this study is the investigation of the effectiveness of a performance measurement alignment approach which claims that multiple performance measures (MPMs) should be aligned with environmental and organisational contingencies (i.e. business strategy, environmental uncertainty, market competition, decentralisation, formalisation, information technology, company size), in order to improve organisational performance (OP). To capture these relationships in sufficient depth, the theoretical framework of this research was developed based on contingency theory and a wide review of the relevant literature. This framework adopts both selection and mediation-based interaction approaches to contingency fit in order to investigate these contingency relationships. The current study aims to provide an empirical investigation of the effectiveness of MPMs in light of the contingency perspective in a Libyan context.

The results of this study were based on cross-sectional questionnaire survey data from 132 Libyan companies (response rate of 61%) and data from face-to-face interviews with financial managers in 10 companies. The research used descriptive statistics, regression analysis, mediation regression analysis via Preacher & Hayes’ (2004) macro, and content analysis. The descriptive analysis indicated that MPMs are commonly used by many Libyan companies, whether manufacturing or non-manufacturing. However, these companies still rely heavily on financial performance measures. The statistical findings revealed that the relationship between FPMs and OP was positive but not significant, whilst relationships between NFPMs and OP, and MPMs and OP were positive and highly significant. They found that, except for “formalisation and market competition”, the remaining contextual factors studied have a significant positive impact on the extent of MPMs usage. The results also reported that MPMs have a core mediating/intervening role in most relationships between the identified contingencies and performance (except for formalisation, market competition and company size). By contrast, the interview-based qualitative results were consistent with most questionnaire-based quantitative results, and they also suggested other reasons for using or non-using MPMs.

Overall, both qualitative and quantitative findings are mostly in line with the logic and importance of the context-structure fit, which is regarded as the central proposition of contingency theory. This implies that those contingency factors (e.g. strategy, PEU) are considered as important antecedents of MPMs’ usage, and MPMs’ information is considered as an important antecedent of organisational performance. This thesis introduces a better understanding and explanation of how to use MPMs effectively. It also contributes to the current body of knowledge by providing empirical evidence from an emerging context (i.e. Libya) to support the central proposition of contingency theory claiming that, in this case, enhanced organisational performance requires alignment of the structure with the context. The research concludes that Libyan companies should pay greater attention to environmental and organisational characteristics when adopting and designing measurement diversity-based systems.

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