تاثیر سبک رهبری بر واکنش گیرنده اطلاعات برای تغییر حسابداری مدیریت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10303||2011||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 22, Issue 2, June 2011, Pages 105–124
Although we know that the use of accounting information and the leadership styles of managers are related, only little is known about how the leadership styles of managers affect the information receivers’ reaction to management accounting change. Therefore, using a case study of a company that owns ten car dealerships, this paper explores how the leadership styles of managers can affect the use of newly introduced management accounting information. In the case, new senior management introduced new accounting information to facilitate their leadership style. Interestingly, the individual car dealerships differed in the extent to which they used the new information and also in the history of their senior management's leadership style. Different leadership styles appeal to different work-related needs of employees and the paper explains (1) how the change affected the satisfaction of these needs; (2) how this resulted in support for or resistance to the change and (3) how this resistance was overcome.
Many papers have been published that contribute to our understanding of management accounting and management control systems’ change (for example, Baines and Langfield-Smith, 2003, Burns, 2000, Burns and Scapens, 2000, Burns and Vaivio, 2001, Jermias, 2001, Kasurinen, 2002, Malmi, 2001, Shields and Young, 1989, Speckbacher et al., 2003, Vámosi, 2000 and Williams and Seaman, 2002). However, the existing literature does not address the relationship between management accounting and management control change and the leadership styles of the managers. This gap in knowledge is surprising, as several seminal publications pointed out that the leadership style of a manager and the use of accounting data are related. For example, Argyris (1952) and Hofstede (1967) addressed the role of budgets in the communication between superiors and subordinates and Hopwood (1974) investigated the role of accounting in performance evaluation. Therefore, this paper seeks to contribute to our understanding of how management accounting and management control change on the one hand and the leadership styles of managers on the other hand are related. It seems to be widely recognised that a manager's leadership style affects the way in which he uses accounting data (see Abernethy et al., 2010 for a recent study; and Hopwood, 1974 for an early study). Abernethy et al., 2010 and Hopwood (1974) used the concepts of “initiating structure” and “consideration” to analyze leadership behaviour and how this behaviour affects the use of accounting information. Initiating structure is the degree to which a leader defines and organizes his role and the roles of followers, is oriented toward goal attainment, and establishes well-defined patterns and channels of communication (Fleischman, 1973 and Judge et al., 2004). Leaders that initiate structure use accounting data to evaluate whether employees’ performance meets the short-run budget or the long-run objectives of the organization and, in return for realizing this performance, employees receive rewards that satisfy their physical needs, such as income and job security (Hopwood, 1974). In an initiating structure style of leadership, managers use the planning and control system to structure the planning process (Abernethy et al., 2010, p. 12). Consideration is the degree to which a leader shows concern and respect for followers, looks out for their welfare, and expresses appreciation and support (Judge et al., 2004 and Bass, 1990b). In a consideration style of leadership, leaders seek to build trust and express respect in communicating with subordinates (Hopwood, 1974, p. 486). Managers with a consideration style of leadership use the planning and control system as an interactive communication device (Abernethy et al., 2010, p. 12). Contingency theory work indicates that a manager's leadership style is associated with participative budgeting, and managers with a consideration style of leadership are more likely to apply participative budgeting than managers who adopt a style of initiating structure (Brownell, 1983 and Chenhall, 2003, p 147). Although there is some evidence concerning the relation between the use of accounting information and the leadership style of managers, the issue of accounting change has not been investigated. Furthermore, studies on management accounting change have not used the leadership styles of managers to explain processes of accounting change (see, for example, Baines and Langfield-Smith, 2003, Burns, 2000, Burns and Scapens, 2000, Jermias, 2001, Kasurinen, 2002, Malmi, 2001, Shields and Young, 1989, Speckbacher et al., 2003, Vámosi, 2000 and Williams and Seaman, 2002). Therefore, this paper seeks to contribute to the existing literature by exploring this relation. More specifically, the paper addresses the effect of the leadership style of managers on the use of newly introduced management accounting information, rather than the process of the initiation, development and planning of the management accounting change. The research question is: how do the leadership styles of managers affect (the information receivers’ reaction to) management accounting change? The paper is based on a case study of a company that owns ten car dealerships, located in ten different towns in the Netherlands. The company is family-owned and at the time of the study a younger generation of the family had just taken over the ownership and senior management positions from their fathers and mothers. This young generation has introduced new accounting information into all the ten dealerships. Each dealership now has its local (non-family) managers, and they differ considerably in the extent to which they use the new accounting information. These differences between the dealerships were the starting point for a research project. This paper explores how differences in the leadership styles of managers in the various dealerships affect the use of the new accounting information. Section 2 introduces the relevant concepts and proposes how these concepts may be related. Section 3 introduces the case setting and the research methods. Section 4 presents the results: comprising a comparison