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Management accounting and organizational change: alternative perspectives

Nizar M. Alsharari (Business Division, Higher Colleges of Technology, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 4 April 2019

Issue publication date: 9 September 2019



This paper aims to discuss the alternative perspectives for studying management accounting and organizational change. It provides a comprehensive basis for the research of accounting and organizational change conducted in terms of theories used, influential factors, systems applied, dynamics and aspects of change.


The paper applies a “theoretical framework” for studying accounting and organizational change based on obtaining an institutional perspective. By achieving this theoretic construction in the integration of a number of different works, this can summarize the common elements, contrast the differences and work in a way that extends the methodology. It is determined exclusively on a hybrid approach through the adoption of alternative perspectives and complements recent recommendations for bridge building and methodological pluralism among the different debates and perspectives concerning accounting and organizational change research.


The findings emphasize that the nature of organizational change is not static, rather, it is dynamic and varying over time. Organizational changes are occurring in both extra- and intra-organizational factors that shaped changes in accounting systems in organizations. The study concludes that accounting and organizational change literature has divided theoretical strands into two main perspectives: rational perspectives and interpretive and critical perspectives. Rational perspectives represented by the conventional mainstream of research can be classified into two approaches, normative economic models and positive economic models, which are grounded in neoclassical economic theories. On the other hand, the interpretive and critical perspectives emerged as alternatives to rational perspectives to explain accounting and organizational change within its broader social and economic context.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has significant implications for the ways in which change dynamics can emerge, diffuse and implement at multilevel of institutional analysis. It also explains the interaction between the accounting and organizational change, which identified that change is both shaped by, and shaping, wider socio-economic and political processes. This broad sensitivity to the nature of change has important implications for the ways of studying accounting and organizational change. Hence, it has important implications for the way in which successful change can be defined in accounting and organizational change literature.


The study contributes to both accounting and organizational change literature by providing a comprehensive review about the development of institutional theory as it examines how the organization is simultaneously subjected to a high level of efficiency and considerable institutional demands. Thereafter, the domain of accounting and organizational change research itself will be extended.



Alsharari, N.M. (2019), "Management accounting and organizational change: alternative perspectives", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 1124-1147.



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