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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Albrecht Becker, Burkhard Pedell and Dieter Pfaff

This study aims to present a brief overview of developments in management accounting research and practice in German-speaking countries, locate the contributions of this…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present a brief overview of developments in management accounting research and practice in German-speaking countries, locate the contributions of this special issue in historical trajectories and provide an outlook of expected future developments in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reviews the literature and draws a critically reflective approach.

Findings

A century after Schmalenbach, Germanic management and cost accounting have significantly changed, even though the roots of the cost accounting tradition of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are still visible in practice and teaching, which is true for both organisational practice and research. In both cases, an encroachment of the global on the local can be seen but, paradoxically, as Hopwood (1999) noted, the seemingly globally standardised accounting systems allow for local idiosyncrasies to specifically stand out. The anchoring of management accounting in financial accounting, the country-specific ownership and financing models, the importance of capital and labour markets (e.g. strong codetermination) for companies, regulations on corporate governance and the determination of the tax base are examples of institutions that can shape the behaviour of management and, thus, also idiosyncrasies of management accounting in a country.

Originality/value

The contributions of this special issue provide insight into developments in management accounting research and practice in German-speaking countries and, thus, enhance our understanding of the different historical trajectories and traditions in management accounting. The papers by Weber and Wiegmann and by Gisch et al. demonstrate how specific idiosyncratic practices and understandings of management accounting in German-speaking countries mediate global influences on management accounting in private- and public-sector organisations. The papers by Endenich et al. and by Kreilkamp et al. show that the influence of international developments in management accounting research has become stronger in German-speaking management accounting academia.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2018

Dennis Fehrenbacher, Peter Gordon Roetzel and Burkhard Pedell

Cultural studies in business and economics research are still limited to particular cultures. Knowledge on cultural differences may help international corporations to…

Abstract

Purpose

Cultural studies in business and economics research are still limited to particular cultures. Knowledge on cultural differences may help international corporations to adapt management practices according to the markets they are operating in. The purpose of this paper is to study the issue of escalation of commitment and framing in a new cultural setting involving Germany and Vietnam. This setting is unique and particularly interesting, for Germany being the biggest European market and Vietnam being one of the fastest growing emerging markets in Asia.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a lab experiment with student participants from Germany and Vietnam.

Findings

In a 2×2 in between-experiment, the authors find strong support that Vietnamese participants have a stronger tendency to invest additional resources and evidence that negatively framed information leads to the higher escalation of commitment. Implications are discussed.

Originality/value

The unique empirical comparison is important because differences between other western and eastern countries do not necessarily generalize to the setting.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2019

Peter G. Rötzel, Alexander Stehle, Burkhard Pedell and Katrin Hummel

This study aims to investigate the role of environmental management control systems as mechanisms to translate environmental strategy into environmental managerial performance.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the role of environmental management control systems as mechanisms to translate environmental strategy into environmental managerial performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on survey data from 218 firms, the authors test a structural equation model.

Findings

The results show that environmental management control systems mediate the relationship between environmental strategy and environmental managerial performance. Moreover, the level of integration between regular and environmental management control systems significantly impacts the relationship between environmental management control systems and environmental managerial performance. Therefore, environmental management control systems are important mechanisms to translate environmental strategy into managerial performance, and a high level of integration can reinforce this role.

Research limitations/implications

The typical shortcomings of survey-based research apply to this study.

Originality/value

While previous research focuses primarily on environmental performance at the organizational level, this study addresses individual managerial performance with regard to environmental outcomes. In addition, the authors investigate how the level of integration between regular and environmental management control systems influences the relationship between environmental strategy and environmental managerial performance as well as the mediating role of environmental management control systems.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2020

Christoph Endenich, Andreas Hoffjan, Anne Krutoff and Rouven Trapp

This paper aims to study the internationalisation of management accounting research in the German-speaking countries and to analyse whether researchers from these…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the internationalisation of management accounting research in the German-speaking countries and to analyse whether researchers from these countries rely on their intellectual heritage or adapt to the conventions prevailing in the international community.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides a research taxonomy of 273 papers published by management accounting researchers from the German-speaking countries between 2005 and 2018 in domestic and international journals with regard to topics, settings, methods, data origins and theories of these papers. The study also systematically compares these publications with the publications by international scholars as synthesised in selected prior bibliometric studies.

