Friday, November 19, 2010

Social responsibility disclosure in corporate annual reports: evidence from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation
Issue: Volume 6, Number 4 / 2010
Pages: 327 - 345
URL: Linking Options

Social responsibility disclosure in corporate annual reports: evidence from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries

Hussein Khasharmeh A1 and Mishiel Said Suwaidan A2

A1 Department of Accounting, University of Bahrain, P.O. Box 32038, Bahrain.
A2 Department of Accounting, Yarmouk University, P.O. Box 566, Irbid, Jordan


The objectives of this study are two-fold: 1) to evaluate social responsibility disclosure in the annual reports of manufacturing companies listed in the financial markets of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); 2) to examine the impact of a number of company variables on the extent of disclosure of this information. To achieve these objectives, a disclosure index was developed and applied to the annual reports of 60 manufacturing companies listed in the financial markets of the six countries included in the GCC. The results indicate that, on average, a company disclosed about 26% of the 45 items included in the index with only eight companies receiving disclosure scores of 40% or more. The results of regression analysis revealed that the size of the company and the auditing firm (international or local) are major variables in explaining variation in the extent of social responsibility disclosure between the sample companies.


social responsibility disclosure, company attributes, content analysis, corporate annual reports, Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC countries, manufacturing firms, corporate social responsibility, CSR

The references of this article are secured to subscribers.

Source:,1,5;journal,1,23;linkingpublicationresults,1:111023,1 accessed on 20 Nov 2010.

Sample Accounting Performance Measures

Sample Accounting Performance Measures

Percent of late reports
Perccent of errors in reports
Errors in input to Information Services
Errors reported by outside auditors
Percent of input errors detected
Number of complaints by users
Number of hours per week correcting or changing documents
Number of complaints about inefficiencies or excessive paper
Amount of time spent appraising/correcting input errors
Payroll processing time
Percent of errors in payroll
Length of time to prepare and send a bill
Length of time billed and not received
Number of final accounting jobs rerun
Number of equipment sales miscoded
Amount of intra-Company accounting bill-back activity
Time spent correcting erroneous inputs
Number of open items
Percent of deviations from cash plan
Percent discrepancy in MRB and line scrap reports
Travel expense accounts processed in three days
Percent of advances outstanding
Percent data entry errors in accounts payable and general ledger
Credit turnaround time
Machine billing turnaround time
Percent of shipments requiring more than one attempt to invoice
Number of untimely supplier invoices processed
Average number of days from receipt to processing

Copyright 2005 Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Source: accessed on 20 Nov 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Performance Management: Overall Goal and Basic Steps

Performance Management: Overall Goal and Basic Steps
(generic to organizations, processes, subsystems or employees)
© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Adapted from Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development

Overall Goal

Overall Goal and Focuses of Performance Management
The overall goal of performance management is to ensure that the organization and all of its subsystems (processes, departments, teams, employees, etc.) are working together in an optimum fashion to achieve the results desired by the organization.
Performance Improvement of the Organization or a Subsystem is an Integrated Process
Note that because performance management strives to optimize results and alignment of all subsystems to achieve the overall results of the organization, any focus of performance management within the organization (whether on department, process, employees, etc.) should ultimately affect overall organizational performance management as well.

Ongoing Activities of Performance Management
Achieving the overall goal requires several ongoing activities, including identification and prioritization of desired results, establishing means to measure progress toward those results, setting standards for assessing how well results were achieved, tracking and measuring progress toward results, exchanging ongoing feedback among those participants working to achieve results, periodically reviewing progress, reinforcing activities that achieve results and intervening to improve progress where needed. Note that results themselves are also measures.
Note that these general activities are somewhat similar to several other major approaches in organizations, e.g., strategic planning, management by objectives, Total Quality Management, etc. Performance management brings focus on overall results, measuring results, focused and ongoing feedback about results, and development plans to improve results. The results measurements themselves are not the ultimate priority as much as ongoing feedback and adjustments to meet results.
The steps in performance management are also similar to those in a well-designed training process, when the process can be integrated with the overall goals of the organization. Trainers are focusing much more on results for performance. Many trainers with this priority now call themselves performance consultants.

