The paper critically discusses one of the prescriptions of traditional control literature according to which the management accounting system should be adaptive to changes in the organizational and strategic context. Drawing from contingency and institutional theories, the paper drafts a framework to pragmatically identify key steps and phases in the management accounting change process. Using this framework, the paper reports on four longitudinal case studies of the design and implementation of management accounting change processes. The field study shows how accounting systems are difficult to change despite the influence of significant market changes and other changes ( triggers) which put pressure on management accounting systems to change. More specifically, findings provide evidence of the organizational nature of the change process, largely driven by organizational dynamics, highly discontinuous and not necessarily going in the planned direction. The need for change, the technical feasibility of change, the availability of traditional and contemporary methodologies are –alone- not enough reasons to change. A number of elements interplay in the process change and the overall success of change depends on how effectively those elements are managed by key individuals.

Management accounting system change: field evidence

ZONI, LAURA;DOSSI, ANDREA;MORELLI, MARCO
2012-01-01

Abstract

The paper critically discusses one of the prescriptions of traditional control literature according to which the management accounting system should be adaptive to changes in the organizational and strategic context. Drawing from contingency and institutional theories, the paper drafts a framework to pragmatically identify key steps and phases in the management accounting change process. Using this framework, the paper reports on four longitudinal case studies of the design and implementation of management accounting change processes. The field study shows how accounting systems are difficult to change despite the influence of significant market changes and other changes ( triggers) which put pressure on management accounting systems to change. More specifically, findings provide evidence of the organizational nature of the change process, largely driven by organizational dynamics, highly discontinuous and not necessarily going in the planned direction. The need for change, the technical feasibility of change, the availability of traditional and contemporary methodologies are –alone- not enough reasons to change. A number of elements interplay in the process change and the overall success of change depends on how effectively those elements are managed by key individuals.
Zoni, Laura; Dossi, Andrea; Morelli, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/3735273
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