of three dealerships which are strikingly different in the way in which they use the new accounting information. Section 5 concludes the paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The three propositions set out earlier structured the empirical investigation in this paper. First, it was proposed that intentional management accounting change often also implies changes in management control and in the leadership styles of managers and, if so, it may be more difficult to realize the intended change. Prior empirical studies pointed out that most leaders combine transactional and transformational leadership styles, but in different intensities (Avolio et al., 1999, Bass and Avolio, 1993, Bass, 1998 and Vera and Crossan, 2004). The accounting change that senior management intended to realize in the case study implied management control change in all the three investigated dealerships. In addition, it implied changes in the managers’ leadership styles in two of the dealerships (Soest and Hilversum). Interestingly, one of these two dealerships (Hilversum) succeeded in realizing most of the intended changes; the other (Soest) did not. Fig. 4 summarizes the changes that took place in the three dealerships. The explanation for the successful accounting change in Hilversum lies in the way in which the leadership styles of the senior managers and the dealership manager changed. Both in Soest and in Hilversum, senior management's leadership style became more transactional and less transformational. However, in Hilversum the change in senior management's leadership style took place more gradually. In Hilversum, the new, inexperienced dealership manager asked for support in learning to do his new job and senior managers personally provided him with this training, which is a form of transformational leadership behaviour. When the dealership manager became more experienced, this training was gradually reduced. In addition, the dealership manager had to work with newly hired, also inexperienced, department managers. He had to introduce these department managers to the company and help them to fulfil their tasks as managers. Obviously, change is easier to realize with new staff, rather than with staff who have been working in the same dealership for many years and who have developed their own routines. Hiring new and inexperienced department managers forced the dealership manager to adopt a transformational leadership style, instead of simply expressing the company's expectations (which is typical of transactional leadership). In becoming a transformational leader this dealership manager successfully replaced the previous generation of senior managers, whilst the new generation of senior managers gradually started to adopt a transactional leadership style. Both the transformational leadership (of the dealership manager) and the transactional leadership (of senior management) were able to coexist in Hilversum and the combination of these two leadership styles helped to realize the intended accounting change. The intended change was also realized in the dealership where the change only required a change in management control and not in the managers’ leadership style (the dealership in Leidsche Rijn). Proposition 2 and Proposition 3 help to explain the successful change in Leidsche Rijn: new accounting information can affect the work satisfaction of employees and, as a consequence, employees may either support or resist the change. This paper illustrates three quite different situations concerning the effects of accounting change on work satisfaction. First, in Soest the change had a negative effect on work satisfaction. The personal attention associated with transformational leadership of the previous dealership manager (who was also one of the previous generation of senior managers) was appreciated by everyone who worked for the dealership in Soest. However, the change weakened this transformational leadership and this had a negative effect on their work satisfaction and resulted in resistance to the change. Second, in Hilversum the change had little effect on work satisfaction and there was no resistance to the change. The training of the new dealership manager, by the new senior management, resulted in a more gradual transition from the strongly transformational leadership style of the previous generation of senior managers to the less transformation style (and more transactional) style of the new generation. In Hilversum, the new dealership manager also succeeded in replacing the transformational leadership style of the previous generation of senior managers; through the way in which he trained the new department managers and gave them his personal attention. Consequently, the change had little effect on work satisfaction. Third, in Leidsche Rijn the accounting change had a positive effect on work satisfaction. The new accounting information provided everyone with clarity concerning senior management's expectations and the actual performance of the dealership. This clarity removed the constant threat of being fired which was felt previously, and this improvement in work satisfaction resulted in support for the accounting change. Accounting information can facilitate particular leadership styles, and in the case study we saw how the new accounting information introduced by the new generation of senior managers helped them to adopt a leadership style that differed from the leadership style of their predecessors. However, different leadership styles appeal to different work-related needs of employees and consequently can affect the work satisfaction of employees, and in turn these effects on work satisfaction can result in support for or resistance to the accounting change. This study indicates how such resistance to change can be managed. To successfully implement accounting change, senior managers need to consider the implications of the change for the leadership styles of managers at the various hierarchical levels in the organization; how the leadership styles might have changed, the effects of such change on the work satisfaction of subordinate managers and other employees, and the consequent support for, or resistance to, the accounting change. This paper has illustrated how accounting change and managers’ leadership styles are related. In two of the dealerships the personal attention of the previous generation