Recent research has shown that flexibility is an essential characteristic of successful enterprises in a highly competitive and rapidly changing business environment. Management and accountants should not only understand flexibility but also be able to create flexible organisations and measure the flexibility levels and mixes. Flexibility is however a nebulous, elusive and multidimensional concept which is poorly understood and seldom measured and monitored in organisations. The aim of this research is to define the construct flexibility, to demarcate its borders and to propose a framework which explains its multiple attributes in organisations. The framework is then used as a basis to develop flexibility measures and indicators for management and accountants to identify current levels of flexibility, determine flexibility targets, monitor progress in meeting targets and signal direction. It is suggested that the accounting information system can be used as the means of recognising, measuring and communicating information on flexibility to stakeholders of organisations. The introduction of information on flexibility into Accounting may also serve to address some of the criticism levelled at accounting discipline. This may result in Accounting becoming more flexible and able to adapt to the changing demands of a competitive business environment.
Dissertation (DComm(Accounting Sciences))--University of Pretoria, 2003.