یک مطالعه از ظهور رفتار سیستم مدیریت حسابداری و تاثیر آن بر موفقیت درک شده سیستم
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21438||2003||26 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Accounting, Organizations and Society,, Volume 28, Issue 6, August 2003, Pages 523-548
This study considers how certain notional organisational culture elements became embedded in the design of an innovative management accounting system (MAS) and how the alignment between the cultural premise of the MAS and that espoused by MAS users influenced the perceived success of the new system. The research data for the study were obtained over a three and half year period and derive from interviews, questionnaire responses and public as well as internal corporate documents. The site chosen for the study is a division of Siemens—a global firm in the electronics and electrical components industry. Two employee groups with functional expertise in engineering and business economics respectively comprise the MAS user groups. During the development and implementation phases of the new MAS, Siemens was actively engaged in a corporate-wide culture change programme that was supportive of the new MAS initiative. The study results are in two parts. First they report on the manner in which the organisational programme of culture change affected the cultural premise of the new system. Second, they indicate that the degree of alignment between the organisational culture elements which were embedded within the MAS and the organisational outlook of the two user groups significantly influenced the system's perceived success.
Past research suggests that different groups of MAS users within organisations exhibit different rationales, priorities and cultural orientations (Ahrens, 1996, Ahrens, 1997, Ahrens, 1999, Appleyard and Pallett, 2000, Bamber, 1993, Birnberg and Shields, 1989, Bruns and McKinnon, 1993, Ko and Mock, 1988, Loning, 1994, Markus and Pfeffer, 1983 and Young and Selto, 1991) and that these may influence their perceptions of the success of MAS changeovers (Brewer, 1998, Broadbent, 1992, Dent, 1991, Ezzamel, 1987, Goddard, 1997a, Hopwood, 1989, Mouritsen, 1996, O'Connor, 1995 and Roberts, 1990). Some researchers suggest that changes in organisational control systems tend to be deemed successful when accompanied by organisation cultural values which support the new systems (Das, 1986, Dent, 1987, Robey and Farrow, 1982, Rowlinson, 1995 and Zmud, 1979). Moreover, user involvement in the design of information systems has been reported to enhance the perceived success of a systems change because user value assumptions become embedded into the new systems’ architecture (Argyris and Kaplan, 1994, Birnberg, 1998, Caplan, 1988, Fischer, 1988, Franz and Robey, 1986, Markus and Pfeffer, 1983 and Shields and Young, 1989). Whilst evidence exists that the introduction of a novel management accounting system can bring about desired consequences when the system users consider the organisational values of their working environment to be consistent with those embedded within the new system, there has been little research on how such consistencies emerge. The present study aims to address this concern by exploring how certain notional organisational culture elements became embedded features of a newly implemented MAS within a specific organisation. It also aims to investigate how the alignment between the organisational culture elements which were embedded within the MAS and the organisational outlook of two MAS user groups influenced their perception of the success of the new system. The site chosen for this study is the Fibre Optics business unit (HLFO) of the Semiconductors Group of Siemens AG—a global electronics and electrical components firm. Operational officers within HLFO have specific expertise either in engineering (Technisch) or in business economics (Kaufmannisch). Engineering and business officers’ educational training differs in that the former tend to possess engineering based qualifications whereas the latter have a business economics academic background. These two distinct functional expertises provide a basis for categorising operational officers at HLFO into two different employee groups. The new management accounting system adopted by HLFO is called process-based target costing (PBTC) which was designed by HLFO engineering officers between September 1995 and May 1996. PBTC became operational in August 1996. The information collected to achieve the two aims of the investigation is derived from different sources. Interviews were carried out between early 1995 and mid-1998 with company officers. Internal documents, accounting reports, statistical data, graphical charts and official company histories were consulted. Two questionnaires were also used for collecting data on the MAS users’ organisational culture orientation. One questionnaire was administered to engineering and business officers prior to the introduction of the new accounting system and the other was administered following its implementation. Whilst HLFO was in the process of designing and implementing the new MAS, a corporate-wide culture change programme was in progress at Siemens. The two questionnaire administrations enabled changes in the users’ organisational outlooks over this time period to be assessed. The second questionnaire also included a question on the users’ perception of the success of the new MAS. The paper is structured as follows: following a review of the literature dealing with organisational culture and MAS ethos alignment, the paper discusses the emergence of the new MAS's ethos in the light the corporate culture change programme being put into effect throughout Siemens. The questionnaire and interview-based approach and hypotheses for investigating how the alignment between the organisational culture elements characterising the MAS and the system users’ orientation towards a developmental culture relate to the new MAS's perceived success are subsequently considered. Following a discussion of the results of the investigation, the paper's concluding section addresses some of the implications of the study and future research possibilities in the area.