of senior managers had been very important in their interactions with everyone in the dealership, including people on the work floor, whereas the new generation of senior managers are more remote and they express their objectives for the organization through formal systems and directives which give little personal attention to the individual employees. The accounting change, which took the form of protocols for operational processes and new performance reports, was meant to communicate the new senior management's wishes to the work floor. For the employees for whom senior management's personal attention was important, the change (in accounting information and more importantly in the senior management's leadership style) negatively affected their work satisfaction, and as a result the new accounting information is not greatly used. In such a situation, the role of lower level managers can be crucial, as they may be able to compensate for changes in the leadership style of senior management. For example, lower level managers could give more personal attention to employees, and thereby lower their resistance to the new accounting information. In such cases, it is important that lower level managers understand how the leadership styles of the senior management have changed and how these changes can affect the work satisfaction of employees and the effectiveness of their own leadership style. Accounting information can be useful for both transactional leadership and transformational leadership. Transactional leaders can use accounting information to express their expectations to their employees, and then allow the employees to decide for themselves how to realize these expectations. In contrast transformational leaders can use accounting information as a starting point for personal discussions with employees about their work, and as a tool to train employees and to help them to perform better. However, if senior managers introduce accounting changes to enable them to manage at a greater distance from the work floor (i.e., to fulfil a more transactional leadership style), it is important that lower level managers understand that they can use the same accounting information in a more transformational leadership style. Furthermore, senior management could help lower level managers to adapt their leadership style to the new situation. For example, by training the new dealership manager in Hilversum, the senior management “temporarily” adopted a somewhat transformational leadership style. Then when the new dealership manager became more experienced and accustomed to his new position, senior management gradually shifted from this “temporary” transformational role, and took on the transactional leadership style which they used for the other dealerships. For the Hilversum dealership manager, the transition from the previous to the new generation of senior managers took place rather gradually, in terms of both the change in senior management's leadership style and the use of the new accounting information. Thus, we see that transformational leadership seems more effective during processes of (accounting) change. In introducing new accounting information for lower level managers, senior management should consider how the new accounting could strengthen the work satisfaction of the subordinates of these lower level managers. Convincing the lower level managers that the new accounting information will appeal to the work-related needs of the employees on the work floor is a way to mobilize support for the accounting change. In the case study, we observed how (in Leidsche Rijn) the new accounting information strengthened transactional leadership and helped to satisfy the employees’ need for clarity and greater job security. As a consequence, they used the new accounting information and accounting change took place relatively easily. This research has limitations which suggest (at least) three directions for further research. First, concerning senior management's change in leadership style, the case study explores only two specific situations. It investigated (1) a situation in which senior management's leadership style became less transformational and more transactional (Soest and Hilversum) and (2) a situation in which senior management's leadership style remained unchanged (Leidsche Rijn). As many leaders combine transformational and transactional leadership styles, and both dimensions can change (for example, due to the replacement of senior managers), there are other potential changes in senior managers’ leadership styles than the changes studied in this paper. How accounting change takes place in the context of other leadership style changes is an important direction for further research. Second, in one of the dealerships studied here, senior management temporarily adopted a transformational leadership style in the early stages of the process of accounting change and this helped to realize the intended change. More research concerning leadership styles at different stages in change processes and the relationship between senior and lower level managers during these different stages of accounting change is needed. Third, the introduction of new accounting information can provide clarity for an organisation's employees and this clarity can strengthen the employees’ work satisfaction, resulting in support for the change introduced by senior management. For example, this clarity can remove the employees’ uncertainty and fear of being fired. However, at the time of this study most of the dealerships were able to realize their targets. Consequently, we did not investigate how the new accounting information affects work satisfaction where targets are difficult to realize; for example when targets are unrealistic or in times of economic crisis. Studying accounting change at such times is an important direction for future research. Evidently, management accounting change and the leadership style of managers are related. This is the first study to explore this relation. It contributes to our understanding of how senior managers can more successfully execute accounting change by carefully considering (changes in) their own leadership style and the leadership styles of the lower level managers, the effects of the change on the satisfaction of employees’ work-related needs, and the resulting support for, or resistance to, the change.