A critical review of Hope & Fraser's 'Beyond Budgeting'
Jeremy Hope & Robin Fraser are two of three founders of the Beyond Budgeting Round Table (BBRT), a UK based non-profit organisation. The pair have led research into Beyond Budgeting since BBRT's inception in 1997, and have since written a book called 'Beyond Budgeting: How managers can break free from the Annual Performance Trap' (Hope & Fraser, 2003) detailing the first five years of the Beyond Budgeting concept and how it has developed since they started their research. The article in question, which was written 3 years before the pair published their book, was part of the Harvard Business Review, helping the Beyond Budgeting model to gain worldwide recognition.
When reading this piece of writing, it is clear to see that the authors were heavily involved in developing the original concept of Beyond Budgeting, as there are no references throughout the article to provide support for the ideas presented.
Without references, the reader is forced to trust what the writers tell them, reducing an article's credibility as the reader is not aware of any other authors that share that opinion. Although the article is presenting a number of new ideas that have not before been discussed, it would still be useful for the authors to have given hard evidence with their ideas to give it more reliability. In contrast, Libby & Lindsay (2010) use over forty references in their article that draws comparisons between traditional and Beyond Budgeting.
Throughout the article, there is only one example of a company using Beyond Budgeting; the case of Svenska Handelsbanken, the Scandinavian banking service, where abandoning budgeting has worked consistently for them for over 30 years. However, the example used only mentioned how well Beyond Budgeting worked for them, which could be...