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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2004

Steven C. Hall and Laurie S. Swinney

Prior research provides evidence that firms make accounting choices to avoid violation of debt covenant provisions and the resulting costs of technical default. We extend…

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Abstract

Prior research provides evidence that firms make accounting choices to avoid violation of debt covenant provisions and the resulting costs of technical default. We extend this research by asking why some firms refrain from making accounting policy changes when faced with costs of technical default. We considered two possible explanations. First, we hypothesise that these defaulting firms may lack the flexibility to make accounting changes. Second, we hypothesise that these defaulting firms may lack incentive to change accounting methods. Results confirm prior research and indicate that defaulting firms make more accounting changes than non‐defaulting firms. The decision by defaulting firms to change or not change accounting methods during the three years ending in the year of a technical default of debt covenants can be explained in part by the ability of the firm and by the incentives of the firm to make a change.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-377-4

Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2016

Nuraddeen Abubakar Nuhu, Kevin Baird and Ranjith Appuhami

This study examines the association between the use of a package of contemporary and a package of traditional management accounting practices with organizational change

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the association between the use of a package of contemporary and a package of traditional management accounting practices with organizational change and organizational performance.

Methodology/approach

Data were collected based on a mail survey distributed to a sample of 740 public sector organizations.

Findings

The findings indicate that while the prevalence of traditional practices is still dominant, such practices were not associated with organizational change or performance. Rather, those organizations that use contemporary management accounting practices to a greater extent experienced greater change and stronger performance.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that contemporary management accounting practices can assist public sector practitioners in improving performance and promoting organizational change.

Originality/value

The study provides an empirical insight into the use and effectiveness of management accounting practices in the public sector. The study provides the first empirical analysis of the effect of using a package of management accounting practices in the public sector.

Abstract

Details

Advances in Accounting Education Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-868-1

Book part
Publication date: 6 May 2003

Seleshi Sisaye

Accounting for quality and improved organizational performance has recently received attention in management control research. However, the extent to which process…

Abstract

Accounting for quality and improved organizational performance has recently received attention in management control research. However, the extent to which process innovation changes have been integrated into management control research is limited. This paper contributes to that integration by drawing from institutional adaptive theory of organizational change and process innovation strategies. The paper utilizes a 2 by 2 contingency table that uses two factors: environmental conditions and organizational change/learning strategies, to build a process innovation framework. A combination of these two factors yields four process innovation strategies: mechanistic, organic, organizational development (OD) and organizational transformation (OT).

The four process innovation typologies are applied to characterize innovations in accounting such as activity based costing (ABC). ABC has been discussed as a multi-phased innovation process that provides an environment where both the initiation and the implementation of accounting change can occur. Technical innovation can be successfully initiated as organic innovation that unfolds in a decentralized organization and requires radical change and double loop learning. Implementation occurs best as a mechanistic innovation in a hierarchical organization and involving incremental change and single loop learning. The paper concludes that if ABC is integrated into an OD or OT intervention strategy, the technical and administrative innovation aspects of ABC can be utilized to manage the organization’s operating activities.

Details

Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-207-8

Abstract

Purpose

The paper extends the organizational learning framework: Structural-Functional (SF)-single-loop or Conflictual-Radical (CR)-double-loop learning to the management accounting literature. The sociological approach of organizational learning is utilized to understand those contingent factors that can explain why management accounting innovations succeed or fail in organizations.

Approach

We view learning as enhancing an organization’s strategic competitive advantage by making it better able to adopt and diffuse innovation in respond to changes in its environment in order to manage improved performance. The success of management accounting innovations is contingent upon whether its learning process involves SF-single-loop or CR-double-loop learning to adopt and diffuse process innovation.

Findings

The paper suggests that the learning strategy that the organization chooses is the reason why some management accounting innovations are more successfully adopted than others and why some innovations are easily diffused in some organizations but not in others. We propose that the sociological approaches to learning provide an alternative framework with which to better understand the adoption and diffusion of process innovations in management accounting systems.

Originality

It has become evident that management accounting researchers need to pay particular attention to an organization’s approach to adoption and diffusion of innovation strategies, particularly when they are designing and implementing process innovation programs for an organization. According to Schulz (2001), there are two interrelated stages of the learning that can shape the outcome of the innovation process in an organization. The first stage is related to the acquisition/production (adoption) of knowledge that results in gathering information, codification, and exploration. This is followed by the second stage which is the distribution or dissemination (diffusion) processes. When these two stages – adoption and diffusion – are applied within an accounting context, they address issues that are commonly associated with the successes and/or failures of management accounting innovations.

Research limitations/implications

Although innovation involves learning, the nature of the learning process does not completely describe the manner in which an innovation affects the organization. Accordingly, we suggest that the two interrelated organizational sociological dimensions of innovations processes, namely, (1) the adoption and diffusion theories of Rogers (1971 and 1995), to approach organizational learning, and (2) the SF (single loop) and CR (double loop) approaches to learning be used simultaneously to describe management accounting innovations.

Practical implications

When an innovation is implemented, it initially can be introduced as an incremental change, one that can be limited in both in its scope and its breadth of administrative changes. This means that situations which are most likely to benefit from its initiation can serve as the prototype for its adoption by the organization. If successful, this can be followed by systemic accounting innovations to instituting broader administrative changes within the existing accounting reporting and control systems.

