Business & Economics Collected Works - Theses
Now showing items 1-6 of 6
Financial planning and appraisal for mergers and acquisitions by diversifying companies
The title of this thesis, "Financial Planning and Appraisal for Mergers and Acquisitions by Diversifying Companies", contains three phrases, namely "financial planning and appraisal", "mergers and acquisitions", and "diversifying companies". Because various meanings are associated with these phrases in accounting literature, it is necessary as a preliminary step to give them precise meanings for the purposes of this thesis. (From introduction)
The Ford strike 1973: a critical analysis of the industrial relations processes used by Vehicle Building Employees Federation
This is a report on a highly complex and controversial subject. At the time of writing, some six months after the event, it is clear that the Ford Strike of 1973 is widely viewed as one of the major industrial relations events in Australia in recent years. It is also certain that the popular preoccupation with the strike will soon be reflected in the academic world: already there is appearing substantial literature devoting at least partial attention to the subject from a variety of view points. It would require a considerable volume to deal comprehensively with the subject, much less this literature; no doubt a tome will eventually appear but in the meantime, partly as a requirement of the M.B.A. degree, but mainly as a result of my interest and participation in postgraduate courses and seminars in industrial relations at the University of Melbourne, my treatment is deliberately selective. I have made little attempt, for example, to explore the perspectives of the psychologist, economist, or historian. I have not attempted to provide complex statistical analyses of the various dimensions of the strike, nor have I more than touched on the vexing problems of assessing the consequences of the stoppage. My focus has been rather on the cause of the dispute and the meanings for those involved. In this respect my treatment is, regrettably, rather parochial and arbitrary. Nevertheless, I hope that the reader will find my approach enlightening and stimulating. (From Preface)
Business goodwill: an analysis of its conceptual foundations
The original intention was to write a thesis that critically reviewed several techniques that have either been employed or advocated in valuing the goodwill of a business. While working along these lines it became increasingly apparent that the accounting literature dealing with 'goodwill' was only superficially conversant with the real nature of the concept that was being valued. There was a surprising gap in the literature examined of any significant analysis of the fundamentals of the concept - all the more surprising since one might expect accounting theorists, at least, to be sufficiently stimulated to enquire into the nature of goodwill, more so as its intangibility stamps it with a nebulous quality. This striking deficiency in the literature led to a rethinking of my aims in researching this area of financial accounting theory, and before long I was forced to decide whether to follow the well-trod paths of valuation techniques and their associated problems, or whether to blaze an original trail and analyse the foundations of the concept itself. The latter course was chosen, primarily in an attempt to partially fill this gap in the literature, but also with the secondary aim of providing, in a humble way, a springboard for further considerations into the nature of the concept. With hindsight now that this research project has been completed, it can be categorically stated that this study would have been much easier if a destructive approach had been taken (i.e., a critical analysis of existing valuation theories) instead of the constructive one that was adopted (i.e., the formulation of one's own ideas as to what constitutes the underlying nature of the concept). In an endeavour to make a positive contribution to the controversy surrounding this topic in accounting, this thesis conducts an analysis into the conceptual foundations underlying the goodwill of a business. The first chapter takes note of the existing confusion in legal and accounting circles as to the nature of the asset and argues that the goodwill of a business represents an 'environment' within which a going-concern operates, an 'environment' which is based on four areas of influence: customer goodwill, employee goodwill, industrial goodwill and financial goodwill. Chapters two to five inclusive take each of these areas in turn and analyse the conceptual foundations appropriate to each. The sixth chapter argues that these various areas of influence produce an overall environment or 'status quo' for each firm, and that this environment is what is meant by the expression 'the goodwill of a business'. In order to reduce the size of chapter one, Appendix A lists 82 definitions that have been extracted from a chronological survey of the literature. (From Preface)
The form and content of internal accounting reports in municipal government in Victoria
The purpose of this study is to examine the quality of the internal accounting reports presented to the councillors of fifteen Victorian municipalities. The fifteen municipalities included in the study do not represent a random sample of the 210 Victorian municipalities. There are several different types of municipalities in Victoria. Some municipalities are small in area and are characterized by very high population densities, some municipalities are large in area and are sparsely populated while others are characterized by rapidly growing populations. A classificatory distinction between the different types of municipalities was made because different types of municipalities encounter different problems. It was thought that the form and content of the internal accounting reports could vary in response to the different types of problems encountered by each type of municipality. The following classification was used: 1. Inner-suburban (developed) municipalities. 2. Outer-suburban (developing) municipalities. 3. Country-urban municipalities. 4. Country-rural municipalities.(From Introduction)
