پیچیدگی تغییر حسابداری مدیریت: انشعاب و نوسان در سیستم های درون سازمانی اسکیزوفرنی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10278||2007||25 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 18, Issue 2, June 2007, Pages 248–272
This paper discusses and reconceptualises the role and practice of accounting in dynamic and complex business networks. The paper conceptualises change in complex inter-organisational systems as a process where various perturbations from the environment or installation of management accounting affect the system. This initiates two types of development. Firstly, the system searches the inter-organisational space, and branches out into new inter-organisational configurations—the system bifurcates. Secondly, the systems studied in this paper did not stabilise to the new order and inter-organisational configuration—rather they oscillated between institutional orders. The inter-organisational system is therefore schizophrenic in a sense, since it can shift between fundamentally different behaviours and orders within a short span of time. Management accounting in this complex evolving inter-organisational system is a source of instability rather than stability, a source of emergent, unintended order rather than planned or institutionalised change.
Management accounting theory and practice has moved into new domains and dimensions of management, through a series of inventions in managerial technologies and as a result of new business priorities and agendas (Bromwich and Bhimani, 1994 and Hartmann and Vaassen, 2003). Relevance was lost and should be regained through the use of new managerial technologies and multiple cost accounting systems (Kaplan, 1985 and Kaplan, 1998), or through new conceptions of control enabling empowerment (Simons, 1995). Furthermore, a focus on strategy (Shank and Govindarajan, 1993 and Lord, 1996), management of social responsibilities (Neergaard and Pedersen, 2003) or intellectual capital accounts to manage knowledge (Mouritsen and Larsen, 2005) has expanded the domains of managerial control. Lately, control of inter-organisational relations has emerged as a new influential challenge to dominant conceptions of control (Hopwood, 1996, Meer-Kooistra and Vosselman, 2000 and Dekker, 2003), which is biased towards functionalist, static and simple cybernetic conceptions of organisations and management accounting (Burns and Scapens, 2000 and Hartmann and Vaassen, 2003). The literature on inter-organisational control has generally extended simple cybernetic conceptions of control to the inter-organisational domain through notions such as value-chain analysis, or it focuses on detailing static control and organisational configurations (Håkansson and Lind, 2004, Cooper and Slagmulder, 2004 and Shank and Govindarajan, 1993). However, because inter-organisational controls trespass on firm boundaries and have multiple centres, simple cybernetic or static conceptions of control – understanding the organisation as a stable system managed from a centre via (predominantly) negative feedback (Boulding, 1956 and Pondy, 2005) – are inadequate. Therefore, some authors, especially those working within the actor-network theoretical umbrella, suggest that the organisation and relationships are shaped by the accounting system and vice versa (e.g. Mouritsen and Thrane, 2006 and Mahama and Chua, 2002). This paper builds on these insights but also argues that we need a more complex conception of what a system is, how it changes, and how order emerges. Like Quattrone and Hopper (2001), the paper does not apply a specific theoretical perspective, but assembles thoughts from actor-network theory (Callon, 1998 and Mouritsen and Thrane, 2006), general systems theory (Boulding, 1956, Pondy, 2005 and Buckley, 1968) and the literature on organisational change (Van de Ven and Poole, 1995 and Cooper et al., 1996). The resulting framework is a systems approach that allows a conceptualisation of change in systems with blurred boundaries, which is not linear, is dynamic, unstable and multidimensional. I thus follow Van de Ven and Poole's suggestion “to develop and study non-linear dynamical systems models of organisational change and development” (Van de Ven and Poole, 1995, p. 535). The paper also follows Quattrone and Hopper in investigating how management accounting “is concerned with organisational pluralism rather than uniformity and being open to and recognising multiple, diverse worlds rather (than) closure to a single homogenised world” (Quattrone and Hopper, 2001, p. 430). The paper examines the ways in which order in inter-organisational relationships emerges, how the inter-organisational system changes and adapts, and the role accounting plays in these processes. The paper contributes to both the literature on management accounting change and the literature on inter-organisational control. The paper is organised as follows. Firstly, the paper reviews the literature on intra-organisational and inter-organisational control, arguing that both have generally relied on static or (simple) cybernetic conceptions of control and organisations. Then the literature on management accounting and organisational change is discussed in order to argue for more complex conceptualisations of inter-organisational systems and management accounting change. This is followed by the analysis of an inter-organisational system – a business network consisting of independent consultants – illustrating the way in which change in inter-organisational systems involves both exploration in the inter-organisational space and oscillation between different system states. The paper ends with a discussion and conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Change in accounting and organisations has two expressions. One expression has to do with movement and exploration. An inter-organisational system moves in the inter-organisational space, caused by an internal dynamic initiated by accounting and external perturbations. The system branches, bifurcates into new system states. Another way that change manifests itself in the inter-organisational system is through the multiple behaviours which the system discovers and can exhibit. The system oscillates and it may remain undecided and schizophrenic, as it cannot find an ultrastable, equilibrial state. This paper contributes to the literature on management accounting change and inter-organisational control in various ways. Firstly, the literature on inter-organisational controls has stretched a static or simplistic cybernetic conception of control into the inter-organisational domain. This is paradoxical because inter-organisational relations have multiple centres and entities, and are engaged in cooperative and competitive relations/exchanges in various dimensions. A cybernetic system kept within predefined limits seems to provide an inadequate analogy in an inter-organisational setting. This paper has demonstrated that a systems approach embracing higher complexity levels is more adept at analysing control, change, and order in inter-organisational systems. Secondly, this paper adds to the literature on management accounting change. Change in the inter-organisational domain is not linear or an evolutionary process where the implementation or institutionalisation of controls changes the inter-organisational relationship into a new state, arrangement, or attitude, such as a development from arms-length relations to close, trusting relationships. Rather, change is an exploration of the inter-organisational space initiated and pushed by the intersections between controls, hopes and the interactions between entities. The relationship, its characteristics and its evolution are the emergent outcome of these factors. Change is then neither a deterministic process nor a direct result of free actors deciding their own fate; nor is it a random process. Change is a process moving the organisation or inter-organisational relationship into new zones in the inter-organisational space that attracts its development. Thirdly, this paper contributes to the growing body of literature on inter-organisational controls through showing the way in which controls (in combination with other factors) can trigger the development of the inter-organisational space. It does so by showing that inter-organisational control or coordination patterns (hierarchy, market and trust) are not stable end states of the inter-organisational relationship – rather they are zones of attraction where a relationship may shift between the different patterns almost concurrently – a relationship can both be hierarchical and trusting. The system explores, oscillates and is more schizophrenic than one-dimensional and integrated. Change in complex systems is indeed a strange and fascinating phenomenon.