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2020

Ciaran Connolly, Noel Hyndman and Mariannunziata Liguori

This paper seeks to explore the way charity accountants understand, interpret and legitimate or delegitimate the introduction of accounting and reporting changes (embedded…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore the way charity accountants understand, interpret and legitimate or delegitimate the introduction of accounting and reporting changes (embedded in the extant charity statement of recommended practice), before these are actually implemented.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on 21 semi-structured interviews with accountants in large UK and Republic of Ireland charities, the manner and extent to which forthcoming changes in charity accounting are legitimated (justified) or delegitimated (criticised) is explored.

Findings

Acceptance of accounting changes in the charity sector by formal regulation may not be necessary for future required adjustments to practice to be legitimated. Using interviews carried out before the implementation of required changes, the results suggest that other factors, such as national culture, identity and mimetic behaviours, may play a major role in the homogenisation and acceptance of accounting and reporting rules. In particular, it is argued that mimetic pressures can be much more influential than regulative pressures in legitimating change in the charity sector and are more likely to lead to the embedding of change.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, it explores rhetoric and legitimation strategies used before changes are actually implemented. Second, it contributes to filling a gap in charities’ research related to intra-organisational legitimation of managerial and accounting changes, illustrating institutional-field identity at work to preserve shared organisational values and ideas. Finally, the research illuminates the importance of particular contextual pressures and individual legitimation arguments during accounting-change processes.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Gaia Bassani, Jan A. Pfister and Cristiana Cattaneo

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of leadership in management accounting change processes and outcomes.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of leadership in management accounting change processes and outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on an ethnographic study in a Southern European company and mobilizes leader–follower relations as a method theory to analyse the observations.

Findings

The findings show how a leadership dispute between two top managers can be amplified during the management accounting change process and percolate throughout an organization. The authors identify five contested areas where the role of accounting amplifies the leadership dispute by unfolding its reach to other organizational actors. The leadership dispute can shape and reinforce a fragmented organization, with some organizational members creating convergent leader–follower relations while others divert and fragment with an increased turnover. This amplification can lead to unexpected outcomes of the change process in terms of how and by whom accounting is performed.

Research limitations/implications

The authors propose the study of leadership and followership as an important but, to date, largely neglected theme in management accounting research.

Originality/value

In contrast to the prior management accounting literature, the paper departs from a leadership-centric and role-based approach and employs a co-constructionist and relational approach to leadership and followership to analyse management accounting change. In addition, it applies and extends Alvesson's (2019a) theory on “divergent relationalities” between the presumed leaders and followers. In doing so, the paper also adds to the leadership field by theorizing and integrating the situation of a leadership dispute in this novel theoretical framework.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

João A. Ribeiro and Robert W. Scapens

To explore the contributions made by two strands of institutional research that have been applied to the study of management accounting change: “old institutional…

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Abstract

Purpose

To explore the contributions made by two strands of institutional research that have been applied to the study of management accounting change: “old institutional economics” and “new institutional sociology”. To propose ways of developing these theories, and in general to develop an institutional understanding of management accounting change.

Design/methodology/approach

Analysis of the literature on management accounting change, with a special emphasis on the literature drawing on institutional theory. Theoretical discussion based on the concept of the “circuits of power”. Illustration with observations made during a case study of an organisation in which attempts to promote change in management accounting were conducted in recent years.

Findings

Identification of some complementarities between these two strands of institutional theorising, and suggestions of how they can be developed by drawing on insights from the “circuits of power” framework.

Research limitations/implications

The case study analysis is limited to an illustration of the theoretical discussion. A building of bridges between the various developments in institutional approaches to management accounting change is necessary.

Originality/value

The paper is of value to researchers studying management accounting change. It clarifies the theoretical underpinnings of the institutional frameworks and suggests areas for institutional research into management accounting change.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Nizar Mohammad Alsharari, Robert Dixon and Mayada Abd El-Aziz Youssef

– This paper aims to introduce and discuss a new contextual framework to explain the processes of management accounting change in various organizations.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce and discuss a new contextual framework to explain the processes of management accounting change in various organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Having an institutional perspective, the paper develops a “conceptual contextual framework” of management accounting change. The methodology to accomplish this theory building consists of an integration of a number of different works summarizing the common elements, contrasting the differences and extending the work in some fashion. Particularly, it draws on theoretical triangulation by adopting three approaches: old institutional economics for internal processes and factors (Burns and Scapens, 2000); new institutional sociology for external processes and pressures (Dillard et al., 2004); and power and politics mobilization (Hardy, 1996).

Findings

The proposed framework provides an understanding of the complex “mixture” of interrelated factors that may influence management accounting change at multi-institutional levels: political and economic level, organizational field level and organizational level.

Research limitations/implications

The framework extends institutional theory-based management accounting research as well as provides a comprehensive basis for examining dynamics of accounting in the institutionalization process. Through further research, the framework will be extended and refined.

Practical implications

The paper has practical implications for practitioners and officers as well as for the accounting profession and academics alike.

Originality/value

The proposed contextual framework provides insights into the processes of change by focusing attention on the underlying institutions that encode accounting systems or practices in three institutional levels: political and economic level, the organizational field level and organization level. Examining the tension between institutionalized beliefs and values that may occur between these three levels of institutions will enhance our understanding of management accounting change in organizations.

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