Estimation bias in public infrastructure projects and procurement selection and performance
In response to ongoing cost overruns on government construction projects, a number of Australian government jurisdictions have identified the benefit of developing and gathering strategic project data to assist in setting budgets and refining procurement strategies. This is based on the knowledge that there is a proven occurrence of estimation or optimism bias, the need to improve development of business cases and clearer allocation of risk. This thesis establishes that significant cost overruns have occurred over decades, if not centuries, throughout the world, and that optimism bias exists in government infrastructure projects. It also demonstrates that there are substantial information gaps in the data and the studies documented in the referred literature, particularly when comparing the outcomes associated with different procurement processes. The thesis finds that there is a risk category, which includes the commercial risks associated with selecting the delivery model, which is not being fully considered by researchers. It details recent developments in Australia and reflects on the approaches used for risk allocation for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) compared with those used for traditional procurement. The thesis details the development of an Australian National PPP Forum and how this Forum led to the beginning of a National Benchmarking Study (the Study) of major projects in January 2006. The thesis presents the Study's objectives and approach to capturing project performance, in terms of time, cost and service outcomes. It considers in detail the methodology of project selection, what data is collected to enable robust analysis and the degree of difficulty in collecting data. This thesis is the first written paper to draw on the experience gained from the National Benchmarking Study, establishing that there is an emerging observation that PPPs outperform traditional procurement but that, to date, this is not statistically proven. It does not attempt to provide empirical evidence comparing time, cost and service outcomes between PPPs and traditional procurement processes. Although the Victorian segment of the National Benchmarking Study has now been completed, and the Victorian findings support the observations of earlier researchers, the thesis concludes that it is imperative for the Study to have robust data in the form and detail outlined in order to reach appropriate, scientifically reliable conclusions. The thesis concludes with five recommendations: 1. Further analysis of the causes of cost overruns; 2. Completion of the national benchmarking study; 3. Capture of relevant project data during the execution of the project; 4. A new template for collecting project data; and 5. Further necessary research to develop a predictive model for estimating appropriate financial risk allocation.
Governments and project financiers may achieve better value for money in adopting alliancing as a form of delivery structure in delivering PPP projects in Australia (rather than the traditional risk transfer methods)
The objective of the paper is to test whether governments in Australia and project financiers can achieve better value for money in adopting alliancing as a form of delivery structure in delivering complex PPP infrastructure projects in Australia (rather than the traditional risk transfer methods). The paper looks at the development of PPPs in Australia (including current approaches by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in delivering major social and economic infrastructure projects), and the use of private sector capital and risk allocation patterns in PPP projects. It goes on to analyse the value for money framework used in Australia, which primary focus on the use of the Public Sector Comparator (PSC) model and government's approach on risk transfer (and not necessary optimal risk allocation). The paper also looks at areas of future research where project sponsors (including governments) and project financiers of major complex projects should be reconsidering their risk management approach towards alliancing projects. The paper then provides an overview of PPP policies and experiences in Australia and internationally (in particular, the United Kingdom). It discusses the on-ongoing reforms undertaken (which includes reforms to the value for money appraisal process and more direct government participation in the risk management and control of PPP projects) in the United Kingdom and Australia. The paper provides an overview of relationship contracting (in particular, alJiancing) including the legal conceptual basis, use of price competition and discusses the future way in using alliancing in privately financed projects or PFI PPPs. The paper then discusses how government can achieve better value for money in adopting relationship contracting or having greater risk sharing in delivering complex PPP projects, recent trends in financing PPPs and greater focus on partnership in delivering projects. The paper concludes by discussing the survey results from an interview of relevant "players" in government and industry bodies and their advisers to identify the "drivers" and "impediments" using alliancing and other forms of relationship contracting in the delivery of economic and social infrastructure and services.