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The institutional pillars of management accounting function

The institutional pillars of management accounting function Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to theorize the institutional pillars of management accounting function. Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopts a comparative case study approach. Findings – Institutional pillars of management accounting are explored on the basis of two longitudinal case studies. Competitive/economic forces and three analytical elements of institutional theory are composing institutions: regulative, normative and cultural‐cognitive pillars. Each element is important, and all of them may work in combination, but they operate through distinctive mechanisms and processes. This paper illustrates how they provide the basis for compliance, order and the legitimacy of not the whole organization, nor of the management accounting systems but of the management accounting function. This “organizational legitimacy” of management accounting function may provide one potential additional explanation for the change and stability of management accounting in organizations. Originality/value – This paper creates an institutional interpretation of accounting change or stability at the level of an accounting function. It illustrates how the pressure for change or stability in management accounting is collectively constituted in organisations, how it is given meaning and how individuals are making sense of things, i.e. how accounting is institutionally embedded. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change Emerald Publishing

The institutional pillars of management accounting function

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1832-5912
DOI
10.1108/18325910910994676
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to theorize the institutional pillars of management accounting function. Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopts a comparative case study approach. Findings – Institutional pillars of management accounting are explored on the basis of two longitudinal case studies. Competitive/economic forces and three analytical elements of institutional theory are composing institutions: regulative, normative and cultural‐cognitive pillars. Each element is important, and all of them may work in combination, but they operate through distinctive mechanisms and processes. This paper illustrates how they provide the basis for compliance, order and the legitimacy of not the whole organization, nor of the management accounting systems but of the management accounting function. This “organizational legitimacy” of management accounting function may provide one potential additional explanation for the change and stability of management accounting in organizations. Originality/value – This paper creates an institutional interpretation of accounting change or stability at the level of an accounting function. It illustrates how the pressure for change or stability in management accounting is collectively constituted in organisations, how it is given meaning and how individuals are making sense of things, i.e. how accounting is institutionally embedded.

Journal

Journal of Accounting & Organizational ChangeEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 30, 2009

Keywords: Organizational theory; Management accounting

References