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An Empirical Study on Budgetary Slack, Operational Efficiency, and Transfer Value

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Budgetary slack directly impairs a firm’s budgetary management. Budgetary slack at a firm’s business unit level makes the firm level budget like a building on sand. However, it is difficult to detect the existence and to evaluate the extent of budgetary slack at a firm’s business unit level. Starting with the five-year historical data of a service delivery center in a U.S. Fortune 500 firm, this research develops a comprehensive approach for probing and assessing the budgetary slack in a firm’s business units. The approach leverages operational efficiencies and transfer values of business units of a firm’s internal transfer system. It also contributes to evaluating the rationale of the budget of a firm’s business unit in the budgetary approval process.


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