حسابداری مدیریت استراتژیک و فهم در یک شرکت چند ملیتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10281||2008||23 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 19, Issue 1, March 2008, Pages 80–102
This paper investigates strategic management accounting in a large multinational company in Germany. Much of the prior research in SMA has concentrated on which accounting techniques are used and in what circumstances. This paper is more concerned with how SMA is perceived and used in practice. The principal research findings relate to the core phenomenon of sense-making. The paper explores just what is meant by sense-making and how management accounting is used to assist the process. A substantive grounded theory of strategic management accounting and sense-making is developed. Sense-making is a basic social process that revolves around organisational actors’ attempts to understand their past, present and future situations. Management accountants consciously and unconsciously undertake ‘sense-making’ activities through the strategies of structuring and harmonising; bridging and contextualising and compromising and balancing. Sense-making is also carried out within both external and internal contexts. In addition, the intervening conditions that have an impact on the sense-making activities were ‘sets of information’, ‘professional know-how’ and ‘a feel for the game’. Two sets of consequences of sense-making were discovered; consequences for making strategy and consequences for management accountants. All these phenomena and their interrelationships are discussed in the paper and a nascent formal theory of SMA is proposed by discussing the substantive theory in relation to broader theoretical frameworks.
This paper investigates strategic management accounting in an organisational setting. Its motivation is to obtain an in-depth understanding of strategic management accounting (SMA) as it is lived and perceived by actors in organisations. The paper aims to contribute to this emergent understanding by providing insights from a multinational company in Germany. SMA can broadly be defined as being the use of management accounting systems in supporting strategic decision-making. The survival of companies in today's highly competitive global markets may depend partly on a management accounting function that allows for the successful assessment of strategic situations. SMA can provide such a function. The research does not aim to investigate SMA techniques as such, but seeks to understand what strategic management accounting means to organisational actors. Scapens and Bromwich (2001) note that the papers published in the previous ten years in ‘Management Accounting Research’ demonstrate that the complexities of management accounting in practice transcend the simple economic decision-making approaches portrayed in most textbooks. They further note that a large number of publications seek to understand the organisational setting of management accounting, and that in doing so such studies do not take the nature of management accounting for granted, thus opening its organisational role for debate. This research attempts to address such issues by investigating the complexities of strategic management accounting in an organisational setting. Much of the prior research in SMA has concentrated on which accounting techniques are used and in what circumstances. This paper is more concerned with how SMA is perceived and used in practice. Indeed, the main contribution of this research is to understand that from the participants’ perspectives the way in which accounting is used to make sense of complex strategic decisions is at least as important as the specific techniques used. It was found that to achieve this sense-making, a very diverse set of accounting information is used, dependent on the context of the decision. This would suggest that concentrating on one or two specific accounting techniques to assist strategic decision-making may reduce the relevant information available and result in less effective decision-making. Rather, accountants should be providing as broad a range of accounting information as possible. Moreover, it is hoped that by achieving a better understanding of how accounting information is used in a strategic context, it may enable more useful accounting systems to be developed. The paper provides this understanding by exploring just what is meant by sense-making and how management accounting is used to assist the process. The paper commences with an outline of the prior literature in SMA and organisational sense-making. In keeping with the grounded theory methodology this literature review is intended to provide a background and context to the research rather than develop specific theory and hypothesis testing. A short discussion of the grounded theory methodology, the methods used and background details of the research case study are next provided. The main part of the paper is a presentation of the grounded theory itself. This is presented using a simplified version of Strauss and Corbin's (1998) paradigm model. The grounded theory is also discussed in relation to a broader theoretical literature in this section. The paper concludes with a discussion of the main contributions of the research and possible consequences for SMA and for future research
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The research reported in this paper addresses the lacuna of empirical, grounded theory research in SMA. The paper contributes to SMA by establishing that the way accounting information is used to make sense of strategic issues is at least important as the specific techniques used. More specifically, by using a grounded approach, it quickly became apparent that the most important aspects related to understanding SMA in practice were how management accountants used accounting information to make sense of strategic situations and how this interrelates with other organisational actors. Further, the research established the specific approaches used by management accountants to undertake this sense-making and the contextual conditions under which they are carried out. Consequently, the principal research findings relate to the core phenomenon of sense-making. Sense-making is a basic social process that revolves around organisational actors’ attempts to