This paper aims to explore the nature, the role and the main features of business planning and management accounting processes in strategic networks, with particular reference to alliances formalized through the network "agreement" recently defined by the Italian government with law n. 122/2010. Despite the theoretical importance of the issues above mentioned, there has been little empirical research specifically related to these topics. In addition no theoretical and empirical research is still available to evaluate the managerial and accounting implications of the new legal framework established by the Italian government. After having defined the theoretical and institutional framework, this study performs a comparative case study on fifty network "agreements" formalized under the new law, with the purpose of exploring the theoretical and practical implications of an emerging phenomenon in its preliminary stage.
Keywords: Strategic networks, business planning, management accounting, network "agreement" (law n. 122/2010)