Budgeting Games People Play


The Budgeting Games People Play
Frank Collins, Paul Munter, and Don W. Finn
ABSTRACT: Managers would likely have different ways, termed games, of coping with their superior's budgetary leadership style and the interpersonal stress associated with budgeting. Additionally, these factors are likely to be associated with different budgetary attitudes. We examined the patterns of gameplay as well as leadership styles and role stress to determine whether these factors were correlated with the subordinates' attitude toward achieving their budget. We found that the game patterns of DEVIOUS, ECONOMIC, INCREMENTAL, and TIME were correlated with subordinates' attitude toward achieving their budgets, particularly when considered in the context of their superior's leadership style and the amount of role stress present. In particular, we found that a manager with a positive budgetary attitude used the ECONOMIC, INCREMENTAL, or TIME game pattern, avoided the DEVIOUS pattern, had low role stress, and had a superior with a punitive leadership style.


A E L Y in budgeting is a relaMPA tively unexplored issue. Since Hofstede's [1967] initial work, there has been little published research on that aspect of budgeting. Additionally, there has been limited work in a budgeting context concerning leadership and role stress. While Collins [1982] suggests a role theory perspective for investigating the effects of leadership styles, no comprehensive, accepted theory regarding budgeting processes exists [Hofstede, 1967; Hopwood, 1972]. This paper examines the effect of game-play, leadership style, and role stress on attitude towards achieving one's budget. Previous research has shown that gameplay exists in a budgetary setting and that there are speciHc patterns or schemata of gameplay [Collins, Munter, and Finn, 1983]. In this study, we explore whether a relationship exists among leadership styles, gameplay, and budgetary...