Basic Steps
Various authors propose various steps for performance management. The typical performance management process includes some or all of the following steps, whether in performance management of organizations, subsystems, processes, etc. Note that how the steps are carried out can vary widely, depending on the focus of the performance efforts and who is in charge of carrying it out. For example, an economist might identify financial results, such as return on investment, profit rate, etc. An industrial psychologist might identify more human-based results, such as employee productivity.
The following steps are described more fully in the topics Performance Plan,
Performance Appraisal and Development Plan, including through use of an example application. The steps are generally followed in sequence, but rarely followed in exact sequence. Results from one step can be used to immediately update or modify earlier steps. For example, the performance plan itself may be updated as a result of lessons learned during the ongoing observation, measurement and feedback step.

The following steps occur in a wide context of many activities geared towards performance improvement in an organization, for example, activities such as management development, planning, organizing and coordinating activities.

1. Review organizational goals to associate preferred organizational results in terms of units of performance, that is, quantity, quality, cost or timeliness (note that the result itself is therefore a measure)
2. Specify desired results for the domain -- as guidance, focus on results needed by other domains (e.g., products or services need by internal or external customers)
3. Ensure the domain's desired results directly contribute to the organization's results
4. Weight, or prioritize, the domain's desired results
5. Identify first-level measures to evaluate if and how well the domain's desired results were achieved
6. Identify more specific measures for each first-level measure if necessary
7. Identify standards for evaluating how well the desired results were achieved (e.g., "below expectations", "meets expectations" and "exceeds expectations")
8. Document a performance plan -- including desired results, measures and standards
9. Conduct ongoing observations and measurements to track performance
10. Exchange ongoing feedback about performance
11. Conduct a performance appraisal (sometimes called performance review)
12. If performance meets the desired performance standard, then reward for performance (the nature of the reward depends on the domain)
13. If performance does not meet the desired performance standards, then develop or update a performance development plan to address the performance gap* (See Notes 1 and 2)
14. Repeat steps 9 to 13 until performance is acceptable, standards are changed, the domain is replaced, management decides to do nothing, etc.

* Note 1: Inadequate performance does not always indicate a problem on the part of the domain. Performance standards may be unrealistic or the domain may have insufficient resources. Similarly, the overall strategies or the organization, or its means to achieving its top-level goals, may be unrealistic or without sufficient resources.

* Note 2: When performance management is applied to an employee or group of employees, a development plan can be initiated in a variety of situations, e.g.,:
a.) When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is needed, that is, that there is a "performance gap"
b.) To "benchmark" the status of improvement so far in a development effort
c.) As part of a professional development for the employee or group of employees, in which case there is not a performance gap as much as an "growth gap"
d.) As part of succession planning to help an employee be eligible for a planned change in role in the organization, in which case there also is not a performance gap as much as an "opportunity gap"
e.) To "pilot", or test, the operation of a new performance management system

Source: accessed on 19 November 2010

Defining Performance

Defining Performance
By Leigh Dudley on May 1, 2010

Imagine that you have just returned from attending a concert or play. When asked if your enjoyed the event, you reply “It was good.” What do you really mean by this statement? Do you want it understood that the musicians, actors, and support staff were talented or that the basic sheet music or script was entertaining? Or is it that the musicians or actors worked together with the proper leadership from the conductor or the director to produce something that you thought was valuable (and that is why you were willing to spend your hard-earned money on expensive tickets)?
Performance is about factors such as culture, mission, work-flow, goals, environment, knowledge, and skills all working together to produce something that is valuable to the consumer. So performance, regardless of the organization that produces the performance (be it a baseball team, software company, girl scout troop, or law firm), is about outputs or results.

There are 3 levels of performance
1. Organization
2. Process
3. Individual

When the sheet music or the script has potential, but the musicians or actors just are not talented, the performance fails. Perhaps the musicians or actors are talented individuals, but they just are not working well together. The performance just was not “good.” Performance, therefore, needs to occur on many levels.

