The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of strategic management accounting (SMA) in an English university. It is in search of and investigates SMA practices and processes, and their meaning to participants in an English university context. The higher education (HE) institution under research had gone through a major change a couple of years prior to this study, including implementation of new strategic management and management accounting practices.
The approach taken is an interpretive one and the adopted methodology is grounded theory according to Glaser's evolved approach. Data collection took place largely through interviews and, where possible, participant observation.
The main findings of the research concern the core concept of the strategising mindset, which encapsulates the institutional, divisional and individual stance towards strategy and SMA. The strategising mindset is understood as the belief system that is adopted with regard to SMA, which is divided into a bureaucratic and an entrepreneurial mindset. According to the respective mindset, accounting for strategic management is dealt with and institutional members' perceptions of SMA are shaped. The particular mindset adopted depends on the context members were and are functioning, which reflects Bourdieu's theory of practice.
The main contributions are the emergent theoretical framework on SMA in HE, the concept of the strategising mindset and resulting views and conclusions on what SMA actually means in practice. To the authors' knowledge, no such theoretical framework has been published to date.
Hutaibat, K., von Alberti‐Alhtaybat, L. and Al‐Htaybat, K. (2011), "Strategic management accounting and the strategising mindset in an English higher education institutional context", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 358-390. https://doi.org/10.1108/18325911111182312
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