The stock of new terms in management accounting emanating from expansion in computer applications, flexible manufacturing systems, and quality controls is expected to grow. Unless a proper standardization arrangement is created, co‐ordination problems in communication will reach insurmountable levels. In light of the “linguistic relativity and determinism hypothesis” (also known as the “Sapir‐Whorf hypothesis”), researchers concluded that different professional affiliations in accounting create different linguistic repertoires or codes for intergroup and intragroup communications. Structuralism and its “doctrine of linguistic relativity,” which asserts that there are no universals in language, convey the difficulty of communication between nations with different languages. These difficulties constrain the growth of an international management accounting discipline. Terminology standardization reduces these problems. Considers the theoretical and practical arguments for standardization, the mechanics of standardization, and suggests an answer to the obvious question of who should be responsible for terminological standards. Included are the results of a survey, conducted in the United States, of management accountants dealing with the difference between current and desired levels of terminology standardization.
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