Performance needs to occur on three levels:
1. The performer
2. The process
3. The organization

Optimal performance is obtained when all three levels work in harmony. The three levels of performance above presents a visual rendition of this process. A breakdown at any one of the levels will prevent optimal performance, thereby requiring some type of planned action to improve performance.
The organizational level establishes the necessary circumstances for the other levels of performance. When performance is not optimal, examine first the organization’s culture, policies, mission, goals, and operating strategies. These factors delineate the boundaries by which we define processes and jobs.
The process level is where the actual work gets accomplished. When performance is not optimal, examine factors such as workflow, job design, required inputs and outputs, and the performance management procedures to see if these processes actually work and support the organizational goals.
The individual performers within the organization affect the processes. When performance is not optimal, determine if the individual performance goals, knowledge and skill, work environment, availability or support tools, coaching, and feedback support the processes.
Seldom is it true that only one set of factors (organization, process, or performance) are adversely affecting performance. When trying to identify why the performance problem exists, it is critical, therefore, to examine factors at all three levels of performance.
As always happy training and comments, concerns and guests are always welcome.

Source: accessed on 19 November 2010.

Performance Management: What Do We Mean by "Performance"?

Performance Management: What Do We Mean by "Performance"?

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Adapted from Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development

On "Performance" in Organizations

(Performance management is a relatively new concept to the field of management. Performance management literature typically starts out with various examinations of the term "performance". The following information describes how the term "performance" in this library is used in this library.)
Supervisors have conducted performance appraisals for years. Employees have attended training sessions for years. Organization members have worked long, hard hours for centuries. Processes, such as planning, budgeting, sales and billings have been carried out for years in organizations. But all too often, these activities are done mostly for the sake of doing them, not for contributing directly to the preferred results of the organization.
Performance management reminds us that being busy is not the same as producing results. It reminds us that training, strong commitment and lots of hard work alone are not results. The major contribution of performance management is its focus on achieving results -- useful products and services for customers inside and outside the organization. Performance management redirects our efforts away from busyness toward effectiveness.
Recently, organizations have been faced with challenges like never before. Increasing competition from businesses across the world has meant that all businesses must be much more careful about the choice of strategies to remain competitive. Everyone (and everything) in the organization must be doing what they're supposed to be doing to ensure strategies are implemented effectively.
This situation has put more focus on effectiveness, that systems and processes in the organization be applied in the right way to the right things: to achieve results. All of the results across the organization must continue to be aligned to achieve the overall results desired by the organization for it to survive and thrive. Only then it be said that the organization and its various parts are really performing.

Performance Management Applies to More than Employees

Typically, we think of performance in organizations, we think on the performance of employees. However, performance management should also be focused on:
1. the organization
2. departments (computer support, administration, sales, etc.)
3. processes (billing, budgeting, product development, financial management, etc.)
4. programs (implementing new policies and procedures to ensure a safe workplace; or, for a nonprofit, ongoing delivery of services to a community)
5. products or services to internal or external customers
6. projects (automating the billing process, moving to a new building, etc.)
7. teams or groups organized to accomplish a result for internal or external customers

