A path to enriched organizational learning via post-completion auditing in R&D investments: A constructive study

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
108 + 4
Research & development (R&D) investments are often complex and risky projects having a significant effect on company’s financial success. Post-completion audit (PCA) is defined as quantitative and qualitative comparison of actual, ex post cash flows and figures with the forecasted ex ante figures and estimations of the capital budgeting project. Even though PCA has been widely recognized correlating positively with companies’ success, it has gained less attention in academic research in comparison with other phases of capital budgeting process. This thesis aims to create a construct for PCA-system to enhance organizational learning (OL) in publicly listed Finnish high-technology manufacturing company that has high emphasis on R&D investments. Empirical material for the thesis were acquired from seven semi-structured interviews as well as by utilizing company’s internal material to supplement the interview data. The construct was created by utilizing the constructive research method by Kasanen et al. (1993). The main contribution of this thesis is the construct that was created for the case-company to steer and adjust its PCA process into a more OL-conducive direction, and to improve current situation considering R&D project estimates in company. Secondary contribution of this thesis arises from its R&D context which has been previously neglected as an investment type in PCA literature. However, due to characteristics of case company, the findings of this thesis may have only a limited applicability for other companies.
Thesis advisor
Huikku, Jari
post-completion audit, research & development, new product development, capital budgeting, organizational learning, constructive research approach
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