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Management accounting research in family businesses: a review of the status quo and future agenda

Kumudu Kapiyangoda (Department of Management and Organization Studies, Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Tharusha Gooneratne (Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change

ISSN: 1832-5912

Article publication date: 8 February 2021

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021

1671

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review prior management accounting research founded upon family businesses. It presents the status quo, uncovers gaps in existing literature and postulates avenues for future scholarly inquiry.

Design/methodology/approach

In carrying out this review, a search was conducted accessing three search engines: Emerald insight, JSTOR and ScienceDirect encompassing journals which have published family business and management accounting research. Accordingly, 50 papers spanning 28 journals were identified as relevant and selected for review.

Findings

The review suggests that amid heightened research interest, while literature on management accounting in the realm of family firms has accelerated across time, how peculiarities of family businesses get articulated in the management accounting practices they deploy deserve further study. It also became evident that currently little is known on the use of various traditional and contemporary control practices, sustainability accounting and infusion of new management accounting ideas as well as the use of informal controls, which are very real to family businesses.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to the on-going knowledge debates on management accounting in family businesses and provides directions to potential researchers by illuminating the status quo of research and issues of significance which so far has been neglected.

Practical implications

This review, being placed at the nexus of management accounting and family businesses, offers lessons and insights to family business owners, managers and policymakers for the smooth functioning of businesses using management accounting insights.

Originality/value

Although a vast majority of family business studies in management accounting and controls have been published from 2013 onward, existing reviews capture publications up to 2012. Building upon, yet moving beyond reviews to date, and encompassing latest publications, this paper advances our understanding on the state of management accounting research in the field of family business.

Keywords

Citation

Kapiyangoda, K. and Gooneratne, T. (2021), "Management accounting research in family businesses: a review of the status quo and future agenda", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 352-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-10-2020-0164

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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