Source: accessed on 19 November 2010

Performance Management

Performance management
Performance management (PM) includes activities to ensure that goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner. Performance management can focus on the performance of an organization, a department, employee, or even the processes to build a product or service, as well as many other areas.
Performance management as referenced on this page is a broad term coined by Dr. Aubrey Daniels in the late 1970s to describe a technology (i.e. science imbedded in applications methods) for managing both behavior and results, two critical elements of what is known as performance.[1]
There are many ways and methods to measure employee performance but one of the most effective ways is using automated tools. The following are the advantages for using an automated performance management systems:
• Automation of Processes:Organisations can improve their HR Reporting and analytics with the automation of their performance measurement process. It also saves time and money.
• Goal clarity and alignment: Everyone in the organisation is clearly aware about the common organisational goals and objectives. Once the goals are clearly defined, everyone works for the growth of the organisation.
• Remote Workers (out of office operations):Technological advancements have lead to the growth of alternate working arrangements. With an EPM, employees working out of offices can coordinate their efforts with their managers.
• Flexibility and customisation: The employee performance management solutions can be customised according to the needs of the organisation.
• Competency management: Every organisation has some competencies around which their business operations revolve. An efficient and effective employee performance measurement solution ensures that the competencies are managed well.
• Talent management ( retention and growth): Employee performance management is an important factor for Talent Management. It helps identify known competencies, develop succession plans, notice talent gaps and establish compensation scales based on employee assessment.
This is used most often in the workplace, can apply wherever people interact — schools, churches, community meetings, sports teams, health setting, governmental agencies, and even political settings - anywhere in the world people interact with their environments to produce desired effects. Armstrong and Baron (1998) defined it as a “strategic and integrated approach to increasing the effectiveness of organizations by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors.”
It may be possible to get all employees to reconcile personal goals with organizational goals and increase productivity and profitability of an organization using this process. It can be applied by organisations or a single department or section inside an organisation, as well as an individual person. The performance process is appropriately named the self-propelled performance process (SPPP).[citation needed]
First, a commitment analysis must be done where a job mission statement is drawn up for each job. The job mission statement is a job definition in terms of purpose, customers, product and scope. The aim with this analysis is to determine the continuous key objectives and performance standards for each job position.
Following the commitment analysis is the work analysis of a particular job in terms of the reporting structure and job description. If a job description is not available, then a systems analysis can be done to draw up a job description. The aim with this analysis is to determine the continuous critical objectives and performance standards for each job.
Managing employee or system performance facilitates the effective delivery of strategic and operational goals. There is a clear and immediate correlation between using performance management programs or software and improved business and organizational results.
For employee performance management, using integrated software, rather than a spreadsheet based recording system, may deliver a significant return on investment through a range of direct and indirect sales benefits, operational efficiency benefits and by unlocking the latent potential in every employees work day (i.e. the time they spend not actually doing their job). Benefits may include:
Direct financial gain
• Grow sales
• Reduce costs
• Stop project overruns
• Aligns the organization directly behind the CEO's goals
• Decreases the time it takes to create strategic or operational changes by communicating the changes through a new set of goals
Motivated workforce
• Optimizes incentive plans to specific goals for over achievement, not just business as usual
• Improves employee engagement because everyone understands how they are directly contributing to the organisations high level goals
• Create transparency in achievement of goals
• High confidence in bonus payment process
• Professional development programs are better aligned directly to achieving business level goals
Improved management control
• Flexible, responsive to management needs
• Displays data relationships
• Helps audit / comply with legislative requirements
• Simplifies communication of strategic goals scenario planning
• Provides well documented and communicated process documentation
Organizational Development
In organizational development (OD), performance can be thought of as Actual Results vs Desired Results. Any discrepancy, where Actual is less than Desired, could constitute the performance improvement zone. Performance management and improvement can be thought of as a cycle:
1. Performance planning where goals and objectives are established
2. Performance coaching where a manager intervenes to give feedback and adjust performance
3. Performance appraisal where individual performance is formally documented and feedback delivered
A performance problem is any gap between Desired Results and Actual Results. Performance improvement is any effort targeted at closing the gap between Actual Results and Desired Results.
Other organizational development definitions are slightly different. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) indicates that Performance Management consists of a system or process whereby:
1. Work is planned and expectations are set
2. Performance of work is monitored
3. Staff ability to perform is developed and enhanced
4. Performance is rated or measured and the ratings summarized
5. Top performance is rewarded[2]
1. ^ Daniels, Aubrey (4th edition, July 2004). Performance Management: Changing Behavior that Drives Organizational Effectiveness.
2. ^ A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance, by the US Office of Personnel Management
Further reading
• Organizational Behavior Management Network, Dr. John Austin, Dr. Dale Brethower, Dr. Alyce Dickinson. 2009.
• Performance Management: Changing Behavior That Drives Organizational Effectiveness, 4th ed., Dr. Aubrey C. Daniels. Performance Management Publications, 1981, 1984, 1989, 2006. ISBN 0-937100-08-0
• Performance Management - Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics. Gary Cokins, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2009. ISBN 978-0-470-44998-1
• Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Published quarterly. 2009.
• Handbook of Organizational Performance, Thomas C. Mawhinney, William K. Redmon & Carl Merle Johnson. Routledge. 2001.
• Bringing out the Best in People, Aubrey C. Daniels. McGraw-Hill; 2nd edition. 1999.
• Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space in the Organization Chart, Geary A. Rummler & Alan P. Brache. Jossey-Bass; 2nd edition. 1995.
• Human Competence: Engineering Worthy Performance, Thomas F. Gilbert. Pfeiffer. 1996.
• The Values-Based Safety Process: Improving Your Safety Culture with Behavior-Based Safety, Terry E. McSween. John Wiley & Sons. 1995.
• Performance-based Instruction: Linking Training to Business Results, Dale Brethower & Karolyn Smalley. Pfeiffer; Har/Dis edition. 1998.
• Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis, John Austin & James E. Carr. Context Press. 2000.
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Source: accessed on 19 November 2010.