understand situations that may have occurred in the past, that might be occurring in the present, and that may also be anticipated for the future. The research focuses on the sense-making activities of management accountants in a strategic context. Management accountants consciously and unconsciously undertake ‘sense-making’ activities to understand strategic situations and construct meanings for themselves which also influence other organisational participants’ sense-making. Sense-making was found to be carried out through the strategies of structuring and harmonising; bridging and contextualising and compromising and balancing. Sense-making strategies were located in a particular context and two types of contextual conditions were found, identified as causal and intervening conditions. The ‘external and internal contexts’ were found to be the main causal conditions. The intervening conditions that have an impact on the sense-making activities were ‘sets of information’, ‘professional know-how’ and ‘a feel for the game’. Two sets of consequences of sense-making were discovered; consequences for making strategy and consequences for management accountants. The paper thus contributes to accounting knowledge by providing a rich insight into strategic management accounting in an organisational setting. It has been demonstrated that organisational actors even inside one company perceived the meaning of the term ‘strategic’ differently, thus contributing to confusion about what SMA might mean. The meaning of ‘strategic’ and ‘strategic management accounting’ has been found to be very much dependent on the actual organisational context. Normative SMA literature often draws an idealistic picture of how SMA ought to be performed, thereby not fully taking real organisational settings into account. This research contributes to a fuller understanding of SMA in a specific organisational context, while including its complexities. The case respondents appeared to stress the importance of thinking through analyses, even if the results may be incomplete and fraught with uncertainties. Complexity was one of the issues often named by respondents in relation to the internal and external contexts. Management accounting in a strategic context in a modern multinational company is a highly complex activity. A better understanding of SMA in practice can assist with the future design of SMA systems. It would seem unlikely that the adoption of any one SMA technique will meet the requirements of all contexts. Attention should be paid to the ability of a set of techniques and information to enable sense-making to take place in the organisation. Of particular importance is the contribution it makes to organisational, strategic transparency and participants’ understanding of the wholeness of the strategic situation. Attention also should be paid to the system's contribution to the interactional strategies of structuring and harmonising, bridging and contextualising and compromising and balancing. These strategies would suggest a flexible approach to SMA system design incorporating a range of techniques and information. This would enable participants to make their own sense rather than a preimposed sense of specific techniques. Similar approaches have been advocated in the past by researchers such as Mitroff and Mason's (1981) dialectical decision-making techniques, Hopper and Powell's (1985) interpretive accounting information system design and Goddard and Powell's (1994) naturalistic approach. The research also highlights the importance of the management accountants’ extensive professional skills. It is not enough to ‘simply’ know accounting or management accounting techniques, but there is a need for a much broader know-how. It was noted that some of the skills that management accountants needed to possess in this strategic context could only be developed through organisational learning and socialisation on the job. This raises important issues for the education of management accountants, as it can be argued that non-accounting disciplines should be part of any management accountants’ qualifications. Accounting is not a ‘reality’ in itself, but part of broader organisational realities for whose understanding some non-accounting knowledge is needed. This concurs with the view of professional accounting bodies, that accounting work is becoming increasingly multidisciplinary and that both generalist and specialist knowledge is needed (Parker, 2001a). This paper proposes a substantive grounded theory of strategic management accounting and sense-making in a German multinational company. As the label ‘substantive’ indicates, it is a theory that is based on a specific research setting that has, however, some level of generality. Further related investigations could in the long-term lead to the development of a ‘formal’ theory with higher generality. In this context, it might be useful to utilise the arguments of Laughlin (1995) for ‘middle-range’ thinking. Inter alia, middle-range thinking suggests that skeletal theories of phenomena are possible, but that these require empirical detail to be complete in particular contexts. It could be argued that the grounded theory takes a first small step towards such a skeletal theory, whose understanding in its particular context is enhanced by the empirical detail. Future research can further develop this modest theory. For instance, research could investigate management accounting and sense-making in different contexts, such as different organisational settings and forms, different countries and non-strategic contexts. Extensions of the theory could also be undertaken, investigating links between management accountants’ and managers’ sense-making activities particularly by extending the theory to incorporate non-accounting recipients. There have been other calls for researching management accounting in relation to broader management support (Jönsson, 1998) and for integrating the fields of management accounting and marketing (e.g. Roslender and Hart, 2002 and Foster and Gupta, 1994). Foster and Gupta (1994, p. 72) argue that researching at the interface of management accounting and marketing would be challenging and the findings of this current study suggest that researching management accounting in such an interdisciplinary context would provide valuable insights