Findings

The findings suggest that German-speaking researchers increasingly adapt to the conventions prevailing in the international management accounting literature. Indicative of this development is the crowding out of traditional core areas of German-speaking management accounting such as cost accounting by management control topics. The study also finds that German-speaking researchers increasingly rely on the research methods and theories prevailing internationally.

Research limitations/implications

The paper documents considerable changes in the publications of management accounting researchers from the German-speaking countries. These changes raise the question how other national research communities internationalise and whether these processes lead to a greater homogenisation of international management accounting research, which might impair the advancement of management accounting knowledge.

Originality/value

This paper provides first empirical evidence on how management accounting research conducted in the German-speaking countries has changed in the course of the internationalisation of the research community and builds an important basis for future research in other geographic settings.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Juergen Weber and Leona Wiegmann

This paper aims to investigate how and why German cost accounting prevails and develops in German multinational organisations despite the various indications in the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how and why German cost accounting prevails and develops in German multinational organisations despite the various indications in the literature that it will converge towards an anglophone system over time. To analyse this, the authors draw on the ideas of professional practices (Jarzabkowski et al., 2016) and their path dependency (Schreyögg and Sydow, 2011) as a method theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors deploy an exploratory method using multiple case studies to determine similarities and differences between organisations concerning how cost accounting practices developed over time. They conducted interviews with cost accountants, group controllers and managers of German multinational organisations as well as experts from higher education institutions and consultancies.

Findings

This paper shows the path-dependent development of German cost accounting. It identifies self-reinforcing learning and complementary effects that seem to make it inefficient for organisations to deviate from the learned path as well as economic and normative pressures that affect the design of cost accounting systems.

Originality/value

By considering German cost accounting a path-dependent professional practice, this paper illustrates how and why the core of German cost accounting prevails, although organisations make adjustments within the existing structures to respond to the pressures they face. This paper hereby highlights the role of cost accountants in defining (and consequently bringing about or preventing changes to) the design of cost accounting systems.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2021

Celina Gisch, Bernhard Hirsch and David Lindermüller

This study aims to understand how reporting practices act as drivers of change in situations of conflicting institutional logics in a public sector organisation.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand how reporting practices act as drivers of change in situations of conflicting institutional logics in a public sector organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings are based on a case study of a German federal authority, where management accounting reports were introduced as part of a “new” managerial logic of control.

Findings

In the case organisation, management accounting reports were intended to change the behaviour of executives but were still guided by an “old” logic of justification. Nevertheless, over time, the addressees of the reports used the reports and reconciled different logics. This documents a process from decoupling to compromising and, finally, reconciling different institutional logics.

Originality/value

By examining the practices of management accounting reporting, this study elaborates the tensions placed on individuals by conflicting institutional logics and provides insights into how organisational practices are used to handle and reconcile conflicting logics in a public sector organisation. Therefore, this paper contributes to the discussion on how organisational practices act as drivers of organisational change.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 November 2020

Niklas Kreilkamp, Maximilian Schmidt and Arnt Wöhrmann

The purpose of this paper is to investigate if and how firms approach debiasing and what determines its success. In particular, this study examines if debiasing is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate if and how firms approach debiasing and what determines its success. In particular, this study examines if debiasing is effective in reducing cognitive decision biases. This paper also investigates organizational characteristics that determine the effectiveness of debiasing.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses survey data from German firms to answer the research questions. Target respondents are individuals in a senior management accounting function.

Findings

In line with the hypotheses, this paper finds that debiasing can reduce cognitive biases. Moreover, this study finds that psychological safety not only directly influences the occurrence of cognitive biases but is also an important factor that determines the effectiveness of debiasing.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides evidence that debiasing can serve as a powerful management accounting tool and discusses debiasing in the context of recent management accounting literature. This study also adds to the stream of research that investigates the role of psychological safety in organizations by highlighting its importance for successful debiasing.

Practical implications

This paper informs firms that use or intend to use debiasing about crucial determinants to consider when debating its implementation, i.e. psychological safety. This study also identifies risk management as a potential interface for the implementation of systematic debiasing.

Originality/value

While previous research primarily addresses specific cognitive biases and debiasing mechanisms using lab experiments, this is – to the best of the knowledge – the first study investigating cognitive biases and debiasing on a broad conceptual level using survey data.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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