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The study has considered how certain notional organisational culture elements became embedded within the PBTC system's design features at HLFO. It has also suggested that the degree to which the notional organisational culture elements embedded within the new MAS aligned with the organisational outlook of the user groups was significantly associated with the perceived success of the new system. The study results support those of other investigations which suggest that different employee groups can subscribe to different organisation cultural values and that a MAS which is more reflective of the organisation culture values of one group is likely to be seen as being more successful by that group. The study however goes beyond the scope of prior investigations in that it considers quantitative and qualitative information collected prior to and following the implementation of the MAS under study. Within the organisation investigated, there were context specific factors underpinning the results of the study. The TOP programme of culture change at Siemens for instance, played a role in shaping the MAS's design features and by upholding certain notional culture elements, influenced what came to be deemed as successful accounting change within the organisation. During the time period between the first and second questionnaire administration, Siemens was actively engaged in a programme of enterprise-wide culture change. A principal objective of this programme was to alter the form and extent of communication between different parts of the organisation. Siemens’ TOP initiative sought to “…design more efficient structures, decision patterns and processes” (Siemens, 1994, p. 2) and “new forms of co-operation” (Siemens, 1995, p. 5). It encouraged organisational participants across the enterprise to develop greater sensitivity to external market changes, increased flexibility in carrying out work activities and interacting with individuals across functions. Whilst TOP was being implemented across Siemens, HLFO initiated the Phoenix project in September 1995 which entailed the reconfiguration of manufacturing by modularising production steps. Phoenix was viewed as necessitating altered forms of information exchange between departments in relation to different operational processes. Just as TOP was intended to reduce “…the unending series of co-ordination meetings” (Siemens, 1995, p. 5) and to “tear down the barriers between different departments” (Siemens, 1995, p. 5), so Phoenix aimed to reduce production complexity by manufacturing basic products within single automated lines before mass-customising through subsequent individualised production processes. The Phoenix exercise adhered to the ethos of the TOP culture change programme. Whilst Phoenix was focused on production simplification, supporting information provision was seen as an essential corollary. The idea of providing HLFO design engineers with detailed information concerning production costs coincided with the implementation of the Phoenix initiative. PBTC stressed three dimensions: market-led quality, process time tracking and cost resource flow data. This premise underlying PBTC information output was also broadly embodied within TOP which sought to make Siemens “faster, better and cheaper than our competitors” (Financial Manager, 4/6/96) and to attain “effective cost management at all levels and in all functions” (Innovation Management Director, 3/6/96). Like the Phoenix project, PBTC's aims were also characterised by objectives subsumed within the TOP programme of cultural change. The ability of the PBTC system to achieve its aims was, in this light, not independent of Siemens’ pursuit of TOP objectives. Aside from altered information monitoring and reporting, Siemens’ progression towards a meritocratic and individualistic rewards-based culture whereby traditional functional boundaries are transcended in the pursuit of effectiveness and transparency also affected the form and effects of PBTC. Accountants had traditionally internalised a professional conception of the need to economically map the organisation in terms of functional boundaries and to allocate costs based on generic procedural rationales. PBTC by contrast, represented an attempt at connecting and linking resource flows by focusing on processes rather than functional demarcations. The object was on integrating time, resource, quality and cost concepts rather than on merely reporting on overhead allocations across individualised cost objects. PBTC's embodiment of engineering officers’ information structuring and reporting