This paper aims to better understand how an accounting information system (AIS), working as a multidimensional knowledge object, engages users in a new round of knowledge development which allows them to explore new managerial directions. Drawing on the concept of the knowledge object and the knowing in practice perspective, this study considers the relationships between subjects and objects in the explication of accounting practice, underlining how AIS could become a knowledge object that can assume a variety of forms, starting from such contradictions emerging from practice.
Theoretical argumentations are applied to a case study at a global logistics provider in the South of Italy, which manages the supply chain from origin to destination, offering a multitude of services in the transport and distribution sector.
The case study shows that the process of knowledge accumulation promotes the mutation of AIS into a knowledge object that, in its variety of forms, allows managers to explore new managerial directions such as the reorganization of warehouse activities.
The paper seeks to enrich the interpretation of AIS as a multidimensional knowledge object becoming a catalyst of new managerial directions through knowing. That helps to understand the role of accounting tools as a social practice supporting decision-making and how accounting systems’ openness and questioning nature makes them objects of enquiry able to support the identification of new managerial directions and lead the AIS to continually explode and mutate into something else.
Rizza, C. and Ruggeri, D. (2021), "Knowing new managerial directions: the role of AIS", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 282-306. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-12-2018-0124
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