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Management accounting and leadership construction in family firms

Antonio Leotta (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania, Catania, Italy)
Carmela Rizza (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania, Catania, Italy)
Daniela Ruggeri (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania, Catania, Italy)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Article publication date: 19 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Succession in family firms may determine the survival or the failure of the business itself. Management accounting literature has added little to this issue, mainly focusing on the process of succession and change (Songini et al., 2013; Giovannoni and Maraghini, 2013; Giovannoni et al., 2011). This study aims to deal with new management accounting (MA) practices that the junior generation may introduce during the process of succession. The aim of the study is to show that the introduction of new MA practices can contribute to constructing the leadership profile of the junior generation.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the perspective of actor-reality construction (ARC), the authors conducted a case study at a small-sized family firm producing solar shading systems. The authors examined how the construction of the successor’s leadership derives from the integration of four dimensions of reality: facts, possibilities, values and communication. Such an integration is facilitated by the introduction of a new accounting information system and cost reporting.

Findings

The case evidence highlights that the construction of the new generation leadership may emerge as a consequence of the introduction of new MA practices. Moreover, the field evidence highlights that the construction of a new generation leadership is a process that integrates the four dimensions of reality.

Originality/value

From the emergent perspective of ARC, the paper highlights how new MA practices play an active role in constructing the new generation leadership.

Keywords

Citation

Leotta, A., Rizza, C. and Ruggeri, D. (2017), "Management accounting and leadership construction in family firms", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 189-207. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRAM-09-2015-0079

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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