Managers’ perceptions of justice in participative budgeting

Kevin Dow, Davood Askarany, Belaynesh Teklay, Ulf Richter

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study contributes to the management accounting (MA) literature by exploring the effect of managers’ perception of justice in the budgeting process (as a subsystem of MA) on their satisfaction and motivation to achieve organizational objectives. Drawing on the Habermasian concept of deliberative democracy, which underscores the importance of gaining legitimacy to achieve desirable outcomes, our analysis focuses on seven constructs related to situational and intrinsic participation, procedural and distributive justice, and attitude on two outcome constructs: satisfaction and motivation. We surveyed managers with an accounting background who are directly involved in the budgeting process and analyzed our data using partial least squares-based path analysis–structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The results of this study indicate that both dimensions of justice – distributive and procedural – are positively associated with participation, and in turn, positively impact satisfaction and motivation. Contrary to expectations, managers’ influence on the final budget does not seem to be as important as we expected. Budgeting is an important managerial function that involves setting targets based on an organi-zation’s strategy and allocating resources for its execution. Such a fundamental process requires managers’ participation at various levels to ensure that the process is fair and just. Our study’s findings imply that justice perceptions are an essential fabric of organizational processes that drive human behavior. Specifically, our findings reveal that perception of justice influences participation and satisfaction and motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-152
Number of pages26
JournalAdvances in Management Accounting
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Deliberation
  • Engagement
  • Justice
  • Management accounting
  • Participative budgeting
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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