idiosyncrasies contrasted with the procedural formality which had permeated the Accounting Department's approach to information development and representation. The internal ethos of the organisation which had in the past emphasised centralised modes of control but which now stressed devolved responsibilities, more dispersed information distribution and receptivity to alternative forms of information flows, was at odds with the traditional precepts still embedded in the functional priorities of the Accounting Department. The study brings to light the complex ways in which a wide diversity of organisational factors can influence the form and consequences of a new accounting system. The qualitative information derived from interviews and internal documents suggests that perceptions of the impact of PBTC were not unrelated to the notion that the new system provided accounting information which in content and form, was not originally conceived by HLFO accountants. It has been argued that engineering officers’ prior training which emphasised the integration of Wissenschaft and applied concerns influenced their preferences in relation to the structuring of PBTC reports. The significance of Technik as the embodiment of both conceptual engineering knowledge and craftsmanship as part of engineering officers’ training was not, within HLFO, independent of the structure and content of the PBTC system's output which diagrammatically integrated costing data with other forms of operational information. Additionally, the new MAS's form and content brought into sharp focus the absence of representations of purely economic data which had traditionally been provided by the Accounting Department. The analysis suggests that the interview comments of PBTC system users are broadly in line with the questionnaire results which indicate that different users’ organisational outlooks affected their perception of the success of the newly implemented MAS. The interviews provided a backdrop of organisational detail to the statistical analyses of respondent replies. The qualitative comments are indicative of the perceived success of PBTC as having been possibly tied to the pre-existing proclivities of the engineering officers toward information representation and how they sought to understand the cost implications of design changes. The study is, in this regard, indicative of the potential of methodological triangulation whereby quantitative and qualitative analyses can be coupled to shed greater light on the subject under investigation (Ashton, 1982, Bamber, 1993, Birnberg et al., 1990 and Brownell and Trotman, 1988). A void continues to exist in our knowledge of the diversity of factors which can affect user receptivity to novel accounting systems. The present investigation posits the existence of contingencies between different cultural orientations espoused within the organisation under study, those factored into its new accounting system and perceptions of the propriety of a user based accounting system design as opposed to one procured by the Accounting Department based on traditional accounting information precepts. In this light, the study points to the usefulness of examining some of the conditioning forces affecting the ultimate perceived impact of a novel accounting system within an organisation and of exploring ways in which an accounting system can a priori embody organisational value elements of primary significance and utility to its designers. A possible avenue for further research might thus be to contrast the present study with a similar analysis of the implementation of a MAS designed outside the organisation and to assess whether under such circumstances, different groups of users perceive the impact of the system differently. There exists little analysis within the accounting literature of the interrelationships between factors influencing accounting transformations which arise from outside and from within the organisation. Whereas a number of past studies have focused on the external origins of internal accounting changes and on the influencing forces at the margins of accounting (see Hopwood and Miller, 1994, Luft, 1997 and Miller, 1998), the present study leans more toward an examination of forces conditioning an emerging MAS from within the organisation. The predisposition of engineering officers to structuring information in ways that contrast with accountants’ notions of appropriate accounting data representation has here been argued to find possible origins outside the organisation. This investigation suggests that a variety of intra-organisational forces shaped the new MAS's form, content and effects. Siemens’ historical shift from being highly centralised to adopting a decentralised form with more autonomous business units, its ongoing programme of culture change and its traditionally focussed and detailed standard accounting procedures were instrumental in influencing the structure and consequences of process based target costing. The emergence and receptivity of the new MAS can in this light, be argued to have been conditioned by intra-organisational forces which themselves are partially shaped by more protracted extra-organisational factors. This study is thereby suggestive of accounting change being tied to transformations that are multifaceted in origin and which inhere it with a specificity that is intra- as well as extra-organisationally rooted.