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The changing role of management accounting in the transition from a family business to a non‐family business

Martin R.W. Hiebl (Institute of Management Control & Consulting, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria)
Birgit Feldbauer‐Durstmüller (Institute of Management Control & Consulting, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria)
Christine Duller (Department of Applied Statistics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria)

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change

ISSN: 1832-5912

Article publication date: 31 May 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present paper is to investigate whether the transition from a family business to a non‐family business affects the institutionalisation of management accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on an online survey among all large and medium‐sized Austrian firms. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were used to test the impact of the level of family influence on aspects of the institutionalisation of management accounting. Firm size is included as the main control variable.

Findings

A lower level of influence from the controlling family was found to be correlated with the institutionalisation and intensification of management accounting in medium‐sized firms. For large firms, such a linear relationship could not be drawn. The level of education of management accountants was inversely correlated with the level of family influence in both large and medium‐sized firms.

Research limitations/implications

Further research into the reasons, underlying drivers and inter‐organisational promoters of management accounting change in family businesses is needed. Furthermore, the organisational impacts of the transition from family businesses to non‐family businesses deserve further investigation.

Originality/value

A framework for assessing the organisational effects of the transition from family businesses to non‐family businesses is provided. The empirical results on the impact of the transition on the institutionalisation of management accounting are presented. The level of family influence was found to act as a significant contextual factor for the organisation of management accounting in medium‐sized firms.

Keywords

Citation

Hiebl, M.R.W., Feldbauer‐Durstmüller, B. and Duller, C. (2013), "The changing role of management accounting in the transition from a family business to a non‐family business", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 119-154. https://doi.org/10.1